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In this section, I am going to attempt to collect lists of the books (and authors) that I love. Since your mileage may vary, here are some links to more reputable recommendations:

YALSA has a list of the best books for young adults in 2001.

Kay Vandergrift (my advisor at library school!) keeps a great list of adult versions of traditional fairy tales.

The Lambda organization posts a recommended list of queer-themed science fiction and fantasy.

Terri Windling and other Endicott Studio members also recommend new books seasonally.

 

Growing up, I was reading Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, anything by Madeleine L'Engle, and everything by J. R. R. Tolkien. Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave basically ruined me for all other Arthurian work. Also, I remember being totally obsessed with Robert Lynn Asprin's Thieves' World.

By the time I had hit my early teens, I was reading Peter Beagle, Tanith Lee and Anne Rice. I read Tales from the Flat Earth: Lords of Darkness to tatters. During this period, I also discovered Michael Moorcock's Elric.

As to the recommendations in the boxes accompanying the text, please note that I would probably advise you read absolutely everything by most of these authors, but for brevity's sake, am only picking out some favorites.

Recommended Reading

Lloyd Alexander: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, Taran Wanderer, The High King.

Madeleine L' Engle: A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind at the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

Mary Stewart: The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment.

Peter Beagle: The Last Unicorn, Folk of the Air, Giant Bones.

Tanith Lee: Red as Blood or Tales from the Sister's Grimmer, Tales from the Flat Earth.

Anne Rice: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Mummy.

Michael Moorcock: Stormbringer.

 

In college, I discovered the world of comic books and through it, Neil Gaiman and Sandman.

Through various anthologies, I started reading Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman. I found and read the Borderlands series. My reading strayed further and further from epic fantasy.

It was also during this period that I was studying a great deal of classical literature, particularly Yeats, Milton, Spencer, Joyce, and Nabokov. But I'm not going to even start on that sort of recommendation.

Oddly, my travels brought me back to reading and writing young adult literature. I found new favorite writers, including Garth Nix, Lemony Snicket, Gail Carson Levine, Francesca Lia Block, Megan Whalen Turner, Franny Billingsley and Annette Curtis Klause.

 

Recommended Reading

Neil Gaiman: Sandman: Season of Mists, Stardust, Coraline.

Charles de Lint: Jack of Kinrowan, The Ivory and the Horn, Dreams Underfoot.

Emma Bull: War for the Oaks, Finder.

Ellen Kushner: Swordspoint, Thomas the Rhymer, Fall of the Kings.

Delia Sherman: The Porcelain Dove, Fall of the Kings.

Anthologies: Snow White, Blood Red; The Essential Bordertown.

 

Oddly, my travels brought me back to reading and writing young adult literature. I found new favorite writers, including Garth Nix, Lemony Snicket, Gail Carson Levine, Francesca Lia Block, Megan Whalen Turner, Franny Billingsley and Annette Curtis Klause.

There are also some great authors that I missed my first time around, such as Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones.

Recommended Reading

Garth Nix: Sabriel, Lirael.

Lemony Snicket: Series of Unfortunate Events.

Gail Carson Levine: Ella Enchanted.

Francesca Lia Block: Dangerous Angels.

Megan Whalen Turner: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia.

Franny Billingsley: The Folk Keeper.

Annette Curtis Klause: The Silver Kiss, Blood and Chocolate.

Susan Cooper: The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch

Diana Wynne Jones: Howl's Moving Castle