Oh, to be a bookworm in this day and age! Growing up with a book in tow, pretending to be part of worlds besides our own, reading for hours and hours and meeting our heroes when we close our eyes to sleep – many of us have spent our teenage (and must I say adult) years this way and the reality we actually live in has grown to welcome nerds in all forms and genres.
From the pages to the screen, the fandoms are currently the top target audience and toughest critic group of any book, series and adaptations thereof – and rightfully so. Who here have not imagined being a wizard, an elf, a jedi or a hero stuck in the tug-of-war for power? Whether you’re a fan of the classics, mainstream or eccentric choices, I’m sure you have read your handful of sagas, but here are a few more you might want to check out to fill up your bookshelves.
- The Chronicles of Narnia Start here. The Chronicles take you on an imaginative adventure into a realm where a witch can bring about eternal winter, animals talk, and battles between centaurs and fauns unfold. It’s just as enjoyable for grown-ups as it was during your childhood, and it’s a timeless classic that you can share with young readers to introduce them to the magic of books.
- What Should Be Wild Naturally gifted with the ability to both take life and restore it with a touch, Maisie Cothay has been kept hidden within her family’s estate, alongside an enigmatic forest she’s been strictly banned from entering. However, when her father disappears, she’s driven to defy these instructions and embark on a captivating, occasionally humorous journey to locate him in this enthralling novel.
- Stardust If you’re accustomed to Gaiman’s grand adventures across alternate realms, you might find this compact novel to be a breath of fresh air. Crafting a story of love between a man who’s part human and part faerie, and a star who has taken on human form, it presents a charmingly historical-flavored escapade.
- The Lord of The Rings Trilogy Come on, this is familiar territory, especially for fantasy enthusiasts. If you’ve only experienced the movies, consider dedicating a weekend (or weekends!) to immerse yourself in the books that ignited the fantasy passion for countless readers. And prepare to be compelled to read the rest of the prequels, too.
- Game of Thrones If “winter is coming” doesn’t hold any significance for you, then it’s time to emerge from whatever rock you’ve been living under and grab a copy. If you think the show is controversial, wait till you read the books. Regardless of how you feel about the final HBO season, the book series is definitely something else.
- The Buried Giant Taking place during the Dark Ages, a perplexing mist hinders people from making lasting memories. Here, an older couple believes they’ve misplaced their son, leading them to embark on a cross-country expedition to locate him. Just a heads up: you’ll encounter dragons and a plethora of other medieval exploits along the way. And oh, the author Ishiguro has a Nobel Prize in Literature.
- The Women Could Fly Blending elements of fantasy and dystopia, this book emerges as a potent novel that resonates with our current era. Within a reality where witches exist and unmarried women above thirty are subject to state surveillance, Josephine Thomas, at twenty-eight, grapples with mixed feelings about marriage while teetering on the edge of losing control over her own destiny.
- Stranger In A Strange Land Among all of Heinlein’s writings, Stranger in a Strange Land holds the utmost significance for dedicated sci-fi enthusiasts. This tale follows a Martian boy arriving on Earth, discovering his exceptional abilities. While the book received a Hugo award and acknowledgment from the Library of Congress, its contentious themes resulted in bans in some circles. A cherished choice among the ’60s counterculture, the novel continues to be a must-read for modern-day nerds.
- Neuromancer Gibson’s Neuromancer is the definitive cyberpunk masterpiece across all media. With the emergence of the Internet at the time, a fresh era of sci-fi began, and Neuromancer stood at the forefront. The story follows a struggling hacker pursuing a corporation’s orbiting ship, unleashing an engaging narrative involving street samurais and digital pursuits. Published in 1984, it became an underground sensation and achieved an unparalleled trifecta of awards: the Philip K. Dick Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award.
- Ubik For sci-fi enthusiasts, Philip K. Dick is a definite must-read. Lately, he’s become linked with movie adaptations like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Man in the High Castle. Devoted followers, however, recognize that the true treasure among his works remains the yet-unadapted Ubik. Dick’s portrayal of a realm teeming with telepathy, automated microtransactions, and a perplexing time shift will undoubtedly prompt you to ponder the very essence of reality.
- Ready Player One Blending inventive originality with nostalgic charm, this book is an exceptionally unique and captivating piece. It combines the elements of a quest, a love story, and a virtual space opera within a universe where spellcasting wizards clash with massive Japanese robots, Blade Runner-inspired planets abound, and soaring DeLoreans reach light speed.
- Dune The pinnacle of science fiction, it forever stands as a testament to boundless imagination. Set on the arid planet Arrakis, it follows the journey of young Paul Atreides, destined to become the enigmatic Muad’Dib. Tasked with overseeing Arrakis and its vital spice, Paul’s noble family faces betrayal, leading him to undertake a covert mission of revenge. Amid a captivating blend of adventure, mysticism, ecology, and politics, “Dune” garnered the initial Nebula Award, a shared Hugo Award, and serves as the cornerstone of the most monumental saga in science fiction.
Whatever your preferred genre may be, there will always be a book that resonates with your very being and finding it just might be the ultimate quest set for us in this reality. For the fandoms, fantasy and sci-fi would remain our most beloved nooks. The world-building alone is a craft in its own tier. I personally believe that our book repertoire grows along with us as we evolve as readers so feel free to explore beyond your comfort zone. And oh, it’s never a bad idea to start with Harry Potter.