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50 BEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME

Do modern novels make you cringe? Does it feel like everything written after 1950 is shallow, immoral, or ridden with sloppy language?

If your soul is slowly shriveling away inside of you and your eyes are screaming at you to find something, ANYTHING, worth their time to read, I have a solution for you!

First, spend a couple minutes of cathartic laughter with Terrible Writing Advice, where you can enjoy that someone besides yourself notices just how awful most modern novels actually are!

Then… take a look at my list below! With 50 recommendations of classic, first-rate literature, you’re sure to find something new and wonderful to read! I have personally read every title, and not only do I recommend them, but I love talking about them! Please comment about your favorite classic, any modern books and authors that are gems in this current ocean of mediocrity, or anything else book-related!

  1. George Elliot’s Middlemarch
  2. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea
  3. Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince
  4. Gail Carson Levine’s Fairest
  5. Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  6. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  7. Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three
  8. Lloyd Alexander’s The Black Cauldron
  9. Lloyd Alexander’s The Castle of Llyr
  10. Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer220px-The_Chronicles_of_Prydain_set
  11. Lloyd Alexander’s The High King
  12. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman
  13. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  14. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
  15. Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  16. Robert C. O’Brien’s Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
  17. Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn
  18. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time
  19. William Goldman’s The Princess Bride
  20. T.H. White’s The Once and Future KingOnceandFutureKing-768x1179.jpg
  21. C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce
  22. Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  23. C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces
  24. Noel Streatfeild’s Theater Shoes
  25. Shakespeare’s The Tempest
  26. Louis Sachar’s Holes
  27. Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth
  28. Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz
  29. George McDonald’s The Light Princess
  30. Charles Dicken’s Great Expectationsgreat-expectations
  31. Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera
  32. Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden
  33. Elizabeth Russell’s Halfbreeds (Yup, my shameless plug! But I’m not ashamed – I love reading my book, and I highly recommend it!)
  34. Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World
  35. A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh
  36. Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  37. Sigrid Undset’s Catherine of Siena
  38. Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc
  39. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  40. J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan51f-7KjjFeL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
  41. Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
  42. Roald Dahl’s Matilda
  43. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas
  44. Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl
  45. M. Montgomery’s Anne of the Island
  46. Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy
  47. Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall
  48. Catherine Marshall’s Christy
  49. Jane Austen’s Persuasion
  50. Gail Carson Levine’s The Two Princesses of Bamarreimages

BONUS: If you read ONLY 25 of the books on the list and email me with a 1-sentence comment for each of the ones you’ve read, I will send you a free copy of my next book Trinian, An Epic Fantasy!

I can’t wait to hear your opinions!

My Email Address:

Elizabeth @ thefairytaleblog.com (delete spaces)

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Action/Adventure Genre

Action/Adventure is an EXTERNAL GENRE.

External Genres, as opposed to Internal, are primarily driven by a problem that comes up outside the person, and solving this problem results in the end of the story.

The problem usually looks like a large-scale villain. Someone the protagonist has to face off against and prevent them from doing permanent harm to the world.

Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Comedy – these are all External Genres. However, it is HOW these stories are told that determine what genre they fall into.

My brother and I determined the genre according to the emotion the story raises in us, and Action/Adventure raises the emotion of excitement. It puts us, with our hearts racing, on the edge of our seats, wondering at each moment what is going to happen next. It’s a lean forward, hands on you knees, emotion.

This is one of the largest genres of all time.

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Example Action/Adventure Stories are:

  • All the Marvel Films
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • All Star Wars Films
  • Dark Knight Trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Cowboys vs. Aliens
  • Bourne Identity
  • Mission Impossible
  • The Matrix

If the story is edge of your seat action, but takes the action lightly, it is not an Action/Adventure genre. Action/Adventure takes itself seriously. Guardians of the Galaxy is the closest you get to comedy without being a part of the comedy genre, only because it is part of a larger universe, and the characters are in real, permanent danger throughout the the story.

The story begins with a problem – someone is kidnapped, someone is running for their life, someone is pulled out of normal life and thrust against an evil force. The story ends when that someone defeats the evil force. All in between is full of nail-biting action – this is the Action/Adventure Genre.

I’ll do the comedy genre next.

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Romance

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post about genre, and I think it’s overdue.

Romance is another of the simple genres, so I’m going to get that one out of the way with this post.

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Most of us could say right off the bat what a romance genre is. Romance begins with two people who are not in love, and who are in some way closed to falling in love. Usually their problem is internal, but sometimes it is an external obstacle. By the end of the story, they’re both in love. That, in its barest form, is romance.

Example romance stories are:

Pride and Prejudice

You’ve Got Mail

Sleepless in Seattle

The Lake House

27 Dresses

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Romance is the first of the INTERNAL GENRES that I’ve posted about. Internal Genre stories are all driven by a personal problem for the protagonist. As the story progresses, the main character has to shift their world view until they see the world differently. For the Romance Genre, the World View is a shift from ‘closed to love’ to ‘open to love.’

And just to avoid any confusion, the love must be amorous and romantic in order for the story to be a Romance. Other types of love, such as a parent for a child, friendship, or pet love, would not be a romance.

I’ll do Action/Adventure Next! Keep an eye out!

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The Seven Ravens

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The Seven Ravens Source Text

Illustrators:

Allison Reimold

Oscar Herrfurth

Adrian Ludwig Richter

Mary Alayne Thomas

Lisbeth Zwerger

Jana Heidersdorf

Teresa Jenellen

Ryan LeMere

Gustaf Tenggren

Maria Pascual