Deb @ 1:39 am:
It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. of A. so …
What authors and books are you most thankful for?
I've been taking part in the Booking Through Thursdays for quite a while now, usually from my The Island of the Voices blog. With every week I'm getting increasingly aware that whatever the questions, there are certain authors and books that come more frequently to mind than others. Nothing really strange in that, I suppose. Just goes to show that those authors and books have made a special impact on me. I decided to put this week's answer in my Spectrespecs blog, because...
... over the past decade, I've been especially thankful for J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series. This has a lot to do with the fact that when I got acquainted with these books, I was going through hard times, and the Potter series served not only to distract and amuse me, but also to...hm, "expand my ideas" I guess. The fact that it was an ongoing story which was not finished yet when I started reading it, kept my interest up in a unique way.
After an accident ten years ago I ended up with chronic neck problems. I had to give up work and most of my previous social life, and spend a lot of time just resting. Audio books was one way for me to keep myself entertained. I first listened to Harry Potter as Swedish audio book (read by Swedish actor Krister Henriksson). Later, I also bought and read the books in English. From book 5 onwards I bought each of the remaining books in the series on the first day of release. I've also listened to them in English, read by Jim Dale as well as by Stephen Fry. I include the performances of the actors who recorded the books in my thanks, because their voices have "kept me company" and distracted me during many sleepless hours. (I suppose I should also extend my thanks to the film makers and actors in the films; I have all of those on DVD as well. The last two will be added to the collection as soon as they are made available...)
Furthermore I must also include in my thanks the Leaky Lounge internet discussion forum, where I participated for a couple of years between books 6 and 7. Without that forum, I probably wouldn't have become aware of even half the subtleties and references to classic literature, history and mythology that Rowling has woven into her story. I've come to appreciate her vast knowledge of literature, her love of words and names, and her very thorough job with background details (many of which probably slip once-only readers by).
There is one fantasy writer who has made even deeper impact on me, and earlier: C.S. Lewis. His Chronicles of Narnia in particular, but also his theological books, and biographies about his life. For me he is the Author who managed to bring together Reality, Fantasy, Mythology and Christianity and make sense of it. The Narnia books too are among the ones I always return to "when times are rough".
Among the things that make a story worth while to return to, even when you know how it ends, are richness in language, humour, genuine feelings, imagination and lots of details.