Most of us can pinpoint 3 key books in our lives that have given us purpose, power, or a sense of wonder.
Here are mine.
1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The story of Montag slowly rediscovering his own humanity is the greatest tale I have ever read. There's a sharp poetry in the language, an impossibly beautiful understanding of the importance of literature, and a symbolic use of fire and nature that never fail to sweep me away.
2. Time of the Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This was the first big fantasy novel that I read, and for a long time, I made a habit of re-reading it every summer. Caramon and Raistlin are twins: Caramon is a strong warrior, Raistlin is a withering mage. This book kicks off a time-traveling trilogy in which Raistlin seeks to overthrow a goddess and claim her place, while Caramon struggles to convince his brother that there's still a path that could lead him to the light.
3. Feed by MT Anderson. I read this in college as part of a course on Young Adult Literature. It brought me back into a world I had abandoned by reminding me that teen sci-fi lit can be just as edgy and complicated as everything else in the field. It's about building technology into our skin, our world-wide obsession with buying useless stuff, and going to the moon.
I'd love to know what your Big 3 are, so please leave a comment!
Here's Neil Gaiman's take on his 3 most important books: