Books are amazing things. They can teach you about things you never knew existed, or take you to far off lands to meet exciting people. Sometimes boring people too, but we just set those books aside and pick up something else. I've had a number of stories really resonate with me. Sometimes the characters found a place in my heart and at the end I was sad to see them go. Sometimes the places were lands I wanted to explore. Sometimes, the story line was fantastical and even knowing the impossibility of it, you want to be a part of it.
Most of my favorites are parts of a series. I guess I just don't like things to end too quickly. That said, the Dragonlance series is on my list. It's also the only fantasy series that will grace this list. There are rangers, and dwarves and barbarians, a kender who accidentally ends up with 'stolen' items in his possession all the time and a mage or two. The characters are fabulously written, the story is engaging and even 20 years later I can distinctly recall a scene where one character, wielding a frying pan, put the beatdown on a few of the bad guys of the book. Makes me chuckle to this day.
One of my favorite movies of all time is The Last of the Mohicans. I've read the book. The language is old and tired and the story isn't quite as engaging unless you're a twelve year old boy from 1870. Then, it would probably be much cooler. Sara Donati decided she would write something to continue on from the movie. What she wrote spanned six books starting with Into the Wilderness. I'll admit to reading the series from start to finish, twice.
Diana Gabaldon is a big name in (as her website states)" Literature, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical NON-fiction (really. Well, they are very accurate), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Military History (no, honest), Gay and Lesbian Fiction, and…Horror." She isn't kidding. That does sum up her books rather nicely. Seven books, two companion books, another four books about one of the characters in the main series, a few novellas and an eighth book in the series currently being written says something. Mostly, that she's busy, but also that it's very good. I'm not even going to say more about this story then this: if you haven't read it, pick it up. I'm betting you won't put it down.
Lastly, and because of the number of times I read this over a two maybe a three year period, every night, sometimes more than once a night, is How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. I don't know how many times I said the words "Does a dinosaur stomp his feet on the floor and shout, 'I WANNA HEAR ONE BOOK MORE!' Does a dinosaur ROAR?! ... No, Dinosaurs don't, they don't even try. They give a big kiss, they turn out the light. They tuck in their tails and whisper 'good night'." It was a well treasured routine by my minion and I, and now that I'm thinking about it, I miss it a little more now that he's 11.
That's my list. I hope it gives you an idea for something new to read!
P.S. for those of you wondering, yes I've read A Song of Ice and Fire, and still am. Sadly, most people are choosing to watch it rather than read it and they are missing a great deal. All I can say is do yourself a favor, never watch a movie of a book before you've read it. You do yourself a disservice by letting someone else tell you how things and people should look and be interpreted. You have a brain...use it!