The Reading List of an English Grad -- Fantasy

Hey, everyone! I hope you're all having a fabulous week. Mine looks like it's going to turn into another whirlwind of a week, but I'm definitely not complaining about it! I'm the type of person that thrives when busy. Today, though, I'm going to slow it down a bit for you and talk about what I love to do to unwind more than anything else-- read. Ever since I was a small child, I loved reading. Library class was my favorite. I had a goal in grade school to read all of the books in the library before I graduated. Pretty ambitious for a small child, but I loved to read, so it was a challenge I was more than willing to accept!

As an English student, I read a LOT in college. Some of the books were pretty tedious and others I just couldn't put down. So today I've decided to start a series about all of the books I've had to read for college. I love finding new books to read and would love to help someone else find their newest favorite novel! As an English Lit major, we were allowed to take a few electives. One of the electives I took was a Fantasy class and this was by far, one of my favorite classes. The teacher was so insightful, yet fun at the same time, and because the books were of a genre we were all invested in, the discussion was interesting and definitely got heated at times.  So without further ado...

The Reading List of an English Grad -- Fantasy edition: 

1. The Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - If this list hasn't started off on a good note for you, I may have lost you already, hahah. I had always wanted to read the Lord of the Rings series, but for whatever reason, I had never gotten around to it. This book surpassed all of the hype I had heard about it. Tolkien was truly a genius writer and his books are just as magical as the characters he writes about. 10/10 would recommend! 

2. The Tolkien Reader by J.R.R. Tolkien - This book isn't a novel, but if you're obsessed with Tolkien and his novels, this book gives excellent insight into how he wrote and his thought process. 

3. Lirael by Garth Nix - This book is actually the second in a series called 'The Old Kingdom Trilogy'. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I first started reading this book and was a little confused when I found out we were reading the second book of the trilogy. After diving in, though, I had no problem catching on to all of the characters. This book may not have the same fame as some of the others on this list, but it definitely held its own in my book! (pun intended) I can't wait to get my hands on the first book of this series and finish what I started. 

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Does this book really need any explanation? With all of the hype around The Hunger Games these past few years, you would think everyone and their mother has read the series. I was so excited when I saw this on my syllabus. I would take any opportunity to read this book again and talk about it in an academic context-- or any context for that matter!

5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Wow. What an amazing book. Unlike the other books on this list, this particular novel is a very quick read! Only about 200 pages. Don't be fooled, though. There's a LOT going on it in. This particular novel takes on the magical world and the read world side by side. This class focused, in general, on the unlikely hero in all of the novels-- mainly the children as heroes and the adults as causing the trouble. I lent my copy to my mother earlier this summer and she really liked it! It's one of the first books that comes to mind as a quick, easy and intriguing read.

6. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - If you've been following along my summer goals (June, July, August), you've noticed a slight obsession I've had with Jonathan Stroud. Here is where it all started. Yes, this novel is for children, but it is SO good! Thematically and literarily interesting enough for a term paper or two! This novel takes a look at London in an alternate future where ghosts are not only prevalent but an epidemic. The only solution to this problem comes at the hands of children. Literally. The government hires children to eradicate the problem. In this novel, children are the powerful portion of society and the adults rely fully on them. A very, very interesting and exciting read. 

7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - Yes, I got to read this amazing novel for class. Yes, it was everything I remembered it to be. 

I can assure you not all of the classes were this exciting. Although I enjoyed all of my classes and the reading material that came along with them, I certainly had my fair share of Renaissance plays and 19th century British Literature. Fun fact, I was in a small group discussion during a British Literature class on a day around Christmas when a girl in my group set one of her papers on fire as a joke. I seriously thought I was going to get kicked out of class. Thankfully, we had seminar in the Cathedral of Learning and my teacher thought the smell of burning paper was due to the fireplaces they light around Christmas in the common area. Never a dull moment.

That's all for today! Be sure to subscribe if you have not already to keep up with everything Rachel Lynn. Also, help me reach my August Goal and follow me on Instagram! I love flowers and coffee and pretty dresses. It's a good time, I promise! Until next time,


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  1. I was an English major too, and now I'm a librarian! I love to read. I actually enjoyed 19th century British Lit too ;) I've actually not read the Screaming Staircase (and I'm a children's librarian!) but after your mention I might have to!

    1. Don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed some of the 19th century B.L. I had to read! For sure :) but they wasn't always as exciting as some of my electives were.

    2. But yes! Definitely check out The Screaming Staircase! It's sooo good.

  2. YES. Reading is life. This post is delicious...bookworms unite!

    Emma |

  3. These are great! I've already pinned it to my book Pinterest Board. I have read several of these and am adding the rest to my TBR list! Thanks!

  4. I loved the Garth Nix series!! It was seriously so good. I find that I am kinda over the Hunger Games now and it's kinda been done better a few times before... but I sooo want to read the Neil Gaiman book!!

  5. The Screaming Staircase sounds really interesting. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. I've been looking for new books, and I'm totally going to pick up #6!

  7. Excellent article you have shared with us .. So thanks a lot of sharing such nice post .