In previous posts I've talked about how influential my parents were in my love of reading - taking me to the library, bookstores, sharing books. My dad and I really shared a love of all things fantasy (mom likes fantasy, but really isn't into vampires - we kind of converted her). He made sure I watched all of his favorite genre movies - more than once to ensure that I appreciated them (it took a couple of showings of Krull before I loved it too). He was also very supportive of my writing. I think he got a kick out of reading it.
One important lesson that I took from my dad was to always make a point to talk about and recommend the things that you like. He mentioned many times that most people just complain when they don't like something, but that you should strive to promote the good. Whether we were at a restaurant, Disneyland, or even when he was in the hospital, he made a point to recognize good service, usually seeking out the manager to point out a particular employee. Dad preferred to dwell on the positives in life, and I'm trying every day to follow his example.
We lost dad last week, and in his spirit of promoting the things he liked, I'm going to spotlight a few of his favorite books.
Dad read almost everything by Eddings, starting with The Belgariad's Pawn of Prophecy, but the saga of Sparhawk was his favorite. Sparhawk stars in 2 trilogies, starting with The Diamond Throne, facing off against gods, wizards and politicians, surrounded by a motley crew of knights, squires, thieves, sorceresses, and other sundry characters. Dad loved the humor and the camaraderie, and that even though there were consequences, at the end of it all, good prevailed. It's been ages since I read these. I think it's time to try them again.
Dad loved this series. He wasn't quite finished with Ghost Story the last time he went into the hospital, but luckily mom had already read it and could fill him in. He loved the characters, their relationships, the magic, Mouse, and of course, Bob. This series was an autobuy for him, even when they went to hardback. I think he might have gotten Ghost Story as an eBook this time, but it wouldn't surprise me if they had both. Seriously he loved this series.
I mentioned that my folks and I often share books - on one visit, my dad brought me the first 4 books of Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. He enjoyed the werewolf stories, but his favorite by far was Paige and Lucas. I think he preferred witches and wizards to werewolves, and Elena and Clay have a messed up relationship at the start of book 1. He loved the equal partnerships shown in this series. My parents had that, and were a great example to me of how two people can work together even through the most difficult times.
Dad also had no problem with female characters who kick ass and can stand on equal terms with their male counterparts. I think he was still happier that I took up the pen versus sword practice, though.
This was the last book recommendation I got from Dad. He had the first 2 books in the series and thought I would really like it.
I haven't gotten past the first chapter yet, but it deals with fallen angels, fire & brimstone hell, and trying to find redemption. Dad was big on second chances. He always believed that people could change for the better if they had the chance.
Those are just a few of the books he shared with me. I know that when I read or re-read these books, I'll remember him, and someday, I'll introduce my own kids to these stories. The fantasy legacy goes on.