io9.com has a list of scifi and fantasy novels that will pick you up when you’re feeling low, as suggested by many of the site’s registered users. io9 is great at aggregating fascinating science fact and fiction as well as a slew of other topics and posting articles multiple times a day.
I wanted to take a moment and agree with the inclusion of both The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the list. The former more so, simply because it reads a bit easier and humor is rampant throughout. Harry Potter as well, but the second half of the series goes a bit dark, so I doubt it’s the right thing to combat grey skies unless you are looking more for a world in which to escape and less for something that will perk you up immensely.
The rest of the books on the list (except Ready Player One—I have to confess I shun that novel with closed-minded disdain for no other reason than it is supposed to be dripping with pop culture and therefore obviates itself almost immediately…but hey, a lot of people seem to enjoy it) look inventive, quirky, and fun. I’m looking forward to giving them a try sometime in the future.
Ray Bradbury dictated this short essay to his official biographer, Sam Weller, who confirms it is the last thing the science fiction author wrote. It is entitled “The Book and The Butterfly”, and it is about Bradbury’s great love of books and his discovery of the worlds they opened.
Here is the first part:
“When I was seven years old, I started going to the library and I took out ten books a week. The librarian looked at me and asked, “What are you doing?”
I said, “What do you mean?”
And she said, “You can’t possibly read all of those before they are due back.”
I said, “Yes, I can.”
And I came back the next week for ten more books.
In doing so, I told that librarian, politely, to get out of my way and let me happen. That’s what books do. They are the building blocks, the DNA, if you will, of you.
Think of everything you have ever read, everything you have ever learned from holding a book in your hands and how that knowledge shaped you and made you who you are today.
Looking back now on all those years, to when I first discovered books at the library, I see that I was simply falling in love. Day, after day, after glorious day, I was falling in love with books.”
The rest can be found here, and it’s definitely worth a read.