COLUMN FROM THE INTERN: Borrow a page from my book — try one of my top 5 reading picks
Detroit Lakes High School senior and Tribune intern, Ashton Anderson, shares his favorite books from the fantasy, sci-fi, comedy, action and horror genres.
DETROIT LAKES — Do you like reading? If you do then you might enjoy the list below, of my top book choices within five of my favorite genres.
These books may not all be your cup of tea — my tastes are from a teen mind — but if you give one (or more) of them a chance, you might just find a new favorite of your own among my picks.
“American Gods,” by Neil Gaiman.
If you like epic adventures, beliefs, mythologies from different parts of the world, complex mysteries and magic tricks, then you'll love the 465-page masterpiece of English-born author Neil Gaiman, who is currently a resident of Minneapolis.
“American Gods” is the story of a man named Shadow, who, after being released from prison, is hired by a mysterious man, Mr. Wednesday. On the job, Shadow works with Wednesday to recruit an army of Old World gods from different nations to fight the new gods of technology and electronics, which threaten to overtake the old gods and become the idols of worship of everyone in America.
Throughout his journey, Shadow meets interesting people like Mr. Jacquel and Mr. Ibis, who run a mortuary, Mr. Nancy, who always has a story to tell, and a rather tall leprechaun named Mad Sweeney.
“Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick.
Some may know this book as the inspiration behind the 1982 movie, “Blade Runner.” If you didn't know that, now you do.
This 1968 novel follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard in post-apocalyptic San Francisco, as he hunts a group of six incredibly human-like androids that have escaped their posts in Mars and traveled to Earth. Deckard has been hired to find and kill them.
While on the hunt, he realizes the androids just want to be free from their slave-like roles in society, and he is forced to face the question, “What does it mean to be human?”
While the book is not exactly the same as “Blade Runner,” it is a worthy read for any fans of the movie, sci-fi in general, or even philosophy.
“Mort,” by Terry Pratchett.
This 304-page work is by the legendary Sir Terry Pratchett, who was knighted by the queen of England herself for his contributions to literature.
“Mort” is a book in Pratchett’s iconic series of novels known as the Discworld series. Discworld is the name of a flat, planet-like disc that rests on the back of four gigantic elephants, who themselves rest upon the back of a giant sea turtle, who endlessly drifts through space.
Discworld is filled with strange people and creatures, like wizards, witches, Ambiguous Puzuma, and the Curious Squid. Within this world is a young, scrawny man named Mort, who accepts an apprenticeship from a mysterious cloaked figure — the figure offers him the job of ushering souls into the afterlife. It goes wonderfully well, until the unthinkable happens and Mort falls in love with one of his assignments.
Pratchett is a master of subtle humor that can lead to laugh-out-loud moments. I easily suggest any of his works, but the perfect entry book is “Mort.”
“Scott Pilgrim,” by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
If you like great video game-style action, a great romantic story, and a great story of growing up and maturing into a better person, then this book series is perfect for you. “Scott Pilgrim,” in my opinion, is a masterwork. The graphic novel series includes six books.
You may know the name “Scott Pilgrim” for the cult classic 2010 action film of the same name, directed by Edgar Wright.
The book tells the story of 23-year-old Canadian bass player Scott Pilgrim and his journey to win — and keep — the love of the new American girl in town, Ramona Flowers. On this journey, Pilgrim must come face-to-face with many challenges and setbacks, including a break-up, a new job, coming to terms with past mistakes, and maturing as a person as a whole.
This is the book series I suggest most of all to anyone who will let me ramble on about books, and I will also suggest it to you.
“Uzumaki,” by Junji Ito.
WARNING! Before you look up Junji Ito's horrific masterpiece, please note that this chilling comic series is full of horrific imagery and themes.
With that out of the way, onto the book: “Uzumaki” is a 648-page horror manga book (manga is the Japanese style of a comic book, read from right to left) written by a popular manga writer and artist.
The word “uzumaki” translates to “swirl” in Japanese. This makes sense due to the story centering on a town that is infected by a spiral pattern. This may sound ridiculous, even comedic, but trust me, this book is full of horrific imagery and events, like the dead coming back to life, people being transformed into grotesque monsters, and many, many deaths.
It is a terribly strange world. I do not suggest reading “Uzumaki” if you are easily frightened or are affected by depressing themes.