Here is the current list of books I’m planning to read (and in this order):
The Hobbit by Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien
The Similarion by Tolkien
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
A Song of Fire and Ice (5 books currently) by George R.R. Martin
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This is a good place to start for me, as I don’t consider myself a fast reader. These books may even take me past my 12-month fantasy interlude, which is fine. As I read these, I will also be reading The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis to my daughters. The book list I generated is by no means a end-all-be-all list of fantasy, but it represents for me a few differing approaches to the genre, particularly in that some of the authors write from a biblical world-view, and some write from an anti-biblical world-view. The others are stuck somewhere in between. It would be easy to pull redemptive elements out of books similar to Tolkien’s series, but I want to venture off the path some. I try to read the Hobbit once a year, and that is why I’m starting there. It is only natural to read through the rest of the Tolkien canon before venturing out into other works, who to one degree or another borrow from the English storyteller.
I am open to suggestions, and I know many would say that I need to add this or that, but for the time being, I’m content with the list I have.
I’ll begin posting about The Hobbit soon.