Books that trapped me in their world and I didn't want to leave.
Shogun by James Clavell. I'd seen it in bookstores for awhile and was intrigued, but was busy at the time devouring everything I could find of Harlan Ellison. When word got out there was going to be a mini-series on the book. I finally bought it. I then read everything I could get of Clavell's: King Rat, Tai Pan, Gai Jin, Noble House, Whirlwind. He is a fantastic writer. The mini-series with Richard Chamberlain I've watched innumerable times. The mini-series of Noble House with Pierce Brosnan is pretty good. The movie Tai Pan with Brian Brown is an abomination.
4. Middle Earth. The Hobbit, LOTR, Silmarillion. Tolkien's world is something to get lost in and never want to come back.
5. Empire of Avarice, by Tony Roberts. The Byzantine Empire explained on an alien planet. The first of now five books in the Kastania series and I've read them three times. Waiting impatiently for the next one. I'm doing the same for the author's fantasy about a Black Elf in his Blade series and punk rock singer in his Siren series. Once you read Tony Roberts you're hooked.
6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This one was mentioned many times on TTT and Wednesday Challenge, out of curiosity I bought a copy even sprang for the audio. This is not a world I would want to live in, a little too dystopian for me, but when your done with both books you can't get it out of your mind.
7. Casca the Eternal Mercenary by Barry Sadler continued by Tony Roberts. Roman soldier who pierced Christ's side and became immortal. I used the first 22 of the books to get my 7th and 8th grade boys to actually read a book all the way through, and they came back for the next ones. The first 22 I got on audio tape as a free download, not available anymore, sadly. When I have trouble sleeping I'll choose one and listen. If I go to sleep, when I wake up I know exactly where I am and go on from there.
I was pleased when Tony Roberts picked up the franchise, and it's from his books in this series that got me hooked on his other writings mentioned above. Three of the Casca books are set in the Byzantine Empire and Roberts knows his stuff on that.
8. Soul Catcher by Frank Herbert. I did read a number of his Dune books, but none of them grabbed me by the throat and sucked the literary life out of me like Soul Catcher. I loaned this book to a wonderful lady I taught next to way back in the day. She gave it back to me and said, "What kind of book is this?"
It has that affect on just about everyone who's read it. You can't get it out of your head.
9. The First Man in Rome by Collen McCullagh. Rome has fascinated me my whole life. I thought I knew just about everything there was about it. Even wrote a 52 page play as a directed study project in college on the First Triumvirate. I got this first book and wisely read the glossary at the back before reading the book and discovered I didn't know a damn thing about Rome.
The series starts with rise of Marius and ends with the defeat of Anthony and establishing of the Empire by Octavian. It's an Herculean feat to get though all of them once, but I've done it twice. Rome truly comes alive in McCullagh's fictionalized history. (FH doesn't have imaginary characters. Every person mentioned in these books actually lived and are part of the history.)
10. The Fifth Element, directed by Luc Besson. This one is a movie with Bruce Willis and Milla Jovavich. If you want to get lost in a movie and never want to leave that world this is the one for you. My all time favorite escape movie. If I've had a meat grinder of a week on Friday nights when wife gets home all I have to say is, "Big Badda Boom."
We fix popcorn and plop down on the couch and let all the crap fly away into another universe.