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Favorite Books A - Z: Fiction by Todd Henson

Some of my favorite books, from A to Z. Missing books were borrowed or read as ebooks.

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From time to time I like to talk about things that aren’t directly related to photography, especially when they involve passion and inspiration. And I feel very passionate about and gain inspiration from reading, whether it be prose, poetry, graphic works, or non-fiction.

With this in mind, a couple fiction blogs I frequent recently posted lists with a favorite book for each letter of the alphabet. I thought this was a great idea and loved reading through their selections. It got me wondering whether I’ve even read a book for each letter, so I started going through my goodreads lists and my physical book shelves, and below is what I was able to come up with.

If you enjoy this then try to create a list of your own. It’s not easy, but it can be a lot of fun. And check out the lists that inspired my own:


A - Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds

I’ve loved Alastair Reynolds’ work since I read his first book, Revelation Space. These are far future stories often set in space but sometimes set on planets. Perhaps the fact he used to work as a space scientist helps him create stories that just blow me away.

 
 

B - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief was such a moving story. I couldn’t put this book down. Set in Nazi Germany, about a young girl who finds herself drawn to books. Very touching.

 
 

C - City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

This is the second book of a series, and I’ve still not read the first. But this didn’t stop me enjoying this fascinating fantasy story that felt very different from most others I’ve read.

 
 

D - Dracula by Bram Stoker

I grew up absolutely loving, and being terrified of, vampires. And for me Dracula is still one of the most compelling stories about them.

 
 

E - The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

This was one of the very first fantasy books I read, and after I finished I couldn’t wait to find and read more. I’ve always had a soft spot for Terry Brooks’ writing, and it all began with the Elfstones.

 
 

F - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. Frankenstein, the book, was so very different from the movie versions I’d seen, and in my opinion, a much more compelling story.

 
 

G - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

What drew me to this book was the title. I was fascinated to learn what it was all about. And once I started reading I soon found myself reading the second and third books in the series. Very engaging and hard hitting.

 
 

H - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

How could I possibly leave out Douglas Adams? Such a funny, fascinating, and strange story, it will likely always remain a favorite.

 
 

I - It by Stephen King

It may be my favorite Stephen King novel. He does such a great job writing kids, I just find myself being sucked into their lives and all the troubles they find. Granted, I was a little disappointed with the ending, but overall It still remains a favorite.

 
 

J - Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Recreating dinosaurs. What could possibly go wrong? The movies were fun, but as is almost always the case, I find myself much preferring the book.

 
 

K - Kabuki by David Mack

This is the only graphic work I chose to include in my list. I wanted to keep it just prose works, but Kabuki had such an impact on me I had to include it. David Mack has written a fascinating set of stories, but I’m also drawn to his incredible art, which is very different from anything I’d ever seen in comics. If I were to choose a prose novel instead of these graphic ones it would likely be The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan.

 
 

L - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m treating this as a single novel instead of a trilogy. This is another work that had a tremendous impact on me growing up. After reading Terry Brooks I’d heard about Tolkien so I gave him a try. And I’ve been reading him ever sense, sometimes rereading this series, and sometimes reading from his other works.

 
 

M - The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian was a very personal story with a protagonist I immediately liked. How do you survive on Mars when you’re left there alone with limited resources? Great story.

 
 

N - The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss has a way with words, and this is one of my favorite books both for the story and the way in which he tells the story. I look forward to rereading it before the final book in the trilogy is released.

 
 

O - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Such a short and beautiful story. Neil Gaiman is another who has a way with words, and whose works really draw me in. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully magical modern fantasy.

 
 

P - Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Pawn of Prophecy is the first book in a longer series, the first I’d read by David Eddings. I don’t recall much about them now, other than knowing I thoroughly enjoyed them when I was younger.

 
 

Q - Quarantine by Greg Egan

Quarantine was the first book I read by Greg Egan, and I loved it. He took science fiction in directions that were new to me. His stories can be very cerebral and full of ideas.

 
 

R - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I was the perfect audience for Ready Player One, having grown up with the games and movies referenced in the story. A fast paced and fun read. I had a hard time picking just one book for R, and so I’ll also mention Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, the first book of his I’d read.

 
 

S - The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I was entranced by The Shadow of the Wind and would very much like to reread it soon. I love books about books, and so a book about a hidden library of forgotten books was right up my alley. A magical story. As with R, I had a very difficult time choosing just one book, so I want to mention The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss, a very different and personal sort of tale that has really stayed with me. Both beautiful books.

 
 

T - Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein

I had to include Heinlein somewhere in the list. I’ve not read one of his books in quite some time, but growing up I loved them, and Time Enough for Love was one of my favorites.

 
 

U - The Unreasoning Mask by Philip Jose Farmer

A strange but fascinating story, possibly the first I read by Farmer. I certainly hope it isn’t the last I read by him.

 
 

V - The Vagrant by Peter Newman

This book differs from most of the other speculative fiction I read, and it really drew me in. A main protagonist who never speaks? I wouldn’t have thought it would work, but it did. This was the strongest book of the series.

 
 

W - A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

I had to include Ursula K. Le Guin in my list somewhere, and where better than A Wizard of Earthsea. Long before Harry Potter, this was my introduction to a school of wizards and the problems kids can cause, both for themselves and others.

 
 

X - Xenogenesis by Octavia Butler

I read Xenogenesis as a single book instead of the originally published series. This was my introduction to Butler, and it left me wanting to read more of her works.

 
 

Y - A Bad Spell in Yurt by C. Dale Brittain

I didn’t have anything that started with Y so I had to get a little creative. A Bad Spell in Yurt is a simple, fun, fantasy read. It’s perfect when you want an entertaining story that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

 
 

Z - . . .

I have nothing yet to fill the slot for Z, so I wasn’t quite able to finish the list. I do, however, own a couple Z books that may one day let me complete this. The most likely book to one day fill this spot is Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi. I have, so far, enjoyed everything I’ve read by Scalzi.


And, of course, this being a website mostly about photography, I’m also working on a list of photography books, as well as non-fiction books. I’ll post those in the coming weeks, though they may have more missing letters than did this list.


Best Photos of 2018: Newly Processed From Years Past by Todd Henson

I recently shared my favorite photographs created in 2018. In this post I share my favorite photographs processed in 2018 that came out of the camera in years past.

I often go out shooting, return home, import my photos into the computer, back them up, then move on to something else, leaving the photos on the computer half-forgotten. This year I made an effort to begin poring over and processing some of these older photographs. I didn’t want to include them in my Best of 2018 collection, but at the same time I did work on them this year so I didn’t want to completely leave them out. The solution? Creating a collection specifically for them.

Below are my favorite photos processed in 2018 but created in years past, listed in chronological order:

Happy New Year!


Best Photos of 2018: My Favorites of the Year by Todd Henson

It’s that time of year again. Time to go back through everything you’ve created this year looking for the best, or at least the favorites. This isn’t an easy task, but it helps teach us to be ruthless with our work. I’m far from an expert in this, so I continue to practice each year.

This process was inspired by Jim Goldstein, who each year gathers together best of collections from many different photographers. Thanks to Jim for the inspiration and for continuing to put together these lists each year. Your work is appreciated.

Below are my favorite photos created during 2018, listed in chronological order:


If you’d like to see more, I also have a collection of my favorite photos created in previous years but first, or newly, processed in 2018. And if you enjoy reading books and watching movies I’ve put together a list of the books and movies I most enjoyed in 2018.

Merry Christmas! And here’s to a great 2019! I wish you all the best.