Hunter Ellinger
Books
(always a work in progress)

My favorites in different genres:  CHILDREN    YOUTH     DETECTIVE     HISTORY    FICTION IN HISTORY    HISTORY AS FICTION     FICTION AS HISTORY 
plus several categories and MegaTokyo under construction at the end of the page

CHILDREN'S FICTION
Adult enthusiasm for children's books often comes from being given a respectable excuse for keeping in touch with some of the most lovingly-crafted productions of literature.  But we are shopworn enough to usually need the presence of children to get full benefit.

YOUTH FICTION
From about age 10,  the stories of interest include growth and change, not just action -- a "coming of age".  There is a sense in which this strand of thought is the basis of most higher literature, with the static detective and sexual-adventure stories that occupy so much of adult reading being less mature.  But the books that best serve the voracious appetite of youthful readers also have a directness that avoids explicit reflection on the complexities of the world, which is better saved for readers who have already encountered them.

HISTORY

FICTION IMBEDDED IN HISTORY

HISTORY AS FICTION

FICTION AS HISTORY

DETECTIVE STORIES

FANTASY

UTOPIAS

CLASSIC FICTION

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (always in a category of his own)

ACCESSIBLE SCIENCE

EDUCATION

EVOLUTION

OTHER NON-FICTION

MEGATOKYO
    
A wealth of art and literature is emerging online, mixing the classic themes of love, honor, and adventure with the cultures of gamers, techies, and artists.  A particularly engaging and accessible example is Megatokyo, an American manga strip set in Japan.  Now with over 1000 hand-drawn scanned strips (all free at http://www.megatokyo.com/), it has been growing at 3 strips per week since 2000.  The strips form a single continuous still-developing story but include meta-strips about the artist, digressions of various sorts, and occasional guest strips.  The art has manga stylization and varies, without apology, in its level of polish as it explores various levels of experience.  An extended Wikipedia entry is available.
     I'm a fan.  My MegaTokyo guide site  makes it easier to access the main story.  The first few dozen strips evolve from self-contained gags to character-driven narrative, so persevere through Chapter 0 to get a feeling for the style (the drawing gets much better too).  You will see that what we have here is not just escapism, but literature about escapism.  The gamer, romantic, and fantasy elements are played against the cliches and realities of modern culture with striking honesty and richness, both in characters and situations.  As the plot layers and swirls accumulate, whatever strands and people you first identify with lead you to a wider and deeper feeling for all the rest.