Allegory

Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurdard

Hinds' Feet on High Places cover

One of my customers recently called to tell me that she really enjoyed Hinds’ Feet on High Places.  This is an inspirational novel that has been described as Christian fiction at its best.  It got its name because the girl in the novel wants to be like the deer in her mountains that have special feet that allow them to leap and play high up.  She, too, wants to be free of fear and strives to be a courageous person who can overcome her limitations with the help of her God.  She wants to rework herself into a better and more spiritual person.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

It was the goat that gave it away.

Some young wizards-to-be discover their destinies through an engraved invitation. But for Sparrowhawk, unscrubbed and unbiddable goat herder on the island of Gont, an overheard word in the true, magical language was enough to get him started. Not just one stubborn goat but the whole herd was brought to heel with a single word. Clearly the lad had potential.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Hazel was young and strong and a bit clever.  His best friend, however, was a runt no one thought much of.  But Hazel knew something about Fiver that made him respect the little fellow. Fiver was gifted with the Sight. He somehow could tell in advance what might be coming, and just then Fiver was terrified to the very marrow of his bones.

Rabbits such as Hazel and Fiver who live in the English countryside usually lead a pretty nice life. There are predators, sure. Foxes, hawks, and even stray dogs might grab an unwary rabbit. But rabbits are sociable creatures, living in cozy warrens underground, usually staying in the same place for years at a time. They eat together, play together, and follow a leader. And so it was at Sandleford warren.

Rabbits are usually rather biddable beings of habit so when Fiver, with Hazel backing him up, tries to convince their chief rabbit Threarah  that death and disaster are coming—and soon—it’s a losing situation.  After all, "The Threarah doesn't like anything he hasn't thought of for himself."  His Owsla guards don’t believe them, either, and it is against the rules of the warren to leave it without permission.  But they’re going to do it anyway.

Shatterday

By Harlan Ellison

Go to catalog
"A revolutionary classic from one of science fiction's most highly regarded authors, this collection of 16 brilliant stories remains as scathing and influential today as it was when it was first published more than 20 years ago. These category-defying stories combine science fiction, horror, and fantasy with ironic humor, sardonic social criticism, and intense self-revelation.

"From 'Jeffty is Five,' the tragedy of an innocent child wrenched out of an idyllic past, to humanity's encounter with dangerously seductive aliens in 'How's the Night Life on Cissalda?' and 'Shatterday,' the dark allegory of an identity-stealing doppelganger replacing his inferior twin, this incendiary collection re-establishes its legendary author's place at the cutting edge of the short story form."

Reserve this title

The Great Divorce

By C.S. Lewis

Go to catalog
"C. S. Lewis takes us on a profound journey through both heaven and hell in this engaging allegorical tale. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis introduces us to supernatural beings who will change the way we think about good and evil."
Reserve this title

The Chess Garden, or, The Twilight Letters of Gustav Uyterhoeven

By Brooks Hansen

Go to catalog
"In the fall of 1900, Dr. Gustav Uyterhoeven left the chess garden that he and his wife, Sonja, had created together in Dayton, Ohio, and journeyed to South Africa to serve as a doctor in the British concentration camps of the Boer War. Over the next ten months he sent twelve chess pieces and twelve letters back to Sonja. She set out her husband's gifts as they arrived and welcomed all the most faithful guests of the garden to come and hear what he had written - letters which told nothing of his experience of the camps but described an imagined land called the Antipodes, where all the game pieces that cluttered the sets and drawers of the garden collection came to life to guide the doctor through his fateful and wondrous last adventure."
Reserve this title

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is one of those simple, spiritual tales that captures modern-day imaginations and becomes a best-seller. As I read it on the beach, I felt the brush of Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s wings—or perhaps those were the wings of the laughing gull trying to steal my son’s peanut butter sandwich.

In this extended fable, the teenage shepherd Santiago has chosen his free and lonely life over a more respectable one that would have bound him tightly to his community and family. Content as he is with the wisdom he gained while wandering the Spanish hills, he is nonetheless being drawn to change his path. The dark-eyed daughter of a prosperous merchant awaits his marriage proposal, but Santiago’s prophetic dream in an abandoned and ruined church leads him further away from his homeland than he ever imagined.