Nancy Hutchins 7 of the Best

Nancy Hutchins’ 7 of the Best

Written by Nancy Hutchins

Magic Kingdom For Sale – Sold (written by Terry Brooks; first book in the Landover series)
Originally meant to be part of a trilogy, the series grew to a total of six books. This first book is, in my opinion, the best. Many readers overlooked this book series and went straight to The Sword of Shannara and its sequels (and prequels). Magic Kingdom For Sale – Sold is one of those wonderful stories where a modern day man gets whisked into another place, another age, more importantly . . . another world.

The tale’s protagonist character, Ben, has to accept where he is and his situation, but he utilizes his knowledge from his life back home to handle very difficult, and to him, strange events and customs. Ben is from Chicago, Illinois (I was born in a Chicago hospital and spent my whole life within 70 miles of Chicago). The subsequent characters that Ben meets are memorable, and lovable. The land is a place I so would love to go and visit – for a very long time.

I bought my first copy of the book as a paperback, and it has been read, and reread, so many times that the back cover came off, the spine cover is lost, the book broke into 3 pieces, and it has been glued and taped back together. This is the copy I took to Gen Con, when Terry Brooks was autographing books, to get signed. He looked at the book and looked back at me with a sly smile. He knew this book was special to me. I was able to have a wonderful conversation regarding the possibility of a movie based on the book. I learned this was the very first book he wrote, and because of it, he gave up his law practice to continue writing books. He asked me what I thought of Ben, the main character. I told him that the book is about Ben making a transformation over the course of the book; letting go of the past and embracing the future. Terry smiled and said that I was correct, but did I realize that Ben and his transformation represented himself and his transformation from real life lawyer to fiction writer.

Guardians of the Galaxy (Vols. 1 and 2)
I am Groot! I can watch both movies over and over. While I am not a fan of Marvel comics, I absolutely fell in love with these movies and these characters. Part of it was the use of oldies for the music, part was the great (albeit a little crazy) characters, and part was the story line. The movies at time are zany, funny; and at others action packed; and then they have those Kleenex moments. Who does not love Groot and baby Groot?

Harry Potter books and films
Many readers, young and old, fell in love with these books. After reading one, we all waited until the next one was release – even standing in line at the store at midnight to get our copies. The first book was definitely meant for young readers with it being lighter and brighter in spirit and plot. As the series grew so did the darkness, evil and seriousness of the whole plot. I was never disappointed in any of the books, and will continue to reread them, just as I rewatch all the movies. The wonderful world of Harry Potter is just that, wonderful, amazing, adventurous, sometimes funny, scary, and at times sad.

Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) books and films
The best thing I can say for this series of books, is that it really started it all for future fantasy books and writers. I very much see the influence of these tales in Terry Brooks’ early Shannara books.



I Kickstarted this series of films by Arrowstorm Entertainment (there are 5 of them). Characters you start off hating and then loving, a strong main female character, Marek. She must overcome all odds to complete the task that has been given to her. Her character matures, and develops over the course of the five movies to where she becomes a very strong women capable of power and love.

The Sword of Shannara (written by Terry Brooks; the first of the Shannara series)
While I am a huge fan of Terry’s Landover series, I did enjoy the first trilogy of the Shannara books, and even a few after that. I thought the series did go on for too long though, and I never did read them all.


The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel (written by Michael Scott)
So, this is a series for young readers (much like Harry Potter) but I found it wonderful reading. And it does take six books to present the whole story and save the world. Saving the world is done by the two main characters: twin brother and sister, Sophie and Josh. They learn from others, including those of the Elder race, that they have powers and they need to use and control their powers. Their powers will save the world. The books are a fun, easy and enjoyable read.


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  1. Christopher Bishop
    Christopher Bishop

    We loved reading the Nicholas Flamel series with our kids, and to add to that if you liked Harry Potter and The Flamel series, Septimus Heap is a ton of fun as is the Alt-History Steampunk Leviathan series. Great list!

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    Timothy Connolly

    Prior to reading Nancy’s list, I hadn’t been aware of the Flamel series of books. I would totally recommend that series of books to friends of mine who have young kids.

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