Three more authors which were read aloud to me:
L. Frank Baum: The Oz series. The Oz books are an early episodic series –a band of adventurers that go from one encounter to the next with only a loosely connecting plot. I very much enjoy the whimsy of Baum’s world. Additionally, Oz is surprisingly un-sexist for its time. Its protagonists are often female: Dorothy, Ozma, Betsy, Trot, etc. and the rulers and moral authorities in Oz are female: Ozma, Glinda, etc.
George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin; The Princess and Curdie; The Light Princess, The Golden Key, etc. MacDonald’s work is infused with mysticism and (sometimes strange) symbolism. Both are at times heavy handed, but they also give a depth and mystery to his work that I find very compelling. There is a great depth of beauty to his writing. I find the moral elements to be somewhat over done, but also laudable. I find I dislike overly moralistic fantasy, but I equally dislike too much moral relativism or ambiguity.
Lloyd Alexander: The Chronicles of Prydain. Alexander worked with Welsh and Norse mythology in his five book series – there are elements that are very reminiscent of Tolkien. To me they are the classic “coming-of-age, orphan discovers grand destiny” tale. They are a great mix of heroic adventure and humor.