Sunday, April 28, 2013

Discovery

I may have mentioned this before (once or twice), but I'm kind of a big reader.  Don't believe me?  Well, you can go to goodreads and check out my profile.  That will tell you better than I can that I'm an official bibliophile—or as my husband likes to say, book addict.

I was reading a friend's blog the other day and she gave us a list of her favorite books and how she'd discovered them.  Which got me thinking about MY favorite books.  I thought I'd share them with you here.

Before I do, though, I just want to say that in some cases, it's not so much a favorite book as it is a favorite author.

Anyway, on to the list, which I shall try to pare down as much as possible.

1) No list like this can take place without Pride & Prejudice.  Oh, boy, I'm going to start out my pretentious list with a classic, I can hear the groans already.  Actually, the first time I tried to read Jane Austen was in high school.  I hated her book (no it wasn't an assignment, I'm one of those weird book geeks that tries out classics on my own) and put it down for about 4 years.  It was too wordy, too descriptive and I was an action girl at that point, loving on Anne McCaffrey.  Then, for whatever reason, I picked up Emma a few years later and I was hooked.  I laughed out loud and proceeded to read every other Jane Austen book I could get my hands on.  I bought all of them.  I can't remember at what point I read P&P, but the fact that Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth for "the liveliness" of her mind sends me into spasms every time.  Yes, I am a romantic.

2) A Game of Thrones.  I'm not sure if this is my favorite book of the series or not, I'm pretty fond of book 3 as well, but this was the beginning of my LOVE for George.  (Oh, George, how I heart you!!!)  I heard about this book from my friend Jeff, who said to me, "He is the best fantasy writer of all time."  As a self-named fantasy freak, I was skeptical, to say the least.  But winter break was coming up, so I grabbed all the books that were out at the time (the first three) and went home for Christmas.  I honestly don't know if I would have caught on to George's genius if I hadn't gotten sick and been bedridden for literally a week straight.  I DEVOURED those books.  I laughed, and cried and raged and by the end I knew that when it comes to character development, George has everyone else beat.

3) A lot of my book discoveries are random library events.  I go to the new books section, pick up something that interests me by title, cover, or synopsis.  Poisonwood Bible was one of these.  How could I resist anything with bible in the title, I ask you.  This book was transporting!  Kingsolver's prose is among the best in the world, in my opinion.  Each of her character voices in this book was so different that I could picture their voices and faces in my mind during each chapter.  I loved this book so much that as soon as I finished it, I picked it right back up and read it through again.  Amazing!  Oh, and I discovered her before Oprah ever did.

4)  I adore thought-provoking sci-fi.  I love to mull over social issues related through far away galaxies and fought among fast moving space ships.  So it is no wonder that I love Orson Scott Card.  Everyone always quotes Ender's Game at me.  My former boss, who was my introduction to Card, certainly did.  But for me, it was Speaker for the Dead that really resonated with me.  The questions that book asks about what is alien, what is good or bad, are good intentions really worth anything, is there such a thing as doing the wrong thing for the right reason... still stump me to this day.

5)  I'll keep this list down to five for today.  I might talk about my other favorites later.  The most recent addition to my list is Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor.  Talk about another writer whose prose is mindbogglingly good.  When I read her work, my heart twists with envy and admiration, because I know I'll never be able to write like that.  I was turned on to Taylor by my favorite reviewer in the whole world, Kat Kennedy.  She has been responsible for quite a few of the wonderful books I've discovered lately.  The first story in this book blew me away.  Then there was the second, then the third.  Honestly, I felt drained and starstruck from her talent after I read this book.

So those are my top five (For now.  The list is constantly changing!).  What are your favorite books?  How did you discover them?

In a quick ROW80 update, I want to say that this week wasn't as good as last week.  It wasn't bad at all, I still got quite a bit written.  I paused Zyander's story to play some catch up with Nikka.  She and Zyander intersect quite a bit in the first part of the book, so I wanted to make sure her chapters were going to meet up with Zyan at the appropriate time.
Can I just say again how much more complex writing a book with 3 main characters is than writing a book with one?  I've done both several times now, and I now understand why most YA writers don't do it.  It's tough, people!  Writers who have more than one character in your books, how greatly I admire you.  George, who has like 30 main characters... I don't know how he does it!!!

That is all for my week.  Good luck to all my ROW friends.  And Happy Reading!
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