It's no secret I love books. Love them with a passion that is rivaled only by the love I have for my family.
And a full nights sleep.
Anyway, I've shared some of my favorites in reviews through the years, but the other day I was talking to Scott about what I look for in books and it got me thinking about why other people pick their "favorites".
And, hence the idea of "Friday Fiction Fiends" was born. I've asked a couple awesome people to write a "Guest Post" for us featuring their favorite books & why they loved them. I'm hoping to get a nice array of picks so there should be something for everyone.
I thought I'd kick it off here. It was nigh impossible for me to pick my favorites. I love just way too many so instead I opted for a list of things I look for in writing I love & then listed books that are examples of each.
1. Storytelling- Keturah and Lord Death
There are so many books out there that are epic in scope with amazing original story lines but they are sorely lacking in simple storytelling. If a tale is well told it doesn't matter how narrow or simple it is.
Keturah and Lord Death remains one of my favorite books. It's relatively short, was out of print for a long time, & one of the most gorgeously spun tales I have read. Everything that happens builds upon itself to a climactic ending that was both quiet and terribly sweet.
(other fantastic examples of storytelling: The Hunger Games, Matched)
2. Books that make me cry-The Sky Is Everywhere
Oh, I love a good cry. A happy cry, a sad cry, an angry one. Sometimes it just feels good. My sweet husband rarely cries & therefore always asks to cut the onions so he can get some tears out just 'cause it just feels good.
I should read the Sky is Everywhere outloud to him, though I'm guessing it won't have the same emotional effect on him. I read it one month before my mom passed away (it's a book about grief & loss) & I have read it a couple times since- its emotional punch only strengthening with each read. It never fails to make me cry.
(other books to make you cry: The Scorpio Races, Anne of Green Gables)
3. Books written in a distinct/different voice-To Kill a Mockingbird
I love it when a story can tell a tale in a distinct and new voice. Especially a voice that isn't mine. There is something about seeing a story unfold from eyes different from our own. I especially love an unreliable narrator.
There are lots of great examples of this but I keep coming back to To Kill a Mockingbird. One of my very favorite books ever. Top 5 for sure. The reason this story is timeless and beloved, in my opinion, has less to do with the controversial topics, and more to do with the fact that it is told through the eyes of a child. It's gorgeous. It's real. And if you haven't read it since high school its time to try it again.
(other examples of excellent voices: Stolen, The Knife of Never Letting Go)
4. Romance-Pride and Prejudice
Ah, romance, I do love you. Even in the most unromantic book I appreciate a little love. I know it's not kosher to admit this in some circles, like it makes a book less cerebral if their is a love story, but frankly I eat them up.
Pride and Prejudice is one of the first books I read that I was completely enamored with. I loved & hated Darcy and many of my favorite love stories involve a nice combo of love & hate.
(other favorite romantic stories: Jellicoe Road, Clockwork Angel)
The other thing all these books have in common is fabulous writing. Each one is written in a really different way. None are terribly similar writing styles but each one is impeccable in it's own way.
I hope you guys enjoy this new "Friday Fiction Fiends" for the next couple weeks & if anyone is interested in submitting their own favorites for a guest blog shoot me an email!