A book everyone should read at least once

Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once

Night, by Elie Wiesel. By far, it is one of the most powerful books I have ever read.

It was the second book I ever read about the Holocaust (Schindler’s List being the first) and it was something of an eye opener. History books and the The History Channel (which I never had access to until after college) only reveal so much and are sometimes dry facts. Night painted a stark and cruel reality and described a palpable helplessness. It detailed both the cruelty and strength of the human spirit.

Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

This may actually be more of a television writing thing these days, but a plot device I am totally disenchanted with is the one where your hero/heroine is  stripped of everyone/everything important to them.  Trials and tribulations (ala Job or Hercules, or Percy Jackson and Harry Potter) are supposed to test our heroes and allow for personal growth, not to diminish or wear them down.

Even Hercules got his reward in the end and made a few friends along the way.

I can’t actually think of any recent book examples of how I don’t like this plot device, but in terms of television, Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Captain Jack Harkness come to mind as characters I’ve loved who keep getting broken down by the people who write them.  If I was reading books about them, I would stop because the hopelessness would be suffocating.

For those keeping track… the master list of these questions is here.

Favorite book of your favorite series

Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time

In a previous post, I listed the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings as one of my favorite book series.

That being said, my favorite book from that series would have to be The Two Towers. What I loved best about it was the developing friendship between Gimli the Dwarf (my all-time favorite Tolkien race) and Legolas the Elf.  While the friendship had its start in the forest of Lothlorien, it was on this part of the perilous, sometimes-impossible journey that the two of them really bonded, proving that peoples from such opposing cultures could set aside their centuries old grudges and be as one. That they are both stubborn and proud in their own rights, and how vehemently they opposed each other in the Fellowship of the Ring makes this friendship all the sweeter and more poignant.

For those keeping track… the master list of these questions is here.


A Note: I know I’m behind on these, but we went away for the weekend and I didn’t really have a chance to sit down and type them up. Rather than doing double (or triple) duty to catch up, I’m just going to plug away like there isn’t a gap in my days, so bear with me. Thanks. :-)

A book or series you hate

Day 05 – A book or series you hate

This one is really, really easy to answer for me.

Twilight.

I apologize up front to all of you Stephenie Meyer fans out there, but her concept of vampires and their contemporaries really just leaves me cold. Not only that, but when a lot of the people whose opinions as readers I respect started referring to it as “no better than bad fanfic” and explaining that you have lower your expectations to be able to enjoy it… I realized I had no desire to bother. There’s also the Romeo/Juliet factor, which has never been a draw for me.

I love vampires. I love vampire stories… I’ve written a few in the past. But I want a vampire story I don’t have to “lower my expectations” to read. I want my vampires to be vampires, damn it!

For example:

Jeanne Kalogridis‘s Diaries of the Family Dracul trilogy
Elizabeth Kostova‘s The Historian
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I had to add it, it follows the trend the other two set)
Anne Rice‘s Vampire Chronicles
Charlaine Harris‘s Sookie Stackhouse books
Susan Garrett‘s Intimations of Mortality (tie-in to an old television show, but it is made of total win)

Heck, even Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake books hold more interest to me than SMeyer’s sparkly, angst-ridden knock-offs.

For those keeping track… the master list of these questions is here.

Your favorite book or series ever

Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever

This is an easy one for me, as I have two different series of books that I will adore forever.

The first is the Anne of Green Gables books, by L.M. Montgomery.

What is not to love about Anne Shirley? She’s spunky, independent, imaginative, brave, smart, a good friend… I could go on and on. In short, Anne is the type of role model all little girls should have. I know I wanted her as mine when I was growing up, and I know I want her for my daughter, as well.

The other book series is The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkien. I think I first them in the seventh grade, and since then have worn two copies of each book so thoroughly that the covers came off.

And as a bonus… before I read either of those, my literary heart belonged to Long John Silver and Treasure Island. I wrote my first fanfiction (though at the time, I did not know that is what it was) for Treasure Island, in the form of letters (badly penned, because they were pirates after all), describing the behind the scenes events during the voyage of the Hispaniola and what happened leading up to the mutiny. It was, also a quasi crossover with Johnny Tremain, which was a favorite of mine in elementary school. Looking back now, I’m not sure they honestly could have meshed, because I think the dates are off, but I didn’t know that at the time. ;-)

For those keeping track… the master list of these questions is here.