Friday, 15 April 2011

Books That Rock My World

Every once in awhile I stumble across a book that sinks into my very core, moves me to the point of obsession. Not because it’s some fantastic masterwork of literary fiction, but because something about it draws me in until I get so lost I can barely find my way back again.

These are the books I dream about. The books I revisit time and again. The stories that make other stories look dull and unimaginative by comparison.

My first such book was John Christopher’s Tripod trilogy. For months I could think of nothing else. I even tried to write my own version. It's such a simple story, too. Planet gets invaded by aliens, world gets destroyed, kids kill off aliens and save world. Awesome.

The White Mountains (Book 1 of the Tripods) was my first exposure to post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. I was eleven. This probably explains a lot about how my taste as a reader (and writer) developed. It’s still one of my favorite genres to this day.

I ended up obsessing about the Tripod Trilogy for years, until one day I hunted the whole series down on Amazon, bought them, and reread them, including the prequel. I still love them today just as much as I did at eleven.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that the next novel that so

profoundly affected me was Stephen King’s The Stand. In this case, I actually saw the four hour film with Gary Sinese first. I loved it so much, I bought the book. The unabridged author’s version of all things. I couldn’t put the darn thing down. To this day, I obsess over that book. I don't know what it is about post-apocalyptic tales that get my juices going. Perhaps it's the hope for a better future?

Last year there was one book that seriously blew my mind. I resisted reading it for months because the critics said it was good. As far as I’m concerned the critics are usually full of hot air. Fortunately a friend of mine recommended it to me. And she was right. The Passage by Justin Cronin rocked my world. The fact that part two doesn’t come out until 2012 irks me beyond belief.

Lest you think the only books that have the power to move me are those where the world ends, consider Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. I honestly can’t remember why I decided to read it. I think someone over at SmartBitches mentioned it (A good example of how marketing works and word of mouth works better.). It’s so not my usual trope, being more of a vampires from outer space kind of girl, but I fell into her North Carolina town and could barely find my way out. I’ve read every book since, and can’t get enough of her delightful blend of magic, love and baking.

Then there’s Grimspace by Ann Aguirre. It reminded me so much of Firefly. I loved the dark humor, the action, the sex, and, of course, spaceships. Who doesn’t love spaceships?

There are, of course, many other books I’ve adored over the years. Dara Joy’s Ritual of Proof was pretty groundbreaking in its time. Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, Nalini Singh’s Angel’s Blood amazed me, MelJean Brook’s Iron Duke. And the list could go on….

I only hope one day I can write a book that enthralls my readers like these books have me.

What books rock your socks?

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