A Favorite Book is Like an Old Friend – #MFRWauthor

Happy Friday! It’s Week 25 of the MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge, and this week’s prompt is Favorite Books to Read. My question for you is: how much time do you have? Because asking authors or any other voracious reader about their favorite books is…well, it could make for some long (but extremely interesting) posts.

I’m not sure which direction this prompt is intended. Are we supposed to write about favorite types of books, or favorite books specifically? I could sum up the type of book I like to read in one category: well-written, but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting blog post, so I’m going with specific books or authors instead. In the interest of your time, I’ll try to keep this brief–or at least brief-ish. Sorry, but that’s the best I can do. I’ll try to narrow it down to the top 5.

PenmarricAnything by Susan Howatch, but my favorites are Penmarric and Cashelmara. I’ve read these books half a dozen times each, and I’m feeling a yearning to read them both again. There are several reasons Ms Howatch is on my list. First, the reader in me loves that she tells compelling stories. She draws me in and never lets me go. I discovered her years before I seriously considered pursuing a writing career, so she appealed to the reader in me first. But second, as a writer, I’m fascinated by the way she tells her stories. Each of the two books mentioned above (and several others) are told from the points of view of six different characters–but not as most authors do it, flipping from ont to the other in separate chapters, telling the stories concurrently. Howatch stays in one point-of-wish-list-04view from the story’s opening to the first major turning point and then she switches POV, usually moving into the head of a character who has been the source of the greatest conflict for the original character. I’m endlessly fascinated by how she can have me totally sympathizing with Character #1, then get me to buy in to Character #2 and question my loyalty to #1 when I see him through #2’s eyes. This is a clumsy attempt to explain her art, but I have to warn you all that one of these days I’m going to try my hand at writing a book her way.

Gone With the Wind by MargareGone With the Windt Mitchell. Not because it’s a great romantic read, or because I buy in to the way of life in the South before the War Between the States, or because I approve of slavery, or … well, any of the things that have made people put the book on the “much hated” list recently. I love reading this book because I’m fascinated by the character study.  The self-destructive character of Scarlett, who (spoiler alert!) is so obsessed with her perception of one man, she destroys her relationship with another. The completely ineffectual character of Ashley Wilkes, the long-suffering, accepting, forgiving character of Melanie, and, of course Rhett, who is, was, and always will be Clark Gable. I own 3 or 4 print versions of the book, a couple in hardback, a couple in paperback, and I’ve downloaded it on my Kindle, as well, and I read it every few years.

The Passions of Chelsea Kane by Barbaba Delin1372803sky. This book is special to me because it’s the first romance novel I was able to read after 9 years in an extremely abusive relationship. After being on my own for a year or two, I decided I wanted to try reading a romance again–romance novels being something I avoided like the plague during the abuse years–but I knew that I’d have to choose carefully. Older Daughter and I spent an hour or two in the book store, reading the back cover copy of almost every book in the romance section before I decided to bring this book home.

1910840Anything by Agatha Christie. She’s the master of plotting, the grand dame of the mystery world. Her books are classic. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite from the bunch. I’ve read everything she ever wrote at least once, and that’s a very conservative estimate. I used to own copies of all of her books, but had to sell some in a yard sale at one point, which broke my heart in a way only a book lover can understand. When I was younger, Miss Marple was my favorite of Christie’s characters. I think it’s time to read them all again to see if that still holds.

95226Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons–or anything big and thick and lush written by an author who knows how to use the language. Colony is one of my long-time favorites. I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, not just for the story, but to immerse myself in Siddons’ words, her poetic use of the language. Some of the images she paints in this book have stayed with me for years. If an author can create a setting I can see and characters I can remember long after I’ve finished the book, she or he has made a fan for life.

I could go on and on listing favorite authors, but this is a bloghop and you have other blogs to visit. Make sure you check out the other blogs via the links below.

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7 thoughts on “A Favorite Book is Like an Old Friend – #MFRWauthor

  1. Meka James says:

    I’ve not read any of the books. People always think I’m crazy for not reading (or watching) Gone with The Wind considering I’m in GA and all that jazz. One day maybe, but not sure when.

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