The Books I Recommend More Than Any Others – Part 2

Last post, I listed ten books, or ten authors I recommend more than any others. Here, I continue with ten more authors and their books.

One of the reasons I keep a home library is that I like to visit with my books, especially my favorites, but even those I’ve forgotten about, or forgot I owned one or several copies of. One of the pleasures of writing this post was the opportunity to spend time with my favorites. To pull them out, line them up, and see their spines in a new arrangement. Side by side with books they may not have met before.

So, we’re not going to question my ability to alphabetize, alright. We’ll just say I arranged this photograph aesthetically. It’s mostly in order, anyway.

Continue reading “The Books I Recommend More Than Any Others – Part 2”

The Books I Recommend More Than Any Others

For a while now, I have wanted to update my top ten list of books—actually a list of thirteen because ten is too few. This time, my list includes more than thirty books, some by the same author. I could narrow it down to ten, but I don’t want to and I didn’t even try. So, this isn’t really a top ten. It’s not even a top thirty. More, it’s a list of the books I talk about the most. They’re the books I own multiple copies of, the books I buy for others. The books I insist my friends read. The books I recommend more than any others.

I hit on this particular theme while exploring ways to narrow the selection for this post. The next step was to step into my home library and peruse the shelves. I already knew some of the titles I’d be featuring, or some of the authors I’d like to include, but I have so many books (around 2000) that I wanted to bop along the shelves and see what was there. This is one of the reasons I keep a home library. I love visiting with my books. I’ll pause by a series or an author and reminisce for a while. Recall why this book or that series are favourites.

When I got to a book or an author I wanted to include in this post, I pulled the book out. I didn’t set a limit, I just pulled books from A-Z. I counted them when I got to the end, and when I discovered I had twenty-eight authors, I went back for two more books, deciding an even thirty sounded good.

I then divided the books into groups of ten, figuring I’d split the list into three.

I’ll be sharing the list alphabetically by author. Although I love some of these books just a little more than the rest, assume they all clock in at number one. They’re all amazing, fantastic, memorable reads, none more or less deserving than another, regardless of genre, author, or literary merit. They’re the books I adore.

Continue reading “The Books I Recommend More Than Any Others”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for May was a book on writing. I decided against reading a craft book as I thought it might distract me from the more important task of drafting The City Without End.  The theme for June was a graphic novel. I always read plenty of those, so for this update, I’m going to feature Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 1: Imperial Machine.

Darth VaderI adore Star Wars comics. I find them much more compelling than the movies, probably because each series tends to focus on a single character or a small group. The humor that I loved from the original three movies is nearly always present, though sometimes dry and subtle–especially in the case of Darth Vader. He can be a funny guy. No, really!

Imperial Machine starts right at the beginning. Vader has just become Vader and Darth Sidious has sent him on a mission to get his legendary red lightsaber. There were twists and turns enough to keep me guessing, even though I might have been the only one. See, the thing is, I’ve always felt a kernel of good continued to exist inside Vader’s mostly machine body. That he hasn’t forgotten *everything.* So when I read these comics, I’m always looking for the glint, for the tiny bit of Anakin Skywalker from before he, well, lost his way. I think the writers (in this instance, Charles Soule, look for it too because every now and then a question will pop up and you really do have to wonder how Vader will answer it.

Not going to say more, just going to recommend this series, and the one that follows it subtitled Vader. If you’re a fan, it’s great stuff, even when Triple Zero (Dr. Aphra’s murderous friend) is stealing the show.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for April was banned books. I chose to read Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. It’d been on my Kindle for a while, so this was a good opportunity to check it out.

I’d imagine the reason this book appears on so many banned lists is right there in the title. Two boys kiss. The kiss is very long (over thirty hours long, in fact), as these two boys are intent on breaking the Guinness Book of World Record for Longest Kiss. Surrounding this amazing stage are several other stories, other boys who are connecting, looking to connect, and missing connections. All of this is relayed from the point of view of dead gays. In other words, the book is thoroughly gay. Unbelievably, there are a lot of folks who still have a problem with that.

I am not one of them. As any regular visitor to my blog will know, I often write about boys kissing. I think kisses are wonderful. I like to write about all people kissing. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

What I’ve Been Reading

The #WritersRead theme for March was children’s and middle-grade novels. I chose to read one of my daughter’s most beloved books, Holes by Louis Sachar.

I have around 3000 books sorted onto shelves around my home. The books I’ve read are housed in a room we call the library (read: The Library Project). Upstairs, my daughter has two crammed bookshelves, my husband has one, I have another in the bedroom I call my TBR shelf (over 300 titles and counting) and our guest bedroom hosts two bookshelves, one full of books from my childhood and one called the denial shelf. The books on the denial shelf don’t actually exist.

What may surprise you, however, is how few books there are on the children’s bookshelf Before the age of twelve, I didn’t really like to read. What happened when I was twelve? Our family took a vacation to Lake Michigan and over the bed, in the room I shared with my sister, was a shelf of well-read paperbacks. Bored to distraction by the rain that prevented us from swimming, I picked one at random (probably the skinniest) and read it. The book? Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. And so began my love affair with science fiction, dystopias, and by extension, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. Forty years later, I’m still going. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”