My editor, Melissa Robitille, and CMP sister, Cindy Young-Turner, tagged me in their The Alternative Booker Award posts. The object of this exercise is to share my five personal favorite books, and then tag five more bloggers to get them to share their faves. If you’ve been reading my interviews lately, you can probably guess at a few on my list. These are in no particular order.
“The Diamond Age“ by Neal Stephenson. There is so much to like about Stephenson’s work, but this one is his best (in my humble opinion.) AT 400+ pages, it’s the last of his shorter novels. (The six books that follow average more than 900 pages.) The characters are rich and the world is at once familiar, strange, and fully realized. We are introduced to the main character, Nell, at the age of four. Born into poverty to an alcoholic mother, a father who is executed almost literally for stupidity, Nell eventually finds herself in upper class society through the fierce love and devotion of her older brother, Harv, and the guidance of a very special book.
“Foucault’s Pendulum“ by Umberto Eco. This book taught me more about reading than all my years of school combined. The author, a university professor in Spain, is incredibly smart. His novels are jamb packed with details ranging from delightful to mundane. On my first read, I attempted to understand every word and nuance of the book. More than two years later, I was about two-thirds of the way through the book when it hit me. The author doesn’t expect me to understand everything going on in this book. Most of the book is intended to explain how Belbo and his occult book editor friends got into the grave situation in which they’ve found themselves. My job, as a reader, is to simply listen. My second and third reads took about 10 days each while I was attending college full time, and I got more out of each one. So when I say “Foucault’s Pendulum” taught me how to read, I mean that it taught me how look through details to find the story underneath.
“Taste“ by Kate Evangelista, is a beautiful story. Phoenix is a lovely, yet flawed main character. Demetri and Luka play wonderful opposites, as well as the most beautiful zombies ever written. Technically, they’re flesh eaters on a strict vegan diet, but their people are the race that the zombie myths were based on, according to this novel. There’s love, action, a delicious cat fight complete with insults, taunts, and yanking of hair. There’s jealously, torture, and mystery. *Sigh* I have a signed copy.
“The Dragon’s Blood Chronicles“ by Sean Poindexter. Dragons and vampires and social workers, oh my! The fight scenes are brutal. The sex is hot yet realistic. And the characters have a need for a bathroom on occasion. Seriously, this author is crazy talented. I want book three right now.
“Mordant’s Need“ by Stephen R. Donaldson. Terisa is an all-but invisible girl, wealthy wallflower who surrounds herself with mirrors to assure herself that she’s real. One day, while staring, a young man appears in her mirror and invites her to the other side. There, she struggle in a world where the only mirrors are portals and looking into one will rob a person of their mind. There are debates on whether Gerarden pulled her through the mirror, or created her with it. As various powerful people jockey for position in a world on the brink of war, Terisa has to find the strength to become one of them, or else become a tool in someone else’s hands. I read the second book of the pair in one 15-hour sitting.
Now, I would love to see what five favorites are on these ladies’ shelves: