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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.

debc: (Beckett Reads)

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.

debc: (Beckett Reads)

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. :-)

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Day 05 – A book or series you hate

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


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.

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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.

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Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months

Honestly, this one may surprise some people, but the best book I’ve read this year would have to be Gil’s All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez.

This is an unconventional choice for me because, if you know anything about me, you know that I am pretty terrified by zombies. They feature into my worst recurring nightmares and even cartoon versions give me the willies.

However, the zombies play only a small background role in this book, which is the humorous, over the top tale of Duke (over-weight werewolf trucker) and Earl (a vampire with a comb-over) and their misadventures in what turns out not to be your typical hick town.

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

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Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about:

I’m going with the Millennium series (aka The Girl With…) by Stieg Larsson for today’s question, and for mostly purely selfish reasons… I would love to know who of friends have read them, what they think, and if they think I would like them.

Browsing the website (linked above) I’ve discovered on my own that Pippi Longstocking was supposedly the inspiration for the main character, which I find intriguing because my daughter is obsessed with Pippi right now.

I probably will be adding these to my “to read” list soon, but if you had read them, please feel free to give me spoiler-free recommendations/warnings.

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

debc: (Beckett Reads)

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

I’m answering the second half of this question – a book series I wish would just end already – with the Anita Blake series, by Laurel K. Hamilton.

I was first introduced to the books in college (I think, though it could possibly have been later) by a friend, who had bought the first one because of the picture of the St. Louis arch on the cover. We read them and shared the books by buying the paperbacks and mailing them to each other. She didn’t like to read “the smutty parts” (which at the time were not all that bad, and didn’t take up half the book) so I would read them and report back to her with a summary of how it went and how it impacted the story.

I really enjoyed them, at first, because I love vampires and vampire stories, Anita was snarky and tough, and I had a total crush on Richard.

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debc: (Declan Reading)

So, I’ve been thinking about doing one of those 30-days-of memes that everyone’s been doing this past summer. A little late, I know, but this is me we’re talking about… always late to the party.

The one I’ve decided to do is “Thirty Days of Books” or reading or however you want to term. So, for the next 30 days, I’ll be spending at least a paragraph on books. Hopefully, my reading habits won’t bore you. Or frighten you all away. ;-)

The list of topics are below the cut and I’ll be starting tomorrow, I think. You can consider this a “master post” as I’ll probably edit it to like the questions back to their own post.

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