Friday, January 11, 2008

Books That Matter

I'm ripping off the idea for this list from someone else's blog (Missio Dei - if you're interested. His blog deals with things far more important than this one
I'm not recommending the blog necessarily, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. And I snagged the list from his site.

One book that changed your life: It's not fiction, but I can't say there was a fiction book that changed my life. If I think of one I'll let you know. But this book did. When my husband left me for another woman I bought this book. I can't articulate how profound an influence it had on me. I've not seen it's equal. I've read it many times, and it sits beside my bed even now, years later.

One book you read more than once: Pick a Susan Isaacs' novel, and I've read it more than once. She is my writing mentor. When I'm writing a scene for a smart, funny, interesting character, I re-read it and ask "Is this what Susan would write?" This one is, in my opinion one of her very best. Pure fun.

One book you would want on a desert island: Ok, it's two books (It's my blog and I can cheat if I want to.....cheat if I want to......). These two books got me re-interested in fiction written for a Christian audience. I had long grown bored with the tepid topics and unthrilling plots between the pages of so-called "Christian fiction" (pardon me, but isn't Christian a noun?) These two books (the first in a three book series, but the third is forgetable) saved the day and set the bar higher for the industry. Her research is flawless, and her prose is engaging.

One book that made you laugh: Olive Ann Burns did us all a big favor by working so hard to get this book right. She created a world you feel you can step right into. Her dialogue is second to none, and her characters are richly southern without being overwhelming. Its a story of family, secrets, and love, but written with such a bright hand it had me chuckling and smiling through the whole thing. Sadly, this gifted writer died before she was able to finish the sequel Leaving Cold Sassy, but it was published as an unfinished sequel which has all the finished scenes, unfinished scenes, and her notes about the book, as well as some commentary. Read them both.

One book you wish you'd written: Oh gosh. One day I will write a time travel novel. I only hope it will be half as compelling as The Time Traveller's Wife. Gorgeous, human, amazing. The characters grow, change, mature, and evolve as the story unfolds. It's brilliant, sad, and achingly lovely. Something to aspire to.

One book you're currently reading: Oh stop. I'm on vacation.

One book you've been meaning to read: Hard to pick one, but with The Kite Runner film coming out, Hosseini's name is everywhere and I keep thinking I should read this one. I can't help but be inspired by his debut novel, and I suppose expectations are high for this one too.
What about you?


N. J. Lindquist said...

One of the novels that changed my life is Little Women. I was quite young when I read it. But even then - seven or eight, I guess - I knew I wanted to be just like Jo Marsh. And actually, while one might not think of it as a Christian book, in the opening chapter, their mother gives all four girls copies of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.

Bonnie Grove said...

I love that! Fiction does have the power to change a life. My husband said for him it was This Present Darkness (a book I didn't care for) that changed him in his adult life.'ve got me thinking that I need to dig deeper.