I hate, loathe, and despise telling people what my favorite things are, but I’ve made a commitment to this Wednesday blogging thing and damnit, I’m going to keep it.
The reason I hate telling people about my favorite things is that I’m inconsistent and my “favorites” often change. There are a few that never change:
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo. I only read this book because when I was twelve, I saw the musical. I wanted to read the book, so I went to the library and got this woefully abridged version– and when I say “woefully abridged,” I mean the whole beginning of the book with Bishop Myriel meeting the revolutionary was gone, the passage about Waterloo, so much of it was missing. One of my teachers saw me reading this totally useless version and said, “You know, there’s a better translation.” In the past twenty years, I’ve read Les Miserables from cover to cover fourteen times, and it gets better every time.
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville. I’ve liked this book since high school, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I am now until my honeymoon. My husband and I went to the Berkshires for our honeymoon, and while we were there we visited Arrowhead and a few other sites Herman Melville had frequented with his “friend” Nathaniel Hawthorne. I reread Moby-Dick and Billy Budd and researched more about Melville’s personal life, at which point I was like, “Wow, this dude was totally gay, and he was expressing it in his work.” It gave his writing, those two pieces in particular, a completely different depth, and I’ve become a little obsessed with Melville and Hawthorne. I guess you could say I ship them. Since this huge revelation wherein I figured out what literally millions of people had already picked up on before me, I’ve read Moby-Dick several times, but I do skip over some of the whale biology.
The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice Do I really need to give an explanation for this one? It’s Lestat. It’s Lestat. While I agree with critics who say the series began to decline with The Tale of The Body Thief, I am in this for the long haul. Because Lestat.
Those are three favorites that will never change, unless I get some kind of personality changing injury in the future. But I’ve got this habit of saying, “This is my favorite [blank],” about stuff that a few years later I’m “meh” about. Or, I look back on it fondly, but I’m not as in love with it as I once was. Examples of these books are:
The Vampire Diaries series, L.J. Smith Can I just say right off how fucking shitty it is that they kicked L.J. off the franchise that she’d made popular the second it got a frickin’ TV show? Anyway, I’ve grown and changed from the tween who devoured these books, but I still look back and remember the good times we had. They really influenced my own writing, too, so I’ll always like them.
New Moon, Stephenie Meyer Okay, I know what you’re going to say, but I don’t care. I loved the Twilight series when it came out, then I hated it after Breaking Dawn, then I read 50 Shades of Grey and I love it again because Edward is cast in a way better light when compared to Christian Grey. But New Moon was the best book of the entire series. I lived Bella’s breakup. I laid on my couch and cried when they broke up. I will always love this book out of a sense of nostalgia, even though in hindsight they’re all pretty silly.
And then there are recent favorites I worry about including and somehow slighting or hurting the feelings of the other books on the list. Which is silly, but I just imagine Jean Valjean going, “What do you mean this book is your favorite? Don’t you love me anymore?” and my heart crumples into a thousand pieces. But these are what I like to call my current favorites, since it doesn’t require a commitment that might hurt Jean Valjean’s feelings:
A Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin I am one hundred percent obsessed with this series. I’ve mentioned before that I know the geography of Westeros better than the geography of my own country, and I feel no shame about that. Granted, it’s taken me over a year to finish A Dance with Dragons, but that’s not a reflection on the writing, it’s because I got to page 913 and threw the fucking thing against the wall in a blind, wailing rage.
Lux series, Jennifer L. Armentrout I am always the last person to catch on to any freaking trend, I swear. I just recently gave the first book in this series a try, and then I got sucked in. It’s everything I loved about Twilight with nothing I disliked about Twilight. The heroine, Katy, has an actual personality. The hot guy has a legitimate reason he needs to protect her, rather than just, “You’re a weak human, let me help you, weak human.” Plus, it’s a paranormal YA that isn’t about your traditional monster. I’m shotgunning this series.
The thing that I really hate about these favorites lists is, I have too many favorites, I guess. I’m looking at my keeper shelves right now and going, “But what about All The Sweet Tomorrows by Bertrice Small? What about Into The Forest by Jean Heglund? What about Ian McEwan’s Atonement or Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes? And how could I possibly leave Stephen King off the list?”
Well, that last question is pretty easy to answer. Stephen King is in his own class. If we do a Wednesday Blogging topic about our favorite Stephen King books, I’ll be ready to go.
Want to fill yourselves with other Wednesday Blogger favorites? Check them out:
Gwendolyn Cease • Bronwyn Green • Jessica Jarman • Kris Norris • Kellie St. James