Throughout my lifetime there have been a number of authors who have become almost like personal friends of mine. I look for their name or wait with bated breath for the next novel to come out. I treasure their words, quote them at length, or mull over their story lines. Sometimes the books disturb me, like many of the Stephen King novels. A book isn’t good unless it moves you. If a book affects you in some way – makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes your blood boil in anger, or you heart beat in fear – it is a good book. Good is a relative term here. You reacted. You were moved to do something other than just sit and stare at a page. Your emotions were touched.
How does this happen?
In our own lives we run across people who become friends or confidants, or others who earn our respect through their actions. They connect with us in a way that is difficult to explain, let alone the attempt to disassociate ourselves from our emotions. In simpler terms, we just plain enjoy them. It is the same with anything we read. I am an eclectic person, and I cannot be identified by any one genre. I love to read in general – which has opened doors for me that would have otherwise been hidden if I had kept myself to one style of writing. I love Laurrel K. Hamilton (Anita Blake novels), Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden), all Jane Austen (but in particular “Sense and Sensibility”), Robert Aspirin, and J. Maarten Troost. That isn’t to say I don’t have a plethora of other writers who talk to me as well. Even now, the current book I am reading – “The Unforgiving Minute” by Craig M. Mullaney – has me captivated. Do all books engender a strong reaction? No. Some are just mindless reads that take up some of my time, but don’t make me crave for more.
I have known people who solely read one genre, and never branch out. My own personal library, which most likely numbers in the thousands of books, has everything from the entire Nancy Drew set to books on Japanese Culture; housekeeping hints (which I guess I should read again) to history books; science fiction to yes, I must admit, cheesy romance novels. When I was younger I was obsessed with Judy Blume and read her books until the covers fell off. When I didn’t have a book handy, I would resort to reading the labels on cereal boxes.
My mother enjoyed true stories. She, in particular, was fascinated by true murder mysteries. A little morbid, I know – but my Dad once explained it to me this way. My Mom could not figure out why people did the things they did, it just didn’t make sense. She struggled to understand why someone would go about plotting and completing such gruesome acts. When I said it seemed it a little twisted, he told me that sometimes it was good not to understand people – it meant you didn’t think like them. I have to admit I have read my fair share of mom’s little library, and it didn’t leave me wanting more. It left me slightly disturbed. I don’t have the burning desire to get into the mind of a psychopath, I guess.
Which author calls to you? Who do you find yourself seeking out whenever you are in a library or a bookstore? What about them or their style interests you? I would love your response. It takes all types of people to make the world go round, and styles of writing to interest the masses. Let’s share in a non-judgmental way and maybe your choices will become another’s favorite.