My friend and fellow author Veronica Scott, that sneaky devil, tagged me in the game of "Five Favorite Books" going around the Internet. I am far too out of shape to outrun her or anyone in a game of tag, even in my smelly broken-in sneakers, so I've sucked it up and accepted her daunting challenge. As Veronica said, and which I will shamelessly steal, the problem immediately becomes HOW do you pick only five books?!? I mean, five. Only five? No way. Not possible. That's like asking Jay Leno what his favorite car is. Yeah, right. I can't even.
I've really had to think about this question. Pulled out some boxes of books I have in storage because I love them too much to donate, sell or throw away. Browsed my bookshelves. Clicked through my Kindle. Should I pick Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Gosh, I love both those classics. Or should I pick Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz or Christine by Stephen King? What about Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer? The Loop by Nicholas Evans? Nightshield by Nora Roberts?
What. Do. I. Pick?!? (runs screaming from the room because I can't handle the pressure)
In the end, I narrowed it down to five of my favorite books, although I'm far too wussy to declare them my five actual favorite books. Sorry, that's a commitment I simply cannot make.
Kingdom Come by Mark Waid. Sure, it's a graphic novel, but it's quite possibly the BEST graphic novel EVER. Plus, it has Superman, Batman AND Wonder Woman in it. This incredible story is set in the future of the DC Universe and is a grim tale of youth versus experience and tradition versus change. It examines what defines a hero in a world spinning inexorably out of control. The superheroes find themselves pitted against new and violent vigilantes, and although I initially grieved for Lois Lane because she's awesome and I love her and terrible things happened to her in this story, it was okay. Seriously, this story is amazing. I'd wager non-comic book fans would appreciate it, too.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I mean, who doesn't love a slightly depressing dystopian story featuring a kickass heroine who wields a bow and arrow like nobody's business? Plus, it has a dreamy boy who makes bread. I was barely able to put this book down after the first chapter got me completely hooked. Katniss Everdeen is quite possibly my favorite fictional heroine of all time. Maybe. I haven't decided yet. She's definitely awesome. This book is well-written and powerful in its brutal examination of our modern society. At least, I felt very intelligent and self-aware after reading it. The movie was good and all, but the book was sooooo much better.
Angel of Darkness by Lynne Graham. A category romance title? Wow, Angie, that's an interesting choice. Ha! You're only thinking that because you haven't read this deliciously awesome morsel, have you? This is one of the first romance novels I ever read, actually, and it hooked me on the dominating alpha male heroes I still love to read about--I swear they're like crack to me in fiction--but would be horrified if I encountered in reality. I'd be all like, "Jerk! Get away from me!" Funny how that works, isn't it? This book has it all. Angsty angst. A love-hate love so strong it radiates from the page. A scandalous relationship. Crack, I tell you. Come to think of it, I first read this when I was like 16 or 17. Geez. No wonder I'm so effed up. But I still love it.
Bossypants by Tina Fey. This is a recent read, and I'm still chuckling at the memory of it. Tina Fey is a wisecracking, whip smart genius of a writer. She's one of the few celebrities I'll go on record as saying I want to be like when I grow up. Her autobiography is quirky, honest and just plain fun to read. Oh yeah, and it's also inspiring. I can't recommend it enough. Plus, it has this fabulously funny teaser on Amazon: "Before Liz Lemon, before 'Weekend Update,' before 'Sarah Palin,' Tina
Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that
she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym
teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on
TV. She has seen both these dreams come true." Ha! Don't you love it?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I've read and re-read and read again this book so many times I should be ashamed to admit it. Looking at this list, I've decided I'm a sucker for angst. Gee, explains a lot. This classic tale of unrequited love is so melodramatic, it's better than anything on TV. It also created Heathcliff, who totally had to inspire Christian Grey and all of the other angsty domineering alpha heroes out there, I just know it. He was the poster boy for Romance Novel Hero before romance novels were even a thing. Enough said.
That's it. Ask me tomorrow and I'll probably give you a different list. There are just so many good books in the world...I can't even imagine picking only five.