Fiction, this time.

Posted on February 9, 2008. Filed under: Games, Musings |

Some weeks back, I participated in a book meme (questionnaire) and chose only non-fiction books. There are so many books I find important, that it felt like a good idea to break it down that way. Now, I’m back with my fiction list, along with some reasons for picking the ones I did.
01. One book that changed your life
Replay / Ken Grimwood~~~I tend to enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, metaphysical fiction, time travel–you know, something with just a bit of departure from everyday reality. Replay has that in spades. It’s a classic time travel tale with a twist. I won’t give away the plot, but the reason it changed my life is that it still does encourage me to “replay” life situations, and change them into what I wish they were.
02. One book that you’ve read more than once
The Shell Seekers / Rosamunde Pilcher~~~It’s one of those few that I re-read every few years because its characters have become family. They’re so very real, well drawn, and believable, and I find myself cheering them on each time.
03. One book you’d want on a desert island
A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L’Engle~~~This is the first (and most famous) in a quartet of books about an unusual family. It has semi-religious overtones (the later books more so), but what I loved was how it incorporated theoretical physics into a magical and moral tale. I’d want it on a desert island because it’s a good guide to learning how to tesseract, and I’d have lots of time and motivation to practice and master that skill.
04. Two books that made you laugh
Jitterbug Perfume / Tom Robbins; Breakfast of Champions / Kurt Vonnegut~~~Both these books make me howl, actually, and also were achingly poignant commentary on the human condition. A good combination.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Pan, in Jitterbug Perfume
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05. One book that made you cry
Old Yeller Fred Gibson~~~I’m not actually recommending this book. It fulfills the request (“made me cry”), but I didn’t like it. Like many of us, I read this children’s book when a child, and it caused me much distress. In looking back upon it, I find it a terribly cloying and manipulative story, designed to teach children about how life is hard, and to learn to be stoic. I feel stoicism and childhood are not a necessary mix, and it’s unkind to teach them this.
06. One book that you wish had been written
How they lived happily ever after, what they did, and why it’s not boring
07. One book that you wish had never been written
I don’t. Every book has its purpose and audience.
08. Two books you’re currently reading
The Rule of Four / Caldwell & Thomason; The Murders of Richard III / Elizabeth Peters~~~The first is similar to another wildly popular “secret code hidden in manuscripts” novel, but more fun and engaging, to my mind. The second is an old-fashioned, yet modern murder mystery by one of my favorite authors of such. I’ve read all her “Egyptian” novels as well.
09. One book you’ve been meaning to read
“T” is for Trespass / Sue Grafton~~~If you don’t know who or what this is, then start with “A” is for Alibi, and work your way through the alphabet. I’ve read them all, hope Ms. Grafton makes it to the end of the alphabet, and have thoroughly enjoyed each. While some are better than others—probably inevitable in a series this long—I find the main character funny, engaging, weird, and non-conformist. While the last thing I’d be is a private-eye, I sort of identify with her a little bit.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So, there’s the rest of my meme, only a few weeks late. I’ve omitted my favorite science fiction, and also my favorite novel of all time, as I’m working on posts about them—A taste of things to come!
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7 Responses to “Fiction, this time.”

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Ah! Nice timing. I’ve been looking for my next fiction book and The Shell Seekers sounds right up my alley. Replay also. Oooh…and I love A Wrinkle in Time. And Robbins And Vonnegut. Nice reminders. Am slowly reading Wild Ducks Flying Backwards, a collection of Robbins’ short stories. Recently read a fun little book Walking in Circles Before Lying Down by Merrill Markoe. It’s light and fun, but you have to be willing to accept a talking dog. Less light but a lovely read, I recently finished Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Also finally got myself to read and was wowed by Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Hope I’ve given you one or two books you’ll enjoy in return for your great suggestions!

That’s a really eclectic and interesting list. I don’t read much fiction, except for novels I read over and over, but I did read The Power of Four. I think. That’s the one set at Princeton? (or was that called Rule of Four? Oh dear.) I’ll have to remember Richard III. I read a Peters many years ago and enjoyed it.

I can’t wait for your post about favorite novel of all time!

i like no. 6. that’s how i feel too after a great book!

Hi Ronnie Ann! Thank you very much for those suggestions. They’re going on my library list. I’ve accepted stranger things than talking dogs. 😉 If you haven’t read Shell Seekers I think you’re in for a treat. It’s timeless. Please let me know if you liked it & Replay, too.

ellaella, Oh, this is too funny. I’m glad you came by, one, because I’m always glad to see you, but, also because you have corrected my error! The novel is indeed The RULE of Four, and it does take place at Princeton. I was writing the post, and looked at the cover to make sure I spelled the author’s names’ correctly, but I was listening to oldies radio at the time, and the song The Power of Love was playing. So, I typed “Power” instead of “Rule”. I’ve fixed it now. If you liked RULE, have you seen this? Thanks for straightening me out!, and for anticipating my favorite of all time. 😀

sulz, thanks for that. Novels usually end with an important situation getting resolved, or the main characters getting married. As if all adventure and excitement end there. Gee, I hope not! 🙂

Great list, Muse. You’ve got some of my favorites on here. Love Ken Grimwood, particularly his short fiction. I’ll have to reread Replay; it’s been so long that I can’t remember all of it. Have you read any of Sheri Tepper’s books? She wrote one, Beauty, which is kind of an interesting time-traveling fairy-tale… it might be your kind of book.

And Sue Grafton is great. I haven’t read all of them yet but I can’t think of many other authors who have kept up a good standard through such a long series. Half the fun is trying to work out what the next title will be. Love #6 too. I could see Jasper Fforde doing that. 😉

Look forward to seeing your favorite books… any clues or are we just going to have to wait? 🙂

I hadn’t seen that companion book. I think I’ll add it to my list of “watch for on the remainder table” books.

I confuse books all the time.

BTW, since you love music, have you checked out last.fm yet? I love it. If you stop by, I am ellathedumpling there; use my shoutbox!

I’ll have to look for Grimwood’s short fiction, cj, I haven’t come across it yet. I’ve never read Sheri Tepper. I’ll have to look her up as well, thank you! You’re right about Grafton’s titles. What do you think “W” will be? Windfall? Woe? You must indeed wait for my “favorites” posts. The sci-fi one should be up in a couple of days, so I hope you’ll be able to make it through until then! 😉 The all-time favorite isn’t due until March, though, as it is connected with spring! There, that’s a hint!

I’ve seen “last.fm” mentioned a few times, ella, but it sort of escaped my radar. Now that YOU are specifically recommending it, I shall check it out. Many thanks!


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