Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday


I just made that up. Top Ten Tuesday. I like that. I’ll go with it. (You know me, I’ll essentially do what I want when it comes down to it.)

My Top 10 Books

1. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
4. Anthem by Ayn Rand
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
7. Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius by Dave Eggers
8. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
9. While I was Gone by Sue Miller
10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The above books are just a sampling of very memorable books I have read in my life. The book I’m currently writing is a fiction novel. I would like to think it is contemporary fiction, or even more preferably, the next GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL, but realistically there are parts of it that could be considered chick lit.

When I think about my novel, I think about things like, “What do readers want to learn? What are they interested in learning about themselves? What is their angst? How can they relate to the story I am writing?”

After all, people want to read something that is not only engaging but that causes some sort of emotional shift, or an “ah-ha.”

What great works inspire you? What kinds of questions do you ask yourself when writing your own pieces? What do you feel are hot topics in books right now?

14 comments:

Wanderlust said...

I loved LOVED Life of Pi. Poisonwood Bible too. The Good Earth. I like literature with themes of healing, redemtion, hope. I don't mind reading about sadness or trauma as long as there is some sort of healing or hope woven through the story.

Actuary Mom said...

My favorite novels are very long stories that take place over an entire life -- like East of Eden and The World According to Garp. I love reading all kinds of books though, but sometimes they just end too soon -- so I think I trend toward loving long ones.

Kara Muller said...

I love finding a novel with the rare combination of beautiful writing and engaging story. One example that comes to mind is Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson - a real gem of a novel.

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I love books the way I love music as long as it grips me I could care less about the theme or genre. I wish I could write and I always envy those that can do it well :)

Ratz said...

I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451. I was also blown away by Pearl S Buck... her books are so down to earth and yet convey so much of the emotions of the characters... nonetheless, classics are always my fave. They make me feel so good and happy. I enjoy classics. I am currently reading Jane Eyre.

TV's Take said...

Questions I ask when writing; how does the character change in a way that we love her/admire her and cheer for her. How do we make other characters not as loveable without coming out and saying it (can you tell I'm writing a childrens book and not a novel). Super excited to see your finished product!!!
Also thanks for sharing your top 10 list - I need to check some of those out.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

My favorite contemporary book is Memoirs of a Geisha. I just loved the story and the character so much. But I'm also a sucker for any cheesy smutty romance novel. The popcorn factor is a real draw!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

p.s. Can't wait to read your novel!

Tropical Mum said...

I love stories about triumph over adversity, and like someone else said, I can handle sadness, tragedy and loss as long as there is hope.

Thanks for stopping by!

Holyoke Home said...

ANYTHING by Barbara Kingsolver. May I make a recommendation based on your list? Sighthound by Pam Houston is a novel you might enjoy.

Debbie said...

I was going along in perfect agreement with you until Wally Lamb. That's the beauty of life - we are all different. My husband loves Wally but alas, I don't!

Annie said...

Awww, Debbie! I love Wally Lamb too. As Alex mentioned, I was also smitten with Memoirs of a Geisha and can enjoy my fair share of sappy chick lit. One of my all time favorites will always be To Kill A Mockingbird. And then there's also anything by Zora Neale Hurston

Jenn Erickson said...

#1 and #7 and two of my favorites as well. Last year some of my favorite reads were "Water for Elephants", " The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and "The Brief Life of Oscar Wao". I'm looking forward to checking out some of the titles on your list for my reading list this year. Thanks!

frogpondsrock said...

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb was a fantastic read. I am going through a fantasy stage at the moment so I have nearly finished re-reading Terry Brooks, the sword of Shannara series. lovely light escapism :)