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Tuesday, July 12, 2005Pam, so here are my answers...
Number of books I've owned...
Wow...I don't think I can count that high. I started buying books when I first started getting an allowance at like 11 or 12 years of age. I used to religiously buy the First Love by Silhouette books the moment they hit the revolving rack at the store. In fact, I still have all of the books in three boxes. I read a lot from the library in my early days, but once I got a job and started buying things with my own money, I really bulked up. I'd say currently, I have about 200 books scattered about next to the bed, on the book shelf, in storage or at my sister's house so she and my nieces can read them.
Last book I bought...
This is easy...from my favorite place to buy books -- Amazon.com -- I bought my friend, Eileen Rendahl's second lady lit called BALANCING IN HIGH HEELS and am reading it right now. Right before that, I bought (also from Amazon), THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE, which I haven't read yet, but am looking forward to. Oh...actually, you've got me on a technicality here because there was a promo on eHarlequin for the new NEXT books coming out and I bought all four of the July books for $13.00 -- but I don't have them yet.
Last book that was given to me...
My friend, Diana, sent me our friend, Shanna Swendson's ENCHANTED, INC. to read. I think she was giving it to me...maybe it was just a loan. LOL! If that doesn't count, then my friend Megan in Santa Monica gave me a kick-ass Weight Watchers cookbook that I can't get enough of.
The next book I plan to buy...
Well, see, this is a hard one to answer because I'm constantly telling myself I'm not going to buy any more books because I get so many for free through friends and conferences or because I have a book person living next to my bed in the form of the 50 some-odd books sitting there in the "To Be Read" pile. I am looking forward to Sandra Brown's WHITE HOT that I'll probably pick up soon after release in August.
Last book I read...
Ummm...well, still reading one, so technically that's not the last one, right? I think it would have to be my friend, Jessica Bird's RITA nominated AN UNFORGETTABLE LADY, which was really good. Jessica has an excellent way with words.
Five books that mean a lot to me...
This is a no-brainer to me...
1. GONE WITH THE WIND -- and I know that sounds cliched, but this book is amazing. Simply amazing. The characters are so real, so deep, so 3-D. The story unfolds during a time of turmoil and sadness for our country, yet these characters all pull together to try to make their world right again and just keep on going. I love Scarlett O'Hara. She's totally a chick lit heroine. People think she's a bitch...but it's not that. She's young. Naive. Unexperienced. And she's thrown into the dire situation of growing up fast, taking care of herself and tending to those she loves. And make no argument...Scarlett does love fiercely. Why else would she work so hard to put food on the table and keep Tara from being sold because of taxes. She tells us straight up -- telling off God, in fact -- that if she has to lie, cheat or steal, she'll never go hungry again. And she doesn't. She has an amazing mentor in Melanie and a tumultuous love affair with Rhett. It's just an amazing story, well written and brilliant. The first time I read it was in 7th grade for a Civil War book report. I wanted to read it and the teacher said it was "too grown up" for me. I told her she was wrong and I got the highest grade on that book report in the class...A+...so there! :)
2. ASHES IN THE WIND -- loved, loved, loved this book. It was the first romance I ever read when I was 11, I believe. It was my sister's book and on the shelf in her room, but I would sneak in and read it in pieces. I cried over the love story and my heart melted for the characters. Just all around a changing experience that totally turned me on to romance books for the rest of my life.
3. THE THORN BIRDS -- again, loved this book. So detailed. So epic. So tragic and painful. Forbidden love and what people would do for it and to protect it. The passion and politics of the church were very interesting and so true, even today. Father Ralph was beyond a hero. He had flaws. He had ambition. He had a heart. And Meggie...man, you just grew up with her and knew her. It was a lovely story of family and heartbreak and love and moving on with your life. Excellent book. Too bad Colleen McCullough went all Roman and wrote like five Caesar books when she should have been writing more books like this one.
4. OUTLANDER -- Diana Gabaldon had me on the first page with this one. And, I picked it up at a tiny little bookstore in Halifax, Nova Scotia back in 1998 before the Outlander books became the cult that they are now. I couldn't put this book down. And, I totally bought into the fact that this WWII nurse went back in time and fell in love with a Scotsman. The historical details were riveting, the characters intense and the romance...just made you melt. The three books that followed were equally as outstanding and I consumed them like a Michelin three diamond meal. I haven't read the last book in the series, THE FIERY CROSS, but it's on the list of books to read.
5. BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY -- one of the funniest damn books I've ever read. (That and THE EDGE OF REASON.) Love this character. Love, love, love her. She is every woman. She does stupid shit that we all do. And she owned up to it and said, "love me in spite of it." She was flawed, made tons of mistakes, but was loveable and identifiable. The voice in this book just sings like an opera. This also turned me on to Chick Lit and made me realize that *I* might be able to write characters like this who are real and flawed and sympathetic. The book, of course, follows PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, but the twists and turns and angles that Helen Fielding did make it modern and a true classic in its own right. I've read this book three times and could easily fall into it again.
Well...there...I'm done. A lot, but hopefully gave some good recommendations. And now...I tag Kathy to see what she has to say! Go for it, Kathy!
Marley = )