I won’t pretend to be all high and mighty and claim that I’m a well read person or that I’m incredibly smart. In all honesty, I still have a LOT of books to read and genres to explore. However, I will say that I’ve amassed a considerable amount of books that I truly treasure. Here’s the first of the bunch:
What Was the Most Difficult Book You’ve Ever Read?
It certainly falls somewhere between The Silmarillion and Paradise Lost. I read The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien when I was finishing high school. My vocabulary then was pretty limited to textbook jargon so you can just imagine how tough it was for me to absorb all of Tolkien’s genius. I had to reread a page like three times before I could get a basic idea about what it was telling. I didn’t finish Silmarillion though because, well, it was much too complicated for me then. When I read Paradise Lost by John Milton, I was in 3rd year of college and was quite familiar with high handed lexicon so it was not as tough of a read as Silmarillion, although it would still take me twice the reading time it takes for a normal book. And since Paradise Lost is a classic (and the technique, history, and vocabulary is old testament), it was still profoundly challenging. I even considered using it as a subject for my final thesis, but erotica won that one.
What Book Changed Your Whole Life?
I’d love to say it was Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts, but the book that truly changed my whole perspective on reading and writing was Beauty’s Punishment by Anne Rice (writing as A.N. Roquelaure). I normally don’t believe in destiny and all that nonsense, but in this case, I can honestly say that it was my destiny to read that book. I was just browsing through our high school library one afternoon (alone, because my classmates thought books were rubbish) and it just so happened that when I was rearranging back the books I took out, Anne Rice fell out. It was a small paperback version and the front cover art was just a simple pink orchid. I sneaked it into my backpack (okay, I stole it but in my defense, NOBODY reads from our high school library so nobody would even miss it) and I read it at home. I had no idea it was erotica and that was when my mind exploded, figuratively of course.
What Book Was Your Earliest Obsession?
I already mentioned Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts. This is another stroke of fate because it was my Aunt’s boyfriend who gave her that book. She let me borrow it because she didn’t find it interesting. I was just thirsty for some reading material so I eagerly borrowed it, not knowing I would be obsessed with it for nearly 2 years. In fact, I was reading it again and again and again during my free time that my mom worried I was no longer studying (which was true). So she took it and hid it from me, decreeing that I could only read it on weekends. Since I knew where she hid the book, her decree was moot. Nora Roberts basically introduced me to the world of paperback romance novels which, interestingly enough, is a world I still enjoy immensely.
Who Is Your Favorite Author?
Like other bibliophiles, my favorite author changes from time to time. Currently, its Sally Beauman. I recently bought one of her books, Landscape of Love, and it has instantly become a favorite. I loved how she built the characters, the tension and the plot arcs in each chapter. It’s far from a romance novel, but it is a book about romance, love, and unrequited love. I’m certainly adding more of Beauman’s books in my reading list for next year.
What Book Did You Find It Hard to Recover From?
I can name several, that is if we are talking about books that made it challenging for me to get up out of bed and face the sunlight. I just wanted to curl up and moan over and over again, “Whyyyyyy?”. The first is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Aside from its technical merit, Rebecca truly entertained and absorbed me in a way that few other books have. The second is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Its her third book in the Hunger Games trilogy and it made me depressed for like a whole week. I knew that there were bound to be deaths given that it was a civil war in a dystopian setting, but I still grieved for Finnick Odair and Primrose Everdeen. Third is A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. I can’t name just a single book in his series because each one truly made me feel like I’m bipolar. I would be cripplingly depressive or crazy after reading one of his books because I would grieve for the characters that died and the characters they left behind. I also couldn’t put his books down because they were just so… amazing. There’s truly no other word for it. The amount of detail in the history, settings, familial connections, culture and traditions, language, plot intrigue, and world-building is just so immense.
What Is Your Latest Obsession?
I’m currently reading Delta of Venus by Anais Nin. Its a semi-compilation (sort of like The Canterbury Tales) of erotic short stories, each varying in theme, length, and character point of view. Its certainly proving to be a challenging read, partly because I haven’t read an erotic fiction work quite like this one. I just discovered it while searching for new erotica material to add to my reading list. So far, it’s NOT disappointing.
What Book Would You Recommend to a Friend?
I’ve actually already recommended Angelology by Danielle Trussoni to a few friends, though I don’t know if they enjoyed it like I did. I bought that book because the prologue was really good and the front cover was interesting, a sort-of dark, mysterious angelic being. I was very pleased that the book turned out so much better than I expected. I loved how Trussoni introduced her powerful iridescent angels and her formidable angelologists. I love the historical and religious references, the symbolism, and the biblical plot points. I was so obsessed with it that I immediately pre-ordered for the sequel, Angelopolis. That book was a disappoint though, so I will only recommend Angelology.
So that’s it for my first reading list. Does your library look anything like mine? Do you have books that you’d like to recommend to me as well? Hit the comments below!