I’m extremely picky about books. Truly, I am. I’m not quite as picky when it comes to movies or T.V. shows. But a book has to grab me in some way; especially if I’m scanning the library shelves. Sometimes it’s the title that intrigues me or even just the color design that prompts me to pull the book from its allotted home.
Not every book I pick out will earn a place among my favorites. You’ve got to make me think. Impress me with the poetry of your prose. Create multi-layered and complex characters that I both root for and find flaws in. But mostly, I have to care about the world you create and the characters who reside within said world. Otherwise, I won’t continue reading.
There have been certain authors, novels, nonfiction books, etc that left an indelible mark on my love of literature. Here are some…
KATHLEEN MCGOWAN: One of the few contemporary authors whose work I admire. Her novels give me characters rich with complexity, conflict that keeps me turning the page, and stories that inspire me to learn more. She actually makes history interesting. And I was NEVER a big history fan! NOVELS: The Expected One, The Book of Love, The Poet Prince NONFICTION: The Source of Miracles WEBSITES: www.kathleenmcgowan.com and http://www.legendsofthedivinefeminine.com/
GREGORY MAGUIRE: Not since Charles Dickens (I’ll get to him later) has an author created such a vivid world full of characters I care about. When reading one of his novels I can completely envision the setting, see the story unfolding and empathize with the characters. His works are many and I recommend them all. Visit www.gregorymaguire.com to learn more or search for his works via an online book seller.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: I don’t always understand every subtlety in his writings, but I love reading his work nonetheless. There’s such beauty in the words he chose. Reading Mr. Shakespeare’s plays expanded my writing interests, as I’d found a format and style that intrigued me. My affinity for screenwriting and playwriting increased immensely.
CHARLES DICKENS: Reading “Great Expectations” during my middle school years introduced me to a style of writing that captured my attention, held my interest, and kept me wanting more. I found myself intrigued by the characters in his stories, their emotional upheavals, and the outcome. To this day, I hold Mr. Dickens’ writings in high esteem.
The above-listed authors and their written works are meaningful to this writer’s life. Perhaps you’ll find they resonate with you as well.