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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What's Your Favorite Book?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know... this time the inquiring mind belongs to Chris, and because he like to know anything there is to know about books he follows Robins footsteps and asks: What’s your favorite book or books in your library? Not necessarily the title, but the book itself.

Oh gawd...

How does one choose?

What books could you not live without?

How many times have you read your favorite books?

Do binders count? They are long time collections of autographs and pictures... wouldn't they be considered as a "graphic novel"??

They surely tell stories of times gone by...

There's no way I could choose just one book.

Or even one series of books!

I've enjoyed many books over the years. (Some more than others, naturally)

Years would go by that very little reading happened, and other years would be considered "banner reading years."

But it was over a long period of time that I noticed there were certain books I'd return to over and over again. It certainly wasn't due to the lack of reading material.. so what was it?

These certain books never ceased to entertain me.

They never ceased to pick me up and transport me to places unheard of ...

Places where maybe magic ruled...

Or you found out that dragons did more than scare you or try to incinerate you.

...and it's all because the of the authors fantastic ability to put it all in words that somehow magically makes you leave your body behind and visit new lands and go on great adventures with them.

They give you new friends that you never want to leave.

Friends that you could wish with all your heart were real and were in your life.

.. and in a small way you can keep them. You can go back and visit them over and over again. and remember exactly how they made you feel the first time you ever read them.

It's strange how when you finish reading one of those very special books.. you already know that you will revisit them time and time again.

Most of the books that I keep going back to, are books I first read long ago. Like Anne McCaffrey's Pern books.

Pern is a planet that would be a nearly perfect planet to colonize if it weren't for the red planet that circles Pern and periodically drops threads that will kill anything they touch. Thus enter the dragons! And oh how wonderful they are! They have a life bond with their rider and burn the threads from the skies . Along with wonderful characters, Anne McCaffrey wrote some wonderful stories to keep you wanting more, and make you wish you could ride on a dragon!

I think the Pern books were the first books I had ever read, in which anyone "bonded" with a dragon, thus being able to talk with them telepathically... boy, did that ever open a new door to discovery ! Who wouldn't want their best friend to be a dragon that you could talk to?!!

Next is the David Eddings The Belgariad series... As most know, I just finished rereading the 5 Belgariadbooks and now am reading Belgarath the Sorcerer.

Once again an author managed to make such believable and well defined characters, that they wormed their way into your heart and mind, to remain there forever.

As I age (not gracefully I might add), I begin to forget specifics of these books that I felt I would never forget. True, I remember the basics of the story, and of course I remember the characters that drew me in... but it's the little things that made the story one in which I didn't want to leave, and made the characters so memorable that begin to fade

.. and so I go back and reread them...

.. and I smile again..

..and laugh and cry again..

..and lock them away in my heart... again.

Most all of the books that I feel this strongly about are actually a "cast of characters" rather than an individual.

It always amazes me how much personality they can put into each one of their cast of characters to keep me interested in all of them.

Some, like in the Dragonlance series (soon to be reread for a Fantasy Challenge) have a "not so nice" character that is just as interesting and spellbinding (pun intended) as the good guy.

One such as that would be Raistlin Major in Dragonlance. Raistlin is a twin brother to Caramon, but there have never been two twins so much NOT alike! Raistlin shows himself as self centered, caring about no one but himself, and striving to be the strongest sorcerer in the world. In other words: a scarey dude!

But surrounding Raistlin are a band of friends that you just feel privileged to know. They surround Raistlin, and no matter how awful a person he is to them... they never let him go.

And who can't love it when an author puts in a character or two for comic relief?!! In this case it would be Tasslehoff Burrfoot. We should all be so lucky to have a friend in our real lives that would fill the bill of comic relief.

And I guess I couldn't let this list go without a mention to the first book that brought me to reading Fantasy .. The Hobbit.

For this I thank my brother. It was my brother who kept telling me to read the Hobbit. He had read it as a school assignment and he could never forget it.. he passed it on to me.

This was the first book that I couldn't "put down"...

Everything I did, I did with that book in my hand..

I managed to clean the house (not very well)..

..and burn the evening meal.. all because I couldn't put the book down!

(Thank you J R R Tolkien!)

But what makes you react to that book that way??..

It must be something very special... maybe...

.......maybe it's just magic.

Before I end this I want to add some new "favorites". In actuality, it's been a long time since I've added to the list of ones I will reread (more than once). There are many I will probably read again, but they won't make that special list of books that I can't live without...

Most recently I have discovered many new and wonderful YA authors.. too many to mention, so I will give you two..

Cornelia Funke.

..and Jonathan Stroud.

Cornelia has written a story that took me by surprise. Maybe it shouldn't have, but it did. Her writing may have been intended for people much younger than I... but, somehow, she took me along on her adventure and filled me with characters I could grow to enjoy.

And Jonathan Stroud. What can I say? If someone said they could write a humorous story where the leading character is a demon.. well.. I wouldn't have believed them. But I do now!

These books are beautifully written, and I can say without a doubt I will have these on my reread list ! Maybe I just needed some humor in my life when I read them, I can't be sure.. but he managed to come up with a fantastic character when he made Bartimaeus! It takes a certain kind of writer to get a hold of something that good and not overdo it to death... Stroud manages just fine! Though I have read these recently, I am already looking forward to the time I will read them again.

And so I leave you to answer Chris's question: What’s your favorite book or books in your library? Not necessarily the title, but the book itself.


Blogger Chris said...

Loved this post, Pat :) I'll link back to it in my post. I love your copy of The Hobbitt!!! It's so cool. And I think I see Kesterwood up there on your bookshelf too ;) I see two big binders amid books in one of the pictures. I love hearing other people's passions for books and yours comes across just as strong as anyone's. Where would we be without them, eh? And I didn't realize that you liked the Bartimaeus trilogy as much as you did! I mean, I knew you loved them but I didn't know you ranked them up there with Inkheart...I'm really going to have to get that one now!

1:46 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Hi Chris.. lol! the binders w/ green writing on them are my kesterwood stories lol.. you have good eyes!

Ahhh yes, as I mentioned I don't know if it was because I needed the humor in the books or what but the Bartimaeus trilogy was excellent.. I can tell excellence, when I can't put the book down.. fly through them no matter how long they are.. and am disappointed when it's all over because I want MORE!!
Bartimaeus is such an original character with such a great personality you just have to like him!.. and he's a dang demon! hahahahaha..

2:38 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I am glad to see the Bartimaeus trilogy in among your favorites. Those are so great. I loved them. They're just amazing. Chris, I would definitely say they're must-reads :)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

What a gorgeous post with fabulous pics. Beautiful, beautiful books... I may do this myself next week. And talking of flying through books, I've almost finished my Mary Russell book. *LOVE* it to pieces and can't put the thing down. I need to get the third book.

6:04 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Becky: can't agree with you more! Fabulous trilogy and wonderful characters!!

Cath: which are you reading now? Monstrous Regiment of Women?? then next is A Letter of Mary if I'm not mistaken.. then.. then.. my personal favorite (other than Beekeepers apprentice) The Moor!!!

6:09 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Yes, Pat, I'm reading A Monstrous Regiment of Women - got about 40 pages to go. It's been brilliant. I'm trying to swap for a copy of A Letter of Mary but haven't heard anything. I'll wait a couple of days and then cancel because I can pick it up on AM on eBay and I don't want to wait weeks to get a copy. I have The Moor already as you know... very keen to get to that one. Very.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I've never been able to choose "just one" either. I like all your bookcases!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I wish I'd kept all my favorite reads in shelves. I remember reading the Hobbit when I was quite young, too. And the Narnia series. Mostly I remember putting my heads beneath the covers --scared me terribly.

I checked them out of the library - so I didn't keep those.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

What a fantastic post. Like Chris said, your edition of the Hobbit is so cool! And I love the first few pictures of your bookshelves. There are few things nicer than shelves completely full of books like that!

1:31 PM  
Blogger MartyAnn said...

WOW. I have so many books that when we moved out of state we left sooo many boxes of them with my Memaw. *still Crying* Hmmmm. well One series that I reread a lot is the The Brides Of Montclair series by Jane Peart. It's generations of the brides the live at the Montrose Plantation. The Cival War Takes place in Book 5 I thnk. That one is called Yankee Bride/ Rebel Bride (Montclair Divided) It's my favorite in the series. :( sadly I'v not read the whole series yet. I'll have to blogg this I guess :)

2:06 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Oh, what a wonderful post! And I'm in love with your bookshelves! It looks like you could spend ages just exploring them...

2:50 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a winderful post Pat....You write about these books the way I feel about many films that are dear to my heart....In facy, as I read what you said about what these characters in these books mean to you---I truly felt that I could say the very same things about many films that I revisit, over and over and over....(Just yesterday, TMC Showed ALL ABOUT EVE....And I have probably seen this film fifty to a hundred times, and I enjoyed it yesterday, MORE than ever! I LOVE the way you expressed everything you said about all the books you love...And I can truly understand why you couldn't possibly pick out one or even two or five or ten! Thank you for sharing your great love of all these books, Pat!

7:32 PM  
Blogger kim said...

What a lovely post Pat. I found your blog through Chris's whose I found through Becky's! Your pictures are great--seeing stacks of books always makes me smile. :)
When my husband and I got married, I was already a read-a-holic and he would read a little bit. The problem for him was he was always picking up deep theology/non-fiction books, while worthy of reading, did not lend themselves to recreational/light/just for fun reading. Once when we were on vacation at the beach, no less, we went into a bookstore and I found out he had never read The Hobbit (or the Lord of the Rings, for that matter). I convinced him to give it a try and the rest is history--he was hooked and hooked on fantasy! He had never read fantasy and didn't know that was the genre he would enjoy the most! The Hobbit was one that I read every summer during high school while on vacation with my family. It holds a dear spot in my heart also!

9:20 PM  
Blogger Kim L said...

Sounds like some excellent books! I have never read any Anne McCaffrey books before, but you make them sound very interesting. I do like fantasy.

I second LOTR. I have many fond memories of my dad reading that book to me when I was very young. I read it by myself at a young age, and have reread it periodically since then. When the movies first came out, it was an incredible experience for me as I just loved the books so much and I felt that they did an excellent job with the movies (not true of many adaptations!) Though it sounds hopelessly pathetic, when I was studying abroad in Spain a few years back, I watched the Fellowship of the Ring in Spanish and it brought tears to my eyes to revisit a favorite story in a foreign language and to actually understand it (mostly).

10:03 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cath:when you are all done with Mary Russel you probably should read her newest book (not a mary russel) Tombstone. (excellent mystery and good characters)

Ladytink: the bookshelves are called "plastic milk cartons and scrap wood".. it's what one has when one has nothing ..but they work!

Pamela: ahh but if you felt like it you could get it from the library again to read! :o)

nymeth: that copy of the Hobbit (looks expensive but its not) I had to replace the paperback it got too "tan" to read long ago lol

martyann: yes blog about it and link to Chris's post!!

Debi: its amazing what i can squeeze in this little bedroom i live in..but of course i wish i could fit more!

Naomi: ahhh but I do feel the same about my movies too!! I couldn't afford to keep both hobbies going and my movies have nearly ceased..but I still have about 500 vhs movies in boxes! I've been known to wear a few of them out and had to replace them! I will never understand the person who says they LOVED a book or movie who doesn't want to see or read it more than once!!! If you enjoyed it once, surely you will enjoy it again!!!

Kim: I think that's why I've heard JRR Tolkien called "the godfather of fantasy"... because "the hobbit" seems to be responsible for so many people enjoying fantasy reading!

Kim l: If you like dragons at all you will more than love the Pern books!! Sometimes you don't have to know the language to enjoy what you are seeing.. many people don't know languages and yet enjoy opera, which are mostly in foreign languages, and they don't need to know it to enjoy it... there will be other very well done fantasy movies in our future, but it will be a while before someone can put the love into making such a movie that Peter Jackson did for LOTR.

6:52 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cath: umm make that Touchstone not Tombstone LOL.. hey it's not even 7 am here and I haven't finished my cup of coffee! LOL

6:53 AM  
Blogger Kucki68 said...

My favorite book is "Der blaurote Methusalem" by Karl May. This is part of my youth and a book I still reread while the other Karl May books are sometimes a bit to missionary christian for me.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Love pics of books!!! This one is a hard one and I'm not sure I could even pick a small enough number to post about, ha!

I certainly love the Absolute Editions of Sandman and New Frontiers that I own. They are beautiful. My autographed copy of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is special as is my oversized trade graphic novel of Stardust autographed by both Charles Vess and Neil Gaiman.
I have a handful of collector's edition books that I love: Suzanna Clarke's Ladies of Grace Adieu, Neil Gaiman's Coraline, Flying Solo by Jeremy Bulloch (which he signed for me at a convention)...I could go on and on and on....

8:20 AM  

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