Book Crushes

Audible, Amazon.com’s audiobook division, has a fun list of readers’ first book crushes, the books that caught their attention and made them fall in love with reading, either for the first time, or more in love than they were before.  Here are five that come to mind for me:

1. Arrows of the Queen trilogy by Mercedes Lackey.  Lackey is the queen of guilty pleasures on my shelf.  This trilogy was one of my first grown-up books, and it’s safe to say that it changed my worldview in a huge way.  I discovered that not all fantasy books had to involve girls wearing chainmail in the snow and muscly dudes wielding gigantic swords, which made me more interested in the genre than I’d been before.  This trilogy also introduced me to homosexuality – seriously, I was unaware of homosexuality before I read these – which is a topic Lackey has never shied away from.

2. “Oathbreakers” and “Oathbound” by Mercedes Lackey.   She’s a beautiful blonde mage!  Her companion is a revenge-driven warrior!  Together they fight evil, with the help of a big intelligent magical wolf thing!  (And they’re not lesbians, although some fanfic probably begs to differ.)  I still get a kick out of the shameless “girl power” vibe in these books.

3. Animorphs.  I never finished the series because I outgrew them before Applegate finished writing, but the forty-some books that were available while I was in the demographic were awesome.

4. “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory.  This is the book that solidified my interest in historical fiction.  It’s far and away the best of Gregory’s books (although “The Constant Princess” was alright) and oh, is it juicy.  This is my type of beach reading: chock-full of scandal, romance, and betrayal, but fairly well-written and long enough to keep me invested for several hours.

5. “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead” by Tom Stoppard. Okay, yeah, there are several things wrong with this item.  First of all, it’s a play, not a book.  Second, I still don’t understand it as well as I should.  Third, the primary reason for me having a crush on this book is because of Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, and the question game.

Have you guys seen this movie?  You should.

6. “Timeline” by Michael Crichton.  Crichton was another early “grown-up” author for me.  I found copies of “Congo” and “The Lost World” for a quarter each at garage sales, asked for “Andromeda Strain” and “Sphere” for holidays, and checked out any remaining books (“Airframe,” “Disclosure”).  “Timeline” may be my favorite – yes, it even ranks above the Jurassic Park books, although barely.  A team of scientists gets trapped in the Middle Ages and has to find a way back to the presence, all while fighting off evil knights and learning Old English and siege tactics.  (Do yourself a favor and never see the movie.  If you’ve already seen it, try the book, please.  It’ll make everything better.)

How about you?  What books were you in love with?

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4 thoughts on “Book Crushes

  1. Timeline is by far my favorite of the Michael Crichton books, and I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion of the movie (it makes me so sad). Mercedes Lackey and the animorphs were also some of my favorite early books (although Lackey’s stuff makes for a much better re-reading opportunity as an adult), and I think that trilogy was my first read of hers as well, aaand my first introduction to homosexuality. I’m embarrassed to say that for all of my Shakespeare period and even after taking a Shakespeare class in college (which made me never want to read it again), I still haven’t read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, even though it’s been on my mental list for years. Some of the first books that I remember getting me into reading are The Merlin Effect by TA Barron, and the Wrinkle in Time quartet by Madeline L’Engle, although I’ve been a pretty serious reader for pretty much all my life and pretty much always had at least one book in my backpack in grad school.

    • Confession time: I tried to read “Wrinkle in Time” and haaaated it. I think I was a pretty imaginative and open-minded kid, but when I got to the Mrs. Who and Mrs. What, I lost it. It was just too surreal.

        • The third is my favorite too! And the second one probably made the biggest impact on me, as in, I can still remember being in awe in biology when I found out that mitochrondria were in fact a real thing (although completely different from who they were portrayed in the book). I know that that her stuff can get kinda surreal, but it might be worth trying her again. You might want to try A Small Rain- the big themes there are music and theater, and less of the craziness.

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