Favorite Last Line

It was really good to spend some time with my book collection on Saturday. And yes, I really did go through every single one to find my favorite First Line, Dedication, and Last Line. I even reorganized my shelves to make room for the new ones I’ve recently acquired. I pulled out the books I haven’t read yet  and gave those a shelf of their own. I did leave the multitudes of John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King, along with several sports and political books, that belong to my husband. Those may get read eventually, but they are not high on my To Read list for now. OK…I do want to read the Stephen Kings. But those pretty much have a shelf of their own as it is!

I had a few contenders to this category at first. And then I got to Thomas Harris. And he just wins everything. When it comes to shock factor, creep factor, and just down right leaving an impression, you really just can’t beat Thomas Harris.

And that’s really the whole point of a last line, right? Especially when there’s going to be another book. Look at this. *shudder*

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After I read that, all the other pictures I had taken of last lines got deleted. If watching Hannibal hadn’t made me want to go back and reread the trilogy…that last line did. Man, oh, Man, Mr. Harris. You give me nightmares, in the absolute best way possible. (Is that weird? That might be a bit weird…)

 

Favorite Dedication

Dedications are not something I usually pay much attention to. Mostly because I’m just impatient to get to the story. But when I started opening my books yesterday, I found some really beautiful memoriums. Here are two of my favorites.

The first is from Roots by Alex Haley. I have a really old copy that I’ve had forever, something I got from a used book sale forever ago.

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The second is from Cujo by Stephen King. I was not expecting such a lovely sentiment in such a scary book!

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Favorite First Line

It’ll be no surprise to many of my readers what my first line choice is. I did go through all of my books this morning before choosing, but I kept coming back to this one.

I’ve probably written this in my journal a hundred times. It just opens the book so well. I am not sure there is a better first line that sets up the theme and tone of the book so well as the one Jane Austen wrote at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice.

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Favorite Series

I have always been a series reader, ever since I discovered American Girl, The Boxcar Children, and The Babysitters’ Club. There’s something about the way the characters in a series become your friends, recognizable and familiar. By the end of it, you aren’t ready to say goodbye, and are so invested in a plotline that Book Hangover is a very real thing.

I’ve had many favorite series over the years, but I would remiss if I didn’t mention the king of all of them. The Gateway Fandom. The one that led me to so many other fantastical worlds.

The five crucial problems of <i>Harry Potter</i>

Source:  basedonnothing.net

Harry Potter. There is so much to say about this series, that it’s hard to know where to start. JK Rowling created a world with huge societal themes, in a way that people of all ages could understand. She starts in the middle grades, when children are so impressionable, and then allows the readers to grow with the characters, teaching them as they go along. And these are not light themes. The book deals with civil rights quite heavily, it also deals in betrayal, fighting for what you believe in, love, death, homosexuality, and many others. Everything is wrapped up in the story so wholly that you wouldn’t realize you were reading a very political novel until you are old enough to break it down.

That sort of sounds like the author is brainwashing today’s children. That is not what I mean at all. Rowling does such a good job of presenting the themes and ideas in a way that leaves a person to have an open mind. That is the goal here, in my opinion. It is important for a person to stand up for what they believe is right–to choose their own house, so to speak. There is going to be evil in this world, but we have to decide for ourselves what that is going to be. While the Slytherin house was supposed to be “bad,” most of them were very intelligent and driven…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The biggest thing about this book is that it teaches you to think differently about things. I was never into fantasy before this, because I couldn’t make it real. Rowling took this muggle and made me at least a mudblood. It’s certainly a slippery slope into full on nerddom. Once I finished HP, it wasn’t long before I was grabbing LOTR and everything else that I had missed because “I wouldn’t like that…”

This series is an incredibly important work of fiction. I believe people should always keep an open mind about everything, no matter what religion or faith or creed they follow. However, if our beliefs are rocked, we should always fight for what we stand for, and this series teaches us how to do both things. That is a difficult accomplishment, and for that, Rowling will always be the Queen of Fiction.

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Source:  pinkBalm

Favorite New Adult

Today I am supposed to write about my Favorite New Adult book. However, prior to this challenge, I did not even know this genre existed. I even had to ask Tee what “NA” was!

Since this is a new genre, and I am on the older end of it, I missed the boat it seems. However, in the spirit of the May challenge, I didn’t want to just not do a post.

So:

I obviously do not have a favorite, but I want to hear yours! What books in this genre do you recommend? Send me a few suggestions and maybe I’ll read a few and review them.

Favorite Young Adult

It’s funny, when I was a Young Adult, I completely skipped over that whole section of the library. I thought I was “too good” for that little corner of our small town county library–and it really was just a corner back then. The children’s section was huge–almost as big as the rest of the library. The room was painted by a famous local muralist, all done up with trees and kids reading and going on adventures. It was beautiful, probably still is. There were shelves and shelves of kid’s books, reading areas, even chapter books–where I found my Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, and of course, American Girl. But, there were just two corner shelves, tucked away, of Young Adult/Teen. Because back then, no one really wrote those kinds of books. There were two little chairs by the window, and that’s really it. It seems to me, in the last few years, that there has been an explosion in Young Adult writing. Between Dystopian, Fantasy, Vampires, and whatever classification John Green gets, that section is blowing up. Maybe it’s just getting more notoriety because the writing is better, or maybe teens really are reading more. I sure hope it’s the latter, and not that I’m just noticing the genre in my old age of 27. 3636 All that to say…right now my favorite Young Adult book/series, is actually an oldie. Lois Lowry’s The Giver. I read it back in high school as a mandatory classroom read, and as most of those, because we crept through it chapter by chapter, I hated it. Now that I am rereading the series, I am loving it. You can see my review of it and Gathering Blue here, and The Messenger. I have a lot of books in the queue right now, but hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on the fourth and final book The Son soon!

Favorite Thriller/Mystery

There was a very close second to my Favorite Character to Actor Depiction post the other day, and that is this guy:

(Source:  lecterings)

I had seen Silence of the Lambs a long time ago, but after my husband and I watched the first episode of NBC’s Hannibal last year, I immediately grabbed his copies of Thomas Harris’s trilogy of the shelf and dove in. And I was not disappointed. These books are brilliant. I’m not sure any other book compares to the mastering of pure mania and psychological thrill. The way he just twists every character is just perfection. I have always been fascinated by the madness of the brain, so Hannibal and his “friends” are a wonderful group of people for me to read about. I love that Hannibal isn’t even the villain, he’s just kind of the puppet master in all of this. Dohlerhyde, Mason, Bill. Those guys are just incredibly written.

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And of course, I told you I was always intrigued by the bad guys…this series is no exception.

I’m so glad they are continuing with the show. They just renewed it for a third season, and I cannot wait to see where Bryan Fuller takes it.

Favorite Fantasy

Fantasy has become one of my favorite genres in the last couple of years. Once a subject I held unrelateable, now I crave dragons and magic. I blame it on Harry Potter–totally a gateway fandom. Seriously people, read that series with caution. Once you are in, you are in for life.

But, it is no longer my favorite. Patrick Rothfuss holds that title now, with his yet unfinished Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. I did my first review here on this, so go check it out!

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I’m hearing more and more people talk about this. One of the book blogs I follow on Tumblr started a book club recently called BookMad–supposedly to read books that everyone else hates. The first book on the list? The Name of the Wind. I couldn’t wait to hear what everyone thought of it, because I LOVED the book. And it seems, so does everyone who is reading it!!!!! So much for everyone hating it! I’m so happy that it’s getting such a great response, because now I have people to gab on and on about the different parts that I love so much. That’s the wonderful thing about the bookloving community–you never know what new reads and conversations you’re going to get into.

Anyway. Go check this book out soon. I promise you’ll be hooked if you are into fantasy at all. And. AND. Rothfuss recently announced that he’s coming out with a 2.5 book about one of his characters in OCTOBER. Holy crap I cannot wait for this book to come out. I’ve never lined up for a book sale, but…this might be the first!

Favorite Character to Actor Depiction

British Television, you are a cruel, cruel master.

I will admit, I am a bit of a anglophile. I think I’ve read more on British history, literature, etc than I have American. I don’t know why. There’s just something romantic about that culture.

And the men. Oh the men. They don’t make men like that here. We have pretty boys, hipsters, country boys.

But we don’t have classic British men. Unconventional, cultured, educated. Yes please.

OK, Haley, back on topic.

I think everyone reads pieces of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes at some point, if not the actual books themselves. We grow up hearing about the Sherlockian adventures. They are so archetypal in our culture today. And because Doyle wrote the adventures as short stories, teachers and their textbooks can break them apart individually.

Not only that, but the Sherlockian archetype has been morphed into multiple characters in different shows and movies. Of course you have the actual Sherlock shows through the years, but then you also have characters like House and Gil Grissom (from CSI) that follow his same personality traits.

I’ve always been drawn to that mysterious, introverted character. He’s brilliant in his observations, and so exceedingly aware of it.

I started seeing references to the BBC show Sherlock on Pinterest, and became hooked before I even watched my first episode. When I found out it was on Netflix, well, it was over before it began. And now I am 100% a part of the fandom. And once you’re in….oh man. There’s no turning back is there?

 

Benedict Cumberbatch is just as brilliant as the character he plays. The curly-haired manic genius he becomes takes your breath away as he dashes facts all over your screen. You will have a hard time keeping up as he connects the dots, and makes things make absolute perfect sense.

And I would be remiss if I left out his relationship John Watson. Now, we are in hiatus at the moment, and the fandom has quite lost its mind. While I enjoy the ship…I doubt the show itself will actually go too extreme in that direction. However, I do think Sherlock loves Watson deeply and the little pieces of affection, and watching him barely contain control is so interesting. Cumberbatch is so good at just giving enough there. A little tweak or brush. A crinkle of his eyes when he smiles, and Sherlock almost never really smiles. But just enough. You guys know what I’m talking about, especially the shippers, because oh how you screen shot EVERYTHING. I love it!

Like all of you fans, I cannot wait for Season 4. Hopefully they don’t make us wait too long. His hair sure is getting curly. Think he’s growing it out? One can only hope…

Favorite Character Description

Character descriptions are important in novels, because they form the picture in our minds of what the people in our stories look like, walk like, talk like, how they feel about things, etc etc etc. However, a good character description is such an integral part of the story, that you don’t even realize you’ve read it. The picture forms in your mind, without truly reading the individual words on the page. That’s how everyone knows exactly what Harry’s hair looks like (and why so many of us were confused when he wasn’t NEAR as messy in the movie).

This was another difficult one for me, when I saw the list because of that reason. Holy crap, how am I going to go back and find a character description in a book? I am going to have to dig!

But then, as I was reading The Grapes of Wrath, I came across Tom’s vision of his mother when he meets her in the kitchen for the first time in several years. I can’t say if it’s my favorite, but it definitely is very striking.

“Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.”–John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath