November is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it’s commonly abbreviated. If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you know I tried my hand an indie publishing earlier this year when I posted my first young adult novel Aurora Undefined on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for download. After the success of that first attempt, I’m gunning for a second novel – but man that takes serious time and commitment. This month, for many is the start and end of their novel. They begin writing on the first and work feverishly until the 30th, when they hopefully have a completed first draft. I’m not delusional enough to think I could pen out an entire novel in a month, not while working, freelancing and blogging, but I’m using this month to spurn me on to complete the book I started this summer while in California. (Want to follow along on my NaNoWriMo adventure? Follow my book blog.)
That motivation and personal goal got me thinking… what is everyone else reading? What do you recommend? What should I pick up asap? So this week’s Friend Friday is veering off the fashion track and focusing instead on the well-rounded – what’s on your book shelf?
My top 5 favorite books of all time:
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I know, it’s a huge Russian novel and yeah, it is filled with information about agriculture that seems pointless. But this novel is seriously one of the best at depicting the choices we make and how they influence out entire lives – the good and the bad.
- A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle. This is by far my favorite classic young adult novel; and it is still as great today as it was at 15. L’Engle is a genius at crafting stories and characters you fall in love with. This story is about first love, loss, family and growing up. If I write a hundred novels in my lifetime I hope one of them is as powerful as this book.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I’m a big fan of dark novels. (dark movies too for that matter.) This book is the ultimate in dark haunting romance. It’s about a love that can never be and still defies all laws of nature. It’s twisted and wonderful.
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. This is a non-fiction book, not my usual reading interest. But the setting of Chicago’s World Fair caught my interest. And a serial killer with a mind so cunning it makes a great book years later.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A book written from the perspective of a little girl about race relations and family problems. This is so well written, profound and yet ultimately simple. The movie is great too – old school Gregory Peck is amazing.
The 5 Most Recent Books I’ve Read and Loved:
- Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson. I dare you to pick up this book and not enjoy it. Seriously every single person I’ve suggested it to has read it in less than a week. The suspense and mystery pulls you in. The romance is sweet.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series is seriously hands-down the best young adult novel I’ve read in a long, long time. It has a kick-ass female lead, a great plot, a suspenseful plot that pulls you in. It’s becoming a movie too – so if you missed this book read it before it hits the silver screen.
- Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. While I didn’t find the rest of the series as entertaining of engaging – this first book is gripping. A meteor hits the moon and the aftereffects are catastrophic. The strong female lead steps up and takes care of her entire family through the entire tragedy.
- So Over You by Gwen Hayes. A great ebook – one of the best I’ve stumbled across. It combines everything I love… high school drama, the school newspaper, best friends now archenemies who become love interests, a challenge that she can’t turn down. I would have loved to have come up with this story on my own.
- Camille by Tess Oliver. Another great ebook and independent author! It’s a paranormal romance and again with a strong female character. (Can you tell I like the girls who get stuff done?)