“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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This week’s question is:
What is the longest book you’ve read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?
The longest book I’ve ever read has to be the Song Of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin.
Each book is at least 900 page-long (in paperback) and I’ve made my way through the first three books so far. Although my interest has a bit dwindled while reading book 3, it’s still a series I recommend to any reader interested in fantasy.
My favorite +600 page read is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Do I really need to explain why?
What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?
Today I want to mention the books that have made me want to become a writer. They are the books I wish I had written myself, the books I can read over and over again, the books I can’t imagine my bookshelf without.
Because they are all different, I can’t really decide a number one and a number ten, so I will mention them in the order I have read them, from the oldest to the most recently discovered.
I read this book when I was maybe 12 or 13, and I still recommend it to people. Because when it comes to YA novels, it doesn’t really get better than this: a girl who wakes up and realizes she is a ghost. She embarks on a journey to find out who killed her – before he kills again. It’s gripping, Shari is a great character and all the themes that you want to find in a YA book are there.
“Most people would probably call me a ghost. I am, after all, dead. But it wasn’t so long ago I was alive, you see. I was just 18. I had my whole life in front of me.”
I am one of the lucky readers who grew up with Harry: I was thirteen when the first book came out and I eagerly waited for each book to be published so I could read it in the next two days, then re-read it a few time afterwards. As I got older, I came to really appreciate the amazing literary achievement that this series is.
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
I clearly remember reading this book during my High School Senior Year because it had been recommended by my English teacher. And I can still tell you the story from start to finish. The plot is one of the best written I have read, with every single small part of the book being meaningful and important in the end. When I try to write today, I always ask myself: is this important in the grand scheme of things for my novel? If it’s not, I get rid of it.
“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”
Another great plot. It is a 700-page novel about reading, writing and teaching literature, complete with visual aids and a final test. It is incredibly clever, funny and sad. Loving to read can save lives, Marisha Pessl proves it.
“It was as if Hannah had sprung a leak and her character, usually so meticulous and contained, was spilling all over the place.”
Another book I keep recommending to everyone, although I know it’s not the easiest read. It’s just that I LOVE it. It tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (yes, the one from The Wizard of Oz). It’s about women empowerment, evil and good, friendship and loss, communication and miscommunication, love and hate, books and magic. It’s a Fantasy novel about us. It’s an amazing book.
“Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?”
I have read every book by Neil Gaiman, but American Gods remains my favorite. It is a classic American novel written by an Englishman. It tackles serious themes like religion, violence, loss, freedom and love and it mixes them with humor, magic and oddities. It is a Fantasy book, so not everything in it is true, or is it?
“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”
I never laughed so hard reading a book. This tale of the apocalypse, by the two literary geniuses that Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are, is impossible to describe. There are a witch, an angel, a demon, the son of Satan who gets unexplainably lost, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and a nun. All these people work towards/against the coming End Of Days, and it’s hilarious.
“Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.”
Obviously, this Fantasy series is not yet finished, however its first book, entitled A Game of Thrones, made me rethink my way of writing Fantasy novels. As I read the following books, I grew tired of the main characters dying and of the thickening of the plot. But Daenerys Targaryen remains one of those characters I wish I had thought of myself;
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Wither, which came out last year, was, on top of being an amazing read, a real eye-opener for me in terms of Young Adult writing. Yes, you can write for teenagers and still tackle very serious issues, write with a rich vocabulary and describe elaborate settings.
“And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves.”
Another read from last year, I bought Anna Dressed in Blood because I loved the title. And I wasn’t disappointed, as the writing is as good as the title. This Young Adult ghost story narrated by a foul-mouthed teenage boy is a great novel, on top of being remarkable for its non PG-rated writing.
“Anna, she’s like Bruce Lee, the Hulk and Neo from The Matrix all rolled in to one.”
So, what are your favorite books?