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Monday, June 11, 2012

My Favorite...

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a fun, upbeat type of post to start off the week with, and possibly every week with. It finally came to me in the middle of the night, and I shall call it My Favorite...Monday. Not the greatest title, I'll admit, but I think it will be fun to talk about a few of my favorite things every time Monday rolls around and I decide to write a blog post.

Since this is an author-focused blog, I figured where better to start off then with My Favorite...Books! Without further adieu, here are some of the books that I hold most dear to my heart. Clicking on the cover art will bring you to the Amazon page so you can read the synopsis', or if you fancy reading some of the stuff I find awesome.

I first read The Handmaid's Tale in my Grade 11 English class. Clearly I thought it would be awful, since anything you are forced to read, quickly becomes the worst book ever. Luckily for me though, this one turned out to not only become one of my favorites, but one of the most influential books in my writing career. Firstly, Margaret Atwood is a bad ass Canadian female author, and I want to be a bad ass Canadian female author, so we hit it off right away. Secondly, I could not put this book down, and that was a first-time experience for me. I had read other books by this point in my life, but this was the first that truly took me breath away, and also sunk the hooks of the dystopian genre into my skin. I felt this book for days after I read it. The story is so gripping and moving, it creeps its way right into your bones. I would absolutely suggest this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy novels like 1984 and The Hunger Games.

This was another book I had to read for school. SHOCK. AWE! I know, it is crazy, right? This time around it was for senior year European History. Now, those of you that know me know that I have an unhealthy obsession with Florence, Italy. Especially circa the era of the Medici's and the Renaissance. This is my absolute favorite time in history. From the extravagant lifestyles of the royals to the birth of art as we know it, everything about this time period is perfection. The Birth of Venus is a story set in the beginning of the Renaissance, right in the heart of Florence. It is a story about marriage and love, and how sometimes those can be two very different things. Dunant writes like she is painting a picture on the page, her main character just as vivid and vibrant as the image she paints of Florence itself. It is a beautiful marriage between life and art, just like taking a trip to Italy. But way cheaper!

I feel like I don't have too much to say about this one, or more like there is so much I want to say but I can't even put it into words. I love Anne Rice. I idolize Anne Rice. Anybody who enjoys reading and has never read any of the masterpieces from The Vampire Chronicles, I pity. She is a master of weaving together magic with realism, and in Merrick, Rice is at her finest hour. Let's put it this way, if you like witches, vampires (and I mean real vampires, not sparkly ones), voodoo, and epic adventures, you have come to the right place. Throw that all together in the sexy, swanky setting of magical New Orleans and that is how you describe Merrick.

Wanna know what else I love in novels? Challenging biblical history. If you liked the Da Vinci Code, or if you hated the Da Vinci Code, you should read Cross Bones. It does follow the same sort of basic premise. Two thousand year old bones are found, could they be the bones of Jesus Christ himself? That is what bad ass (yes, I like books about bad ass females, written by bad ass females) forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan has to find out. Reichs is a master at creating intrigue and suspense, and this book is no let down. I was on the edge of my seat through almost the entire thing. It is full of heart pounding, breath holding action. Reichs is another literary hero of mine and has been my most recent author inspiration. I salivate waiting for her next book to be released and devour through it in no time. Those who watch Bones and either love it or hate it, please disregard it. The characters in the book are nothing like the show. They are as diverse as they could possibly be, and in a good way. Reichs' characters are layered, tortured souls and the way she brings them to life on the page is absolutely fascinating.

And last but not least, the piece de resistance! Macbeth, by the great William Shakespeare. Everyone knows the age old story: power = corruption, my favorite trope of all. I don't really have to describe this book much, because I'm sure almost everyone has probably either read or seen the story of Macbeth. All I'll say is, I will fight anyone who says that this isn't Shakespeare's greatest or most influential piece of work.

And there we have it! Those are a few of my favorite books. If you check out any of them, I'd love to hear about it. Were any of your favorites on the list? If not, what are some of the books that inspired you?

Happy Monday!

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