Deb Susan’s Favorite Books Involve a Kidnapping

A kidnapping … of me.

My favorite books are the ones which grab my attention on page 1 and don’t let go until I’ve reached “the end.” The ones that take me away from dirty laundry, looming deadlines, and the myriad other things that haunt my days like moths around a porch light.

Books that take me away from the life I live and force me into another one – and do so not only once but every time I pick them up.

For me, a favorite book (as opposed to merely a “good” one) must hold my attention the second time. And the third. And as many times thereafter as I pick it up to read it over. Because I will.

My favorite books span many genres.

Michael Crichton’s JURASSIC PARK sits, dog-eared, on my shelf beside my second copy of Orson Scott Card’s masterpiece ENDER’S GAME. (The first one fell apart from over-reading years ago.)

On a nearby shelf, you’ll find nonfiction – SEVEN SUMMITS by Bass and Wells, alongside Jon Krakauer’s INTO THIN AIR, two of my favorite mountaineering tomes.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, Walter Lord’s classic about Titanic, sits nearby. It, too, bears the marks of many readings.

I’m onto my second copies of novels by Agatha Christie, James Rollins, Lee Child, P.D. James, and many other authors of mysteries and thrillers – some of which I’ve purchased in digital format this time simply because I know I’ll read the books until I wear them out. (I keep the tattered copies, too, I just can’t bear to ditch them.)

I’m always torn, when it’s time to read, between new books and much-loved, dog-eared friends from my “favorites” shelves. On the one hand, reading a favorite book is like slipping into a pair of fuzzy slippers – soft and warm and cozy and broken in to a perfect fit. But a new book is a potential favorite too, and the only thing I like more than re-reading a favorite book is finding a new favorite to love.

Old or new, my favorite books all have one thing in common – they kidnap me from the life I live and offer me a compelling new one. Temporarily, of course, but that’s ok. After all, when I come back home, there’s always a new adventure waiting only a page away.

What do your favorite books all have in common? Is there something that sets a book apart for you?


5 Replies to “Deb Susan’s Favorite Books Involve a Kidnapping”

  1. I’m finding that at book events people are asking about my favorite book(s) and author(s). I always get tongue-tied. I forget what I did five minutes before let alone the books I’ve been reading for years. My new answer is that my favorite book is the one I’m reading at the moment…whatever it is. I don’t have a favorite author (which is true) because I admire so many authors for different reasons. I will suggest books and try then to span genres, or suggest they peek in the back of The Glass Wives where there is a suggested reading list.

    I’m with you though. I need to be grabbed and held by a book, both against and with my will.

    1. You know, it never even occurred to me that people would ask my favorite books at a signing. I’m glad we did this topic now – otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered any books either!

      I love your answer though, and the idea of suggesting books that span genres so there’s more chance of the questioner finding something they love!

    2. OMG, Amy, I feel the same way! I always get tongue-tied with that question! Or at least I did before I was prepared for it. It’s awkward right???

  2. I love books that can make me emote — either laugh out loud or cry and feel something. I realize that sounds obvious and/or vague, but if I had to choose, that would be the common denominator!

  3. Hi Susan,

    This is a great topic…glad to think about it now, too. I rarely read books more than once, but here are a few that I have: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (comfort read), REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier (this book impacted me mightily–one of those turning point books), and a little book called THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES by Carol Goodman, her debut mystery. I loved this book–it struck me as just the right blend of description and atmospherics (very moody and literary that way) and plot. Kind of gothic too.

    Oh, I almost forgot E. Annie Proulx’s THE SHIPPING NEWS. Something about her style. I emulated it for the longest time much to my detriment. 🙂

    When I think about books that blew me away when I read them, but that were very much of a particular era in my life, I think of Ayn Rand, George Orwell, and Sylvia Plath. (No, I wasn’t suicidal, but I was depressed when I read Plath.)

    I wonder how I’ll answer the question if/when it arises…For me, it might work to answer for the last six months’ worth of reading, because really…too many books!

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