This week, to celebrate (or revile!) Valentine’s Day the Debs are talking all about love. True love, real love, fictional love, breakups, relationships, star-crossed sorts of love. To me, one of the most amazing things about books is that a good story will truly move you. At a very young age I found myself drawn…
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One of the highest compliments I get talking to readers of The Weird Sisters is when they say something like, “The characters were so real!” or “Character X is just like me!” (though usually they use the name of the character and don’t call them Character X).
I love that, and I love “the shock of recognition” when I see a character that’s so very real, or so like me – it makes me trust and care about the story that much more. And that goes for fiction and non-fiction.
But what about wonderful characters who don’t seem real, or aren’t like us?
Take Scarlett O’Hara, for example. She is a capital-G, capital-C Great Character. She’s got loads of personality, rules every scene she’s in, and you’ll desperately want to know what happens to her at every page turn.
But she’s not, to be truthful, a very realistic character, and if she is realistic – well….and I say this as a great fan of Gone With the Wind…she’s kind of a horrible person.
And I love her anyway.
Can you think of other characters – real or fictional – in books, movies, or television that you both love and hate at the same time?
I was recently on a panel at the South Carolina Book Festival where our topic was “Great Summer Reads.”
At the outset, I mused that there is no corollary to the summer read. No one ever says, “Hey! This’ll make a great winter read!”
I think this is all due to the way we set up our educational system. Because we grew up with summers off from school, those months still give us a feeling of decadence. Of hedonism. And yes, the weather is lovely and the days are long and the sprinklers and Popsicles are cold and the gardens overflow with flowers. But our association of all those things with vacations means they are even sweeter.
For me, summer is a time to re-read some of my favorite books. I’m not a big re-reader, but I generally read these books in the summer:
Gone With the Wind
The Lords of Discipline (often followed by The Prince of Tides)
Evening Class (sometimes followed by Tara Road)
To Kill a Mockingbird
This summer I’ve set myself an additional challenge – I want to re-read the Little House on the Prairie series.
Do you have any summer reading goals or favorite re-reads?