Thursday, March 22, 2007

Book Candy Challenge

When I start on a printed page, I tend to eat it down like a peppermint stick. From PREACHER'S BOY by Katherine Paterson, p. 84

The idea that 'reading is like candy' came to me when I was reading Preacher Boy a few months ago. I really loved the concept. The more I thought about it, the more connections I was able to make. Both are pleasurable. Both are satisfying. Both are delicious. Both are addictive. Both can give cravings. Both make life more fun. And the list goes on and on...

Now I know technically there are many kinds of candy. But I tend to think of candy coming in two varieties: chocolate and everything else. (And I am very opinionated when it comes to chocolate. For example, why oh why RUIN good chocolate by adding crisped rice???) Similarly, there are many genres of books. Not every candy OR every book will appeal to everyone. Everyone's favorites are different. Everyone has a different idea of a *perfect* treat. Here are my favorite candies (in no particular order) and their book equivalents. I am curious to know what YOUR favorite candies are and YOUR book equivalents.

Raisinets = Anne series by L.M. Montgomery
Almond Joy = Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Mounds = New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Three Musketeers = Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Milky Way = The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Cadbury Eggs = Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
York Peppermint Patties = Looking for Alaska by John Green
Junior Mints = Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
M&M’s = Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar = Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hershey Special Dark = Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Hershey Cookies ’n’ Creme = What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Hershey Kisses = Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

One of the reasons I love this concept is because it *explains* or *highlights* the differences in pleasure. I can say the phrase "I enjoyed" or "I loved" a thousand times or more. I enjoy probably 80 to 90% of what I read. What do I mean by enjoy? I find it entertaining and pleasurable enough that I'm motivated by the book to keep reading. That doesn't mean I *feel* the same way about every book I "enjoyed." And *love* what do I mean when I say I *loved* a book? I end up loving about 50% of what I read. I could mean it's memorable. I could mean I want to recommend it to everyone I know. I could mean I want to buy my own copy and reread it every year. I could mean I want to hug it and pat it and keep it close. I could mean that I found a part of myself in the book. It could be something I savored. It could be something that changes the way I see the world or changes the way I see myself. I could mean that I fell in love with the book at first sight. I could mean hundreds of things. That is why I found it so delicious to think of books in terms of different kinds of candy. All chocolate is good, but there are differences between filling your craving with M&M's and filling your craving with a Milky Way bar. One isn't *better* than another. They're just different.

And for the record, I read more books than I eat candy! Candy is a sometimes treat and books are an everyday treat!!!


Gavin 2:49 PM  

Interesting analogy. Makes perfect sense when you think about it :)
Except some people don't have a sweet tooth. I, for one would probably choose books over chocolates ...

Erin 5:31 PM  

Here's your questions, Becky:

If you were a villain in a book, who would you be?

If you could co-star in a movie with a famous (or not-so-famous) actor or actress, who would you pick?

Best book you've read this year?

If your life were a book, what genre would it be?

What's the funniest book you've read?

Have fun!

L. Diane Wolfe 8:06 AM  

Actually, I can't wait to see your answers to Erin's questions, Becky!
Guess my candy of choice would be Good 'n' Plenty and equate it with anything by Gary Chapman. Good pick of M&M's - my foster daughter loves that series!
I have a question! I am the author of a YA series, with a book coming out next month. How do I contact you regarding submitting it for a possible review?
Thanks so much!

Becky 10:31 AM  

Email me by clicking on the link in this post (hopefully my html tags will work) or by clicking my profile...there should be an option to 'email' me or my JacketFlap page on the right in the list of links should have my email information as well. Just send me an email and I'll send you my address. I'd love to review your book if you'll send me an ARC or copy of the book.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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