Thursday, June 19, 2008

BTT: Favorite Authors part 2

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Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?

For me it's simple. It's all about the characters. Sure I love an author who has a way with words. But when it comes down to it, a book can have beautiful language but if it leaves you feeling cold...then what has it really accomplished? The characters have to be real to me. They have to be human. They have to be flawed. They have to be complex. Fleshed out. One way that *shows* this is how characters are shown to interact with one another. Also--and this is big--intentions and motivations--the behind-the-scenes hows and whys--are important in character development. Good authors know that characters--even the good guys--need to have a few flaws in order to be likeable. No one wants to read about a perfect person with a perfect life going about in a perfectly ordinary way. There's got to be substance and heart and soul. Heart and soul--the stuff of life--isn't found in plot devices, plot twists, or beautiful or aching language. For me it's all about the characters. Everything else must come second. I'm not saying it's not nice, it's not important. But it's not as important.

For me, no one does it better than Orson Scott Card. Nobody.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

cj 9:14 PM  

Character is the defining factor for me, too. My post concentrates on the bad guys, however.

Mine's up

cjh

Engranon 9:31 PM  

I'm about to read my first Card novel. I can't wait!

gautami tripathy 1:11 AM  

Without good characters, a book disintegrates. Author is not as important.

A book is..

Here is my BTT post

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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.
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