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A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Five Favorites

Oh my! My wonderful and marvelously talented author friend--and online buddy, Jay, of Jay Squire's Septuagenarian Journey 's fame, has dared me to bare my soul on these pages. Oh, perhaps it's worse even, than that. He's dared me to choose my favorite child.  Goodness, I jest. But, it feels like I'm trying to choose a favorite child.  What he has challenged me to do is to choose my five favorite books.

It's a baffling, confusing, and daunting task; I have so many favorites.  But, I'll try. They might not be high on your list. Some you've probably not read. Okay, not some.  Most you've probably not read. But for some reason, these books have spoken to my very soul.  I know their characters. Really, I do. I think they still pop up occasionally, and join the other voices in my head--the fictional voices of my own creation.

That tells me that the authors did something right, something incredible.  They brought fictional characters-- and their stories, to life on the pages of a book.  And they did it so well that these stories struck a chord with me,  and it still resonates.

Without further ado, I give you my five:

Sword At Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff, published in 1963. Hands down, my all-time favorite book. Ever. As stuff of  Arthurian legends and myths go, this book stands out. It's based on years of research into the legend of one king who united all of Britain after the Romans withdrew. Artos the Bear came to life on Sutcliff's pages. A man who was denied an upbringing by his father, trained to fight by the Romans, committed the "sin" and fathered a son--which led to his demise.  Sutcliff eschewed many of the romantic elements included in most Arthurian stories, including the round table (it's not in this book) and the French invention-- Sir Lancelot--also has no place in this book. Artos was a hero, a good leader, a fair and honest man, but his vulnerability was love, and it led to his tragic downfall.

Nobody's Son by Sean Stewart copyright 1993.  Fantasy, coming of age tale. A journey, a challenge, a lesson in what happiness is, and that you can't erase the past by what you do today. It will always be there, and in many, many ways, it is what makes us who we are today. The right thing to do is to accept the past, learn from it, and embrace today.  Beautifully written--

Dancing With Eternity by John Patrick Lowrie, copyright 2011. I know. I know...but it's so new!  Still, I'm sure this one will pass my test of time.  This fantasy/scifi tale looks deceptively like just an interesting tale of space intrigue.  Read and absorb.  When the big picture hits you, it's profound.  The way Lowrie tackles the question of immortality and lets the implications slowly unravel to a beautiful and bittersweet ending is magnificent. It couldn't have ended any other way...  Lowrie certainly has some skills. I keep hoping to see something new from him.

 Bountiful Creek by Steven B Weissman. Historical fiction/romance. Published in 2012.  I know ~gasp~ even newer! This is a legendary love story.  You know, the stuff legends are made of.  :-)  Set during the stirrings of the civil war, it's the story of an 18 year old woman and her ill-fated attempt to secure enough money to buy a small farm for her and her fiance.  Weissman's debut novel is a vocabulary workoutThe bittersweet nature of the "legendary" aspect can initially blind the reader to the literary genius of the story.  That makes it an excellent second read.

One more??  Oh, this is agony! Do I choose Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor 1955--A Pulitzer Prize winning novel set during the civil war, or do I choose The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough 1977 -my daughter's name came from this book.  Or, do I go with something much newer that thoroughly resonated with me-- Girl Under Glass by Monica Enderle Pierce?? Yikes! A Thousand Splendid Suns, This Much I Know is True,  I Robot,  Contact A Tale of Two CitiesForeignerCold Allies Tuesdays With Morrie,  The Webster Dictionary copyright 1900  :-)

Yep. It's out of control. I can't pick just one more.  A daunting task, indeed ... 
 And I still have to choose some lovely people to pass this challenge on to.

Here goes:

Dana at Idiots and Earthquakes: A Writer's Blog 

Monica at Stalking Fiction

Veronica at Veronica Scott: paranormal and SF romance author

Tanya at Life's Like That 

C. Amrhein at  History Sleuth's Deductions

Marcia at Letter Go

I look forward to reading about your favorite books--and I'm curious what has inspired you. If you don't have time--I know how busy life gets, that's fine :-) 

If you do want to do this, please leave me a comment anywhere on this blog after your post is up. I want to read it!  


  1. oh I look forward to the challenge, and I feel like you, a challenge it will be, not sure I'll be able to pick! ha! And I love that you included the dictionary! HAHAHAHAHA!

  2. I'll take that challenge LOL - it'll be fun! I'll probably post it later this week though, if that's ok? I've actually read Sword at Sunset, a long time ago. I worked my way through all of Ms. Sutcliffe's books, altho I think my favorite of hers was The Silver Branch. Hmmm, so now I'm thinking which five to pick when I do my list - I'll let you know!

  3. Okay, okay, who da heck is George W (Google) and why does he encapsulate his last name in parentheses? It's me--I, Jay, Teresa and I just wanted to stop by and let you know what a marvelous choice I made in tossing the gauntlet to you. I've only read one of the books you touted, Andersonville, but you've done something with your zeal that is far more important than sharing those books that many have read ... and that is to direct me to some books I now WANT to read. And, you did it all with such ease and humor. You know, if we go far enough and deep enough with these challenges, we'll all be establishing our own "Goodreads" network!

  4. Oh I'm game for sure and my five probably won't even seem like they go together. Thanks for including me Teresa! I'll let you know when I post.

  5. I'm intrigued by your selection, may have to check out a few. ;)

  6. Finally done! I got into it so it's a bit long. http://historysleuth.org/2013/03/childhood-books-shape-your-life/

  7. Oh, I posted it at my other blog. History Sleuth's Deductions Hope that is OK. It's where I decided to do book reviews for some random reason when I set up the site. In case you want to change my link above. OR actually I'll post in the blog you mention above and link to it. Good idea Sleuth!

  8. OK, I posted my list of Five books today! http://veronicascott.wordpress.com/ It was a fun post to do, thanks for including me!