This weekend, I had a fun convo with my friend Elana. What do writers talk about when they get together? Books. Of course, books. What else would we discuss (well, besides the other obvious topics like agents and editors and publishing houses and online platforms)?
As we were talking about books we’ve read recently, ones we loved, ones we liked, ones we didn’t finish, the subject came up that in order for us to really love a book—and I’m talking about LOVE love, can’t stop thinking about it love—it has to be special.
Special = book love.
Trouble is, special is indefinable. For all of us. What makes one book special for me, but not special to someone else? Or reverse that and what makes a book special to someone else, but then I think it’s meh?
I guess sometimes it comes down to tastes. You know? Like, for instance, I’ve decided that part of the reason I didn’t love MOCKINGJAY as much as CATCHING FIRE is because there wasn’t enough romance. Not enough good kissing scenes. And I’m pretty much a sucker for that stuff. So. Yeah. I admit it. But I loved the book anyway. Because the whole series was spectacularly special.
Sometimes it has to do with subject matter and emotion. Books that make me think, make me feel. Grip my by the heart and drag me along the journey right next to the protagonist. Dig so far into my mind and thoughts that I can’t sleep at night for wondering what’s going to happen next (assuming I even put the book down long enough to try).
To me that constitutes special. But again, it’s indefinable. This is not something that can be explained or categorized. It just is. I think the definition of special is different for everyone.
So help me out here. What’s your favorite book (or books) and what about the writing, or story, or characters, or plot makes them your favorite? Why are they special?