Thursday, June 19, 2008

Booking through favourite authors and books

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?

When I was younger I used to love Enid Blyton. Then it passed over to Agatha Christie. I liked those books not because I understood the nuances of language but because they created a world, I wished to live in. At that age, one is living in a fantasy world. Hence books were an escape to that world.

Now, I look out for authors who write well, whose writings can take me another realm, that is, the literary one. Priorities change with time. So does our reading. I like certain authors because they can make use of symbolism beautifully, certain authors create vivid pictures and some make use of metaphors effortlessly. A few have the ability to take us to a fantasy world. And then there are a few authors who are not afraid to write about difficult issues, or those who write with a wry humour. I like good characterisation. Charles Dickens was one author who could make weird characters believable.

I do have a few favourite books. However as I keep on exploring on new genres, I don't have favourite authors though I do like certain authors. The writing, characterization, subject matter, the way it is tackled are more important for me. Some books start great and fizzle out in the middle. Certain make you sleep in the beginning, however the endings are to die for. To know and understand all this, one has to persist in reading.

Any piece of good writing resonates with me. It hardly matters about the author. A case in point is Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. No one had heard of the author. The books is unforgettable. Similar is the case with Down in the Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese.