Good evening, afternoon, morning, and goodnight to you, whoever you may be, reader. This is Moz of The Cracked Spine Blog and (coming soon) Podcast. Welcome to our first post on any medium, isn’t that exciting?
By way of introductions, as the title suggests, let’s delve into discussion on our favourite books! It can often be quite telling when a person reveals their favourite novels. Be they guilty pleasure reads or tough literary fiction, you can learn a lot about a person by the books they tell you they love.
You can get the high-brow readers, who only drop names like Vonnegut or somesuch pretentious-in-isolation author, but who couldn’t tell you the name of a book released in the last 5 years. And that’s no fun, living so narrow a life. There’s also the other extreme of well-I-watched-the-film-that’s-the-same-thing “readers”. What a shame to miss the depth of feeling on pages. I am, I hope, a happy medium between the two of these extremes being as ordinary as can be in most other areas, I think this is a fair assumption. Learn what you can from my favorites, if you find out which kind of reader I am let me know. It would make choosing the next book that little bit easier!
The first book I should reasonably mention is Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. I first
read this book after seeing (and loving) the film. From start to finish I laughed at every page at least once, much to the despair of those who lived with me, a night-time reader. There are those who would criticize this novel as enforcing all the stereotypes modern feminism has fought for, but I would politely disagree and regard it as a parody of everything women’s magazines spout. And, perhaps, I see a little of Bridget’s bumbling in myself. Ok, I see a lot of myself in Bridget’s antics and less than ideal choices. That said, I have never made it to cracking the bindings on any of the sequels just yet, so maybe I fit into the second of the two categories of readers mentioned above… just a bit.
Speaking of movies and books colliding and crossing over, long before Game of Thrones was the last word in TV shows to watch I had hoped Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy would be adapted to the silver screen. Starting with Assassin’s Apprentice, the trilogy tells the story of a royal bastard and his progression into court life in the fictional world of the Six Duchies. So taken with the characters and setting that my friends very quickly tired of hearing about these books. The sheer misery of some parts of the novels left many wondering how I loved these books enough to forego studying in order to finish chapters for the second and then third time. I can’t comment on that myself, but I’m sure you all have your own feelings towards the fantasy and misery-lit categories.
Which brings me neatly, and conveniently, onto my final choice of favorite books: Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, yet another somewhat poignant book which divided opinion in our book club. It would be too easy to sing this book’s praises as it gained such critical acclaim in 2013 when it was released, so I will say little other than that Doerr wrote an amazing plot incorporating the fantastical and real-life history of WWII. Given my predilection for fantasy this was right up my street although our own Die would disagree that the magical elements of the story were strictly necessary or interesting.
I could tell you I love other novels like Kafka’s works or read only Man Booker Winners, but then I’d be shoe-horning myself into that dreaded first category of readers under falsehoods. I’m an ordinary reader through and through, give me a little bit of what’s popular and a little bit of what’s on sale and I’m happy. So, reader(s; I’m not too optimistic with the first post), what do you think, are we similar in our tastes? Or totally at odds? Let us know what kind of reader you are in the comments!