View Full Version : What made you love the books you love?

05-01-2008, 02:19 AM
I know every one likes different books from different authors, but what made you love some of the books that you do love? What trully captured your heart? I just want to know because I believe knowing such facts about what people like about books could improve my own writing to become more appealing. I personally love the Harry Potter books because of J.K.Rowlings amazing ability to describe things (its really easy to picture the settings when you're reading the Potter books) and I love the characters because they are memorable and stand out in my mind. How about you? What do you like about some of the books you like?:)

05-01-2008, 02:46 AM
The first book I ever remember feeling passionette about was The knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveroux.

I was 15 and it was the first real romance book I ever read- I was always a fantasy girl and still am not big on romance- But I remember reading that last page, closing the cover and holding to my chest and just saying "Ohhhh!" then flipping it over and starting it again from page one-

What did it for me, I think, was the unrequited love thing- That still gets me every time- Ohhhhh!

05-01-2008, 02:49 AM
Cool! Thanks for sharing, sheadakota! :)

Matera the Mad
05-01-2008, 06:54 AM
I lived in them. I saw what the characters saw, felt what they felt, cared about them. That's why I would always go back to the best ones, just as I liked going to my grandmother's house as a child.

05-01-2008, 07:16 AM
Thank you, Matera!

Danger Jane
05-01-2008, 07:20 AM
I love absolutely everything about Virginia Woolf--her word choices, her characters, her insights. I read To the Lighthouse when I was fifteen, naive and impressionable, and I knew almost everything about it was escaping me, but I was wowed.

05-01-2008, 08:08 AM
I want it all. Good, page-turning story, clear, beautiful language, complex characters, underlying themes, and lots and lots of resonance.

Lyra Jean
05-01-2008, 08:38 AM
Little House on the Prairie series for me. I just loved the adventure and how she was growing with America. For me I want to become the character.

05-01-2008, 08:49 AM
Most definitely the characters. The more quirky and offbeat, the better. I'll follow the characters to the grocery store, just to see how they react to that environment.


05-01-2008, 08:59 AM
I lived in them. I saw what the characters saw, felt what they felt, cared about them. That's why I would always go back to the best ones, just as I liked going to my grandmother's house as a child.

EXACTLY! :D I made a connection with the characters - I could see where they lived, what they did and how they reacted throughout the book. That's why I love series books. I have favorites where the characters don't come back in other stories, but I feel like I made a friend and lost them, sometimes. Great question, Virector!

05-01-2008, 05:19 PM
No matter how fantastic the setting or premise, the great books tell the truth about people and the world. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but the truth can make something as ugly as 1984 a beautiful thing.

05-01-2008, 06:16 PM
I adored Dr Seuss for the silliness and the pictures, I got lost in my brother's sf collection, covering his playboy mags: Asimov's: Martian Chronicles, Bradbury's: Something Wicked This Way Comes and Clarke's: 2001 were great. Sherri Tepper's: Beauty rocks me still. What works: loving what you write, a good story, and characters you care about.

05-01-2008, 06:34 PM
The characters are definitely important, but I'm always sceptical when writers speak as if they are the only important thing. The best character in the world is still going to be boring if you keep them in a vacuum (not to mention dead ;)).
So, for me, the best books are ones with great characters living in brilliantly crafted worlds, and with an interesting story to tell. The characters are the centre, yes, but they need the rest to support them.
I think Terry Pratchett has my favourite characters, Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, how could you not love them?
But then, with one of my other favourite books, Dune, it's the world and the story that draws me in. The characters are good, but much less memorable than Pratchett's people.

05-01-2008, 06:57 PM
I have no idea why I love the books I do and I've never sat down to analyze it.

They interest me is all. Whereas books I don't like don't interest me.

Soccer Mom
05-01-2008, 11:09 PM
It's all about interesting characters doing interesting things. I love the humor in Pratchett. I love seeing Harry Potter and his friends grow from lost little kids to world saving teens. I love the world building in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

05-01-2008, 11:15 PM
The first grown-up novel I remember reading was Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. I remember being enthralled by the complex characters and epic scope of the story. I was hooked from the first scene and just felt pulled through the whole story.

Most of the books I love now are because they have that winning combination of believable characters, engaging plot and beautiful language, typically characterized by interesting turns of phrase and observations.

05-01-2008, 11:57 PM
I tend to love authors more than specific books. I love Stephen King because of his characters. When I read King's books I feel as though the characters are people who could be living next door. I love Bradbury because of his writing. There's a poetry in what he writes that just allows me to imagine it so clearly. I like Tananarive Due because she taps into my emotions. Her novel My Soul to Keep was the first book in years that made me cry. I like all of these writers because I think they tap into a common humanity. They deal with situations and concerns that relate to what most of us go through. Even when the supernatural is involved it tends to illuminate these concerns rather than detract from them. For King the supernatural turns an ordinary alcoholic father into a real monster both to himself and his family (The Shining). In Bradbury's world of the future the connections between humans are becoming more severed and the stories that all of us readers love so much are being threatened (Fahrenheit 451). To Tananarive Due the realities of discovering that your spouse isn't who you thought they were and of wrestling with the consequences of your faith become dramatized, taken to extremes by the addition of the supernatural (My Soul to Keep). These writers hit a note of common humanity with me. Their characters are real and believeable. Their situations tap into real concerns or at least touch upon real world issues even when using the supernatural or set in future or far off worlds, and they paint scenes in my mind more vivid than any others.

05-02-2008, 12:11 AM
For me, it's usually the narration that just sort of sticks with me. Other books are comfort books, books I've read hundreds of times, and I love no matter how juvenile they seem (a.k.a. my slight obsession with the Babysitters Club).

05-02-2008, 12:18 AM
No matter how fantastic the setting or premise, the great books tell the truth about people and the world. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but the truth can make something as ugly as 1984 a beautiful thing.

Ditto. That and beautiful prose. I have to be interested in the characters, too, but they don't have to DO much for me to like the book.

05-02-2008, 12:47 AM
For me, it's characters. I feel like I know some of the people in series as well as I know real people, the author's made them that complete and rounded.

Maryn, who'd marry Spenser in a heartbeat (if Mr. Maryn didn't object)

10-02-2008, 02:22 AM
Memorable characters in a setting I'm not familiar with, described so well that I live in that setting while I'm reading. (The Outlander, Lonesome Dove, The Thorn Birds.)

Mr Flibble
10-02-2008, 02:38 AM
Memorable characters
evocative setting
stakes to die for. ( at least as far as the protags are concerned)

Yeah, I think that covers it