Imagine that you could introduce yourself to someone by showing them your bookshelf. What ten books would you put on that shelf that would give people a glimpse into who you are? They might not be all your favorites, but books that resonated with you in some fashion.
The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was supposed to be about series you wanted to start. Er, that doesn’t work too well for us since we can’t think of a single series we want to start. So we chose to gleefully derail the train for this week, and instead do something else. But, as usual, Broke and Bookish is responsible for bringing you the topics every week. They can’t help if it if we occasionally don’t listen well.
These are the Ten Books That Define Me (Lilyn)
The Reason: The violence tempered with humor that pervades the book. I am not someone who screams and shouts when I get upset, but I do have a violent streak that’s only tempered with some very dark humor at times.
The Reason: The logical way the family in the book handle the responsibility of their cure for humanity appeals. Appeals so much. This amount of common sense makes me happy.
The Reason: This is two-fold. The first is Ayla herself. She’s intelligent yet naive. She has trouble grasping social cues and often wants to just do the thing that it makes sense to her to do. I identify strongly with Ayla. The second is the rich detail that Auel uses to paint her pre-history world. Though I am not one that loves the thick fantasy books, I love sinking into one of these books and living in that pre-history world which is so believable.
The Book: House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
The Reason: Because House of Robots appeals to my inner child on a massive level. This series is pretty much perfect in my opinion.
The Reason: Eve and her inability to grasp why the hell humans act so…human. (Are you sensing a theme here?) She’s a complete hardass that’s tormented by her past, and it would be much easier if people just did the logical thing (and also didn’t try to kill each other.) Plus, she’s got a violent streak. Oh, and there’s Roarke, who is pretty much the definition of “Let us engage in act of coitus! Multiple times!” for me.
The Reason: I’m pretty sure Markum is my spirit animal. Beyond that, the unbridled enthusiasm that Max brings to anything she’s fascinated with, the absolute clumsiness she exhibits, and the snark that slips out of her mouth on an every-other-word basis. If there was anyone that came closest to being me in book form – it’s Max. With a side of Markum.
The Reason: My daughter. Reading this book will make you understand how love and pain and life and the threat of death can all twine together so closely its almost impossible to tell one from the other.
The Reason: Because it captures one of the primary reasons I love science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good military sci-fi, and a good sci-fi horror fic or flick can never go wrong. However, Damocles is all about the wonder and the possibilities in meeting an alien race. It’s gorgeous and touching and imaginative and… perfect.
The Reason: Watney’s snark coupled with his inability to give up. That’s it in a nutshell. Mostly his snark, though.
The Reason: The puns, the horny cows, it’s all there. If you don’t at least snicker looking at the cover for this book, then I’m afraid we simply don’t stand a chance of being friends.
The Book: Knight of a Trillion Stars
The Reason: Because it’s proof that I’m female? Nah, this one gets included just because its my favorite book, and I think that even if I can’t ‘identify’ with it or anything like that, the fact that it is my favorite does mean it deserves a place on this list. As long as whomever is looking at my shelf keeps in mind that it’s the only romance book on here. So, y’know, pulling the mooshy-gooshy with me has a slim chance of ever actually working. And I mainly like this book for the *-ahem-*. Well, it’s not for the exquisite plot, I’ll tell you that much. Not exactly a Catcher in the Rye type novel, yeah? Heh.
These are the Ten Books That Define Me (GracieKat)
The Book: Complete Collection of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft
Reason: This should surprise exactly no one that knows me but I love the Cthulhu Mythos. I love most of the stories that don’t even have anything to do with the actual Mythos (except the Dream Cycle, I just can’t get into those). After getting tired of D. Seuss and Goodnight Moon I started reading Lovecraft to him. Worked like a charm. Plus, I find the deep ocean terrifying. Who knows what could be lurking down there?
The Book: Shock Rock – edited by Jeff Gelb
Reason: I love horror, I love music and I love short stories. Put them all together and hot damn!
The Book: Out of Tune – edited by Jonathan Maberry
Reason: Ok, this might seem like a bit of a repeat but hear me out. Shock Rock is more about modern music while Out of Tune is based more on folklore and balladry, which is the root of all modern music. Plus, people who talk about modern music being violent and filled with sex have obviously never encountered a murder ballad or raunchy tavern song.
The Book: A Pleasing Terror – M.R. James
Reason: I love classic horror and a lot of the stories are either completely dark or humorous. James has a knack for keeping his stories can be extremely dark or have slight touches of a dry humour to them that I enjoy very much. I don’t mind a bit of lap-stick comedy now and then but in general I prefer dry, caustic humour that can scorch as easily as it can make you laugh.
The Book: The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough
Reason: I like reading about the history of things. Well, I’ll qualify that. I like learning the history of things I really like. At the end I was making a list of all the stories I wanted to look for. If anyone else has any more that they know of I’d love to hear them because I’ve read all of mine several times.
The Book: Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
Reason: I really love Jane Austen and the reason I chose Mansfield Park in particular is because it gets dumped on so much. The heroine isn’t bright and sparkly and witty. She’s quiet, very timid and shy. I can certainly relate. Before I was the dazzling personage you see before you I was very shy with no confidence at all. I like Fanny a lot. Even though she is all of those things listed she also has an inner strength that I find endearing. She doesn’t cave in to peer pressure and does not bow to pressure to marry someone she is not in love with.
The Book: 365 Silver Screams – Bryan Senn
Reason: I love movies. A lot. If you were to look at my movie shelves that’s almost the only kind of movie I have. I have been falling behind a bit in my movies but I’m very stuck in my routines and I’m very adverse to change so I like to re-watch things a lot. Which brings me to another thing I love…
The Book: Silent Hill 2 – Sadamu Yamashita
Reason: I love video games and of all the different types or genres I love survival horror. They usually have unique stories to them. My first foray into the genre was the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 3 as a matter of fact. Of them all I love Silent Hill 2 the best. It’s filled with intriguing characters, great music, symbolism and one hell of a twist at the end. I won’t mention it here, suffice it to say that it was the first game to make my jaw hit the floor in shock. If you’re curious, the second game to make me do that was the end of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. Thus, my obsession with horror games had begun.
The Book: Dracula – Bram Stoker
Reason: This is one of the first horror novels I ever read and as such it holds a very dear place in my heart. It also got me hooked on vampires. Throughout my teen years I devoured a ton of vampire books, movies and more. I’m not really sure why Dracula has been pegged as the start of the ‘sexy’ vampire (personally, I think Anne Rice holds that dubious distinction). If you really listen to the descriptions he does not sound sexy. At all. Distinguished at times, perhaps but sexy? C’mon! He has stinky breath and hairy palms. And we all know what that means. Don’t even get me started on the movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or, by all means ask, just be prepared for a rant a mile long.
The Book: The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
Reason: I generally don’t stray too far from my horror zone but when I do I prefer off-beat, somewhat darker titles. It’s a book that has no real conclusion or closure. It’s a bit different in that you know the end from the very beginning but are wondering what happens along the way. There is a ‘captive princesses’ theme with the neighborhood male teens fancying themselves the knights in shining armour. I’m not really sure what genre this book is in. If I had to choose one it would probably be of the avoidable tragedy dramatic variety. It’s also told in a distantly obsessive way that’s interesting to me.