Monday, April 12, 2010

Musing Mondays (4/12)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about 'best books'.

There’s been some discussion on my blog this week about what should or shouldn’t make a ‘best' books’ list. What elements do you think lands a book in that ‘best’ category? Think of your top 5 best books and tune in next week to see the collated list.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

**MUSING MONDAYS is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

Rebecca, I don't know if this is a question I can answer! You know that little box on Facebook, where you're supposed to list your favorite books? I have a list of like 20 authors! And it was hard for me to narrow it down to that! Books have been a constant companion of mine for as long as I can remember, I don't understand how people can say there is just one book, or just 5 books even, that are their favorite. This particular prompt also mentions listing the elements of what lands a book in the best category,'s so hard!

I worry that for me, the 'best books' nod might be something given to a few titles because of some intangible qualities that inspire me to read it over and over again. If I had to guess I them, I'm sure a few of those qualities are:

1) Engaging, realistic characters
2) Sincere emotions
3) Interesting plot - this could mean a more adventurous paranormal, or a satisfying contemporary love story
4) An author with a clearly articulated mental voice - this one is another nebulous idea, but I can't think of a better phrase to point to the sense of 'rightness' I can have as a reader when the author has an obviously well developed voice (in regards to their writing style)
5) ........Romance? Maybe?

I'm iffy on that last element just because I don't have to have romance in a book to consider it a 'best book'. I have my druthers, and my druthers are that a book have at least some time of romantic element- yet it's not a requirement. I have quite a few books in my library that have touched me with no romance at all:

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer

And just with those two examples you can get an idea of the variety that exists in my library. Kidder's book is a biography (with a few twists) and Pfeffer's is a post apocalyptic young adult novel.

In the end I think I'm going to have to do what I do for my Facebook and that's take a cop-out and just list some favorite authors, whose work often displays the elements I listed above for 'best book' signifier. Though I'm not numbering them, because I don't want people to think that I don't love them all (mostly) equally. Maybe I could get some points for only listing five?

--Nora Roberts
--Lori Foster
--Laurell K. Hamilton
--Shelly Laurenston
--Jayne Ann Krentz