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Alright, so I got tagged by a couple of people in a little facebook sort of chain letter that was really cool. The idea was this: list 10 books that impacted you in some way. You weren’t supposed to think very hard on this, but let’s face it, I spent the next week wondering what I’d put on my list. The idea on facebook is that you didn’t have to explain why certain books made your list, you just listed them out and let people read into it what they will. Anyway, thank you so much for tagging me, Constance Masters (and Mary Sue Wehr for putting me on your list, as well. You two gals are the sweetest things, and I’m so flattered that you mentioned my books)!

Anywhoo, I didn’t want to do a facebook post on this without an explanation (because then it’d be a LONG status update), because it made me flashback to college when everybody was claiming their favorite book was “Dante’s Inferno” in this name-excessive on the first day. When it came to me, I said, “My name is Korey and–without a doubt–The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” People bawked and started laughing and I shrugged and leaned back, continuing, “Well, really just up to the forth. For some reason ‘Mostly Human’ was hard to get through. I think Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy stood above the rest…” People thought I was an idiot for a couple of days for it. One’s favorite book is a very personal thing that I think says a lot about someone, but the reason behind why someone likes a particular book can’t be lost to translation.

Anyway, Natasha Knight is way smarter than me, because obviously she was thinking the same thing (about wanting to explain her list, for some reason HGTTG didn’t make her list, but I like to think that’s because she hasn’t read it yet…) Anyway, Natasha had the idea of not just making a facebook post, but making it a whole blog post. So, as you can see, I’m totally stealing her idea. She’s pretty cool though, so I think she’ll forgive me for blatantly copying her. 😉

And because I never use 5 words when I could use 50, mine’s super-duper long. Sorry ’bout that. 😉

 The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch

The_Paper_Bag_PrincessThis was one of those books that my mother gave me, hoping to turn me into a feminist warrior princess. I have to say, that no other children’s book hit me that hard. It was great, I liked it, it does have a feminist message, but it was there that I understood what I wanted in a man. From there, I knew how to write book heroes. I also knew that the best female heroines are strong, savy, but they can be multi-layered. Anyway; strangely it taught me a lot about characterization at a young age–which was handy because I was already writing books and fan-fictions since I was five–but it also taught me that men are supposed to value, respect, and honor a woman, and fuck them if they don’t.

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

This book mostly taught me about high-jinks and putting blatant sarcasm into any novel and it go over well. Huckleberry Finn didn’t strike me the same way, because it’s not my writing style. I find first-person narrative to be extremely, extremely difficult. The third-person narrative with a sense of humor, though, I can get behind and always try to emulate.

Front CoverParadise Lost by John Milton

This is the type of book that makes you need to change your pants. It’s so beyond the skill level of anyone who’s lived in the last three-hundred years that it’s like it was written by a supernatural being. That being said, I wrote all over my edition, and that’s even when my copy had 1 inch of text and 10 inches of footers under it. It actually helped me back on course in my personal religious journey. I found it was the first time my puny mind could even pin-prick the idea of the omniscient, and the idea of God’s love and sacrifice and relationship towards us as his creation, and giving even Lucifer a strange sort of role that made you somewhat understand how evil could have been born in the world. I’m not saying I believe it verbatim or anything, but it’s a book that made me consider the fact that I might not know shit from shinola about anything. I had to question everything. It nearly made my brain explode. This book is a masterpiece.

1953A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

This is one of those books that I liked, then I hated, then I loved, all through the coarse of the first-reading of it. I actually had to read this as an assignment when I was fifteen, and it’s the first book that I read where I read a line that made me stand up, scream, “Holy Shit!” and the run through the house, wondering where my sanity went. I felt like Charles Dickens himself came up about 4/5ths of the way through the book and hit me with a cricket bat. I mean, the story and character weaving is on a whole different level! It seemed too complex to get, and then everything just fell beautifully into place, and it was just jaw-dropping.

pride-and-prejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

Call it tripe if you wish–I know I keep calling it trip, myself–but I keep re-reading the book over and over and over. There’s head-hoping, the plotting’s a little sloppy, but damn it, does she (Jane Austin) know how to write characters. They don’t do a whole lot in the book except chat and drink tea, and I still love the hell out of it. It’s funny, sarcastic, but utterly wonderful. I love happy-sighing when I’m reading.

The Lost World by Michael Crichton

I’ve re-read this every five years or so. I know, it might seem like a random choice, but hear me out–I love being fed random facts about science, history, nature, or anything else, while still being delighted with a fast-moving plot, excellent characters with great dynamics, witty banter, great villains, all by an author with great imagination. It’s like eating candy while it still being good for you. It gives me excellent brain-fodder and also sparks my desire to go out and learn and research new things. That, and I like Ian Malcolm. A lot.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

You might have known this one was coming. I could really wax poetic about Douglas Adams all day long, but here’s the gist–the guy is like the superman of English sarcasm. Sometimes he makes me laugh so hard I feel like I’m gonna pee. That being said, my fascination goes deeper than that–he makes delicious characters and humorous dialogue in his characters, but his narrator’s always second to none. Dirk Gently and the Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is also fabulous. He has great pacing, fantastic imagination, and puts a million one-liner jokes in every book. I feel he showed me the way when it comes to dialogue… Not that I’m anywhere in the ballpark, but I’d REALLY like to be in that ballpark before I die.

0002_camus_albert_el_extranjero_05The Stranger by Albert Camus

I haven’t read this in a long time, but I remember how deeply it touched me when I read it. This was another assignment-read, I grant you, but I’m glad he assigned it. It was part of this unit on existentialism, and I think a companion read to this would be Camus’ essay on The Myth of Sisyphus which basically says the same thing without putting its reader into a depression. Essentially it’s about this complete sociopath that can’t feel attachment to anyone–he is an innocent product of the world who can only feel with his body; he doesn’t seem to care about anything or have a soul. What got me crying for two days straight is that at the end of the book, I felt like the loss of hope was the loss of existence. Hope is the guiding light of everybody’s life. Hope is what presses us forward… Anyway, it really touched me to the bottom of my heart and I was filled with so much compassion for him. It sort of changed the way I view people and how I judge people as well.

The AubreyPatrick_O_Brian_Post_Captain/Maturin Series by Patrick O’Brian

I know what you’re thinking: “You can’t put a whole series in there, Korey. Jesus! Didn’t you get the assignment?” Firstly, I’m already cheating. Secondly, you can’t just put one book. Patrick O’Brien does not  write plots, per se. He writes life. I feel like he has the ability to transport me back into time, turns me into a fly, and sticks me to a wall. The conversations are so real. There’s a lot of adventure, but the novels sort of flow one into the next without any real climax or resolution. It’s just history, and people, and how they sometimes pass in and out of one’s lives, sometimes dying or sometimes going through massive heartbreak or elation. Reading it was almost an out-of-body experience; it’s hard to explain, but I really got into these and all the amazing historical details of living through the Napoleonic wars. Most of all…. I likes me a bro-mance.

 imagesThe Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Now, Mere Christianity basically rocked my world after college and helped round off my actually being a Christian, so that’s big. But nearly two decades before that point, I read this as a kid and, even though I was really young, the Christian symbolism wasn’t lost on me. I was about four when this book was read to me when I was a kid, and the notion of self-sacrifice was a huge thing to me. It pressed upon me notions of forgiveness and all that. Now, I appreciate it for it’s exceptional story-telling. This is not a long book, but I always feel so attached to the characters. It’s just down-and-dirty good-verse-evil stuff with excellent themes that still get me thinking to this day. If only I could make an allegory like that. Also, it was obvious that Lewis was making a Christian allegory, but I feel he did it without being exhausting or beating anyone over the head. I see a lot of people try to write allegories or make important points in books, and it sounds like nagging. CS new his stuff. That being said, the rest of the series was horrible.

 

I know, I know, there’s no spanking stories on the list. Certainly, I read a lot of them, and I re-read and re-read again some of them. Some of them will  arouse me, tantalize, excite, even change my outlook on sexuality a bit and get me curious to read more. Darla Phelps got me interested in Ageplay with ‘The Pets Series”, Laura Smith got me into threesomes with “The Sam McGee” series. So many authors in the spanking genre are beyond fabulous, and so many of them have also structured the way I write and the way I look at things. I think I chose these books because they opened my eyes, made huge adjustments to my writing style, and sometimes impacted my soul, lifestyle, or the way I saw the universe, or how I live my life.

Now, what would YOUR big ten be?

12 Responses to 10 Books You Didn’t Know About Me

  • I think we need more than 10! Funny about HGTTG (and no, I’ve not read it but will give it a go). I find if you establish the idiot thing early, you can only impress people afterwards… 🙂

    • That has been my strategy in life. College it was easy! Everybody’s trying to look all SMART on the first day. Psshh. Gotta lower their standards and get their backs down. 😉

      And you TOTALLY have to read the HHGTTG! I bet you’d love it. It’s hilarious! Do, do! 🙂

  • So we share 5 of our favorite books:) Like you, I don’t think I could possibly put them all in just a list or just name 10 off the top of my head without thinking about it for days. I love your list and your explanations.

  • 1. Curious George Takes a Job – I loved the way he painted the apartment like a jungle, then had to have ether to have his broken leg set. I had t have surgery as a child, and the ether scene struck a cord.

    2. The Omen by David Seltzer – This was my introduction to Stephen King, whose writing style changed my life.

    3. The Watchers by Dean Koontz – An astounding book about a fantastic dog named Einstein and an evil monster on the loose. Classic tale of good vs evil.

    4. The Stand by Stephen King – An epic good vs evil story that had it all, including a love story.

    5. Pet Semitary by Stephen King – This is the one that changed my life, oddly enough. I laughed, I cried, and I could smell the grave dirt. I realized after reading this book that writing wasn’t about just words on a page. It was life on a page.

    6. The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke – The ten elegies about angels and demons, mystical beauty and existential suffering that took Rilke ten years to complete. In the end he chooses God over love, and does it with brilliant flair. He is my muse and why I became a poet.

    7. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy – Family love and betrayal, and the love that saves them all, from one of the greatest southern writers of the 20th century.

    8. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi – Charles Manson’s influential rampage through my city of angels devastated me as a child. I had not known terror until that sweltering summer of 1969. I was convinced I was next. The man and the crimes are the stuff of nightmares, and the reason why I became a crime fiction writer.

    9. The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh – The other reason why I became a crime fiction writer. The New Centurions follows several LAPD cops from the Academy through the Watts Riots and racial tension of the 60s through the end of the Vietnam war, embracing all the hell, the laughs and the tears that make up the life of an LAPD cop. Brilliant.

    10. Consequences by Althea Romig – Not for the writing, not for the great story, but for the sheer stress this one put me through from beginning to end. At the end of the day, a book like this is why I read.

    There are more. None of the books on my extended list are classics. I grew up with pulp fiction and romances, yet I cannot say that any of those romances stuck with me, or influenced me in any way. I have real life for that.

    I avoided doing this, but now I’m glad I did. I’m not tagging anyone, though. Sorry.

  • Don’t worry, I didn’t tag anyone either. I have this thing about tagging–long story, but it really makes me feel shitty because I feel like I’m excluding someone…

    Your list is AWESOME, Jade! The funny thing is that I’ve never read a horror book in my life (Does Kresley Cole’s Arcana series count?) but now I’m thinking I really need to step out. The only thing I’ve read from the list is Curious George Takes a Job… Which is sad.

    BUT James loved reading The Stand. He read it twice, once with the original copy and the other with the parts Stephen King’s editor had cut from the original that he added back in (600 pages worth). James thinks that the editor was pretty important in the book, though. 😉

    Anyway, I do love Stephen King, but actually there’s only two books that I’ve read and they were out of his norm–Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption. After that, my friend stopped lending me her books because I’m too rough on the spine. 😉 I really need to pick him back up!

    Thanks so much for sharing–I absolutely loved reading your Top 10!! 🙂 Hugs!!

  • LOVE Paperbag Princess. Am too old to have read it as a child but loved sharing it with other kids.

    • It’s a kick-ass book for kids, isn’t it? I also think it sends a fantastic message about girls taking control of things; and it’s cool that it’s a princess who suffers and can get her hands dirty. It’s a turn from the norm, and that’s defiantly a good thing! 🙂

  • When I was growing up mysteries were my thing. I read everything Agatha Christie ever wrote, every Nancy Drew book. Then I discovered Jackie Collins…

    Loved your list. A Tale of Two Cities would be on my list as well, and I prefer third person to first person as well. So often when reading first person I want to slap the main character…But then I have issues. Lol.

    • OMG, me too! I never get so angry with the main character as I do with first-character books. Sometimes I’m just screaming at the pages, begging them to smash their head against a wall or something!! 🙂 THAT BEING SAID, they do make very quick reads. Normally. As long as they don’t dribble about the same thing. There was a book I read recently called “Wallbanger” which would have been good–and had a high rating so I honestly might be alone in my opinion–if the author didn’t let the MC blah herself away the entire last third of the novel. Sigh. 😉 I tend to roll my eyes a lot reading them, for sure.

      I LOVE mysteries, but strangely I rarely read them! It’s weird, I love them when I stumble on one but then I never want to seek out others. I gotta get into it. I would like to write a mystery one day. It’s on my bucket-list!

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