Tag Archives: Piers Anthony

Booker Award: I Am a Bibliomaniac and Proud Of It!

Thanks to my blogging buddy, The Other Watson, I have been nominated for yet another award. I am so happy to accept this award as books are vital to my existence as a writer and human being. My love for books has transcended hobby and soared to a life time commitment. I respect the art of writing/storytelling as one of the finest arts known to all of life.  Receiving the Booker award is truly gratifying, as I strive to write my own stories.

First, I must once more thank The Other Watson for nominating me for this award as he sees so much promise in my blog. We ironically started out blogs within days of each other, and we have been great support for one another.

Next, I’d like to nominate other bloggers for being as book fiend-ish as I am.

1) Wings and Water-One of my dear friends has a fantastic blog about her writing journey speckled with bits of politics, and fun topics of discussion. She loves fantasy books with her entire being, and will be a published fantasy writer someday.

2) Write to Perfect-This a fantastic blog dedicated to insightful advice/tips on writing. Of course, these are the stepping stones, which have made our favorite books great. It is only fitting that I should choose a blog that helps writers to create great books for us to read.

3) mywithershins-This blog is a lovely little outlet for an amazing writer. She has tons of tips for writers after having two novels published. Her ideas are interesting and fresh, with extremely well-written posts. Please check her out because it is definitely worth the trip to her page!

4) 101 Books– Since I received the Booker Award, it is only just if I nominate another blogger who appreciates books in all of their glory. He aspires to reading the 100 greatest books according to Time magazine, which has become the center of his blog. He has witty, interesting posts that always keep me coming back for more.

5) wanton creation-The man who nominated me deserves even more face time. His blog is full of  creative ideas in addition to his love of books/writing. He always makes jokes, and he has plenty of anecdotes to pull you in to each post. I suggest reading his blog at least once.

Now onto the main event–MY 5 FAVORITE BOOKS!

The following are five books that I have deemed well-written and entertaining for anyone who loves a story that will capture your heart.

1)  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire- This dark novel follows the life of the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) throughout her life as she struggles to fit in with the people of Oz when she was born for something more extraordinary.  I fell in love with Maguire’s writing after I experienced the musical that was made from the book of the same title. The story you know from the movie The Wizard of Oz is not the whole story. Maguire gives us the dirty, and sometimes scary details of what happened before Dorothy came to Oz. In my opinion, one of the best books to expand upon an already popular story in an inventive way.

2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- This book is one of the most fantastic pieces of writing that I have ever purchased. The late Bradbury created a horrifying and realistic future where books are illegal and burned. It depicts the life Bradbury thought would come to pass if television became more popular than books. It subsidiary themes include love, censorship, and the power of knowledge. I will always hold this book close to my heart because I hope one day to create a novel that rises above my expectations, and inspires other in this field.

3) Being a Green Mother by Piers Anthony-  As one of the seven books in the Incarnations of Immortality series, this book should not be read outside of the series. While it is alright as a standalone, it is truly phenomenal as part of the series. What begins as a book about a woman trying to find her place in the world, it soon becomes a mystical place where ordinary people can become incarnations of the world such as Gaea (Mother Earth) and Thanatos (Death). It is a complex plot intertwining characters throughout 8 novels, and I hope that you enjoy it also!

4) Under the Dome by Stephen King- Ah, the man of my nightmares and dreamscapes. Stephen King may be known for gruesome horror fiction, but what his fans truly love him for is the character development he slaves over to achieve in every book. With around 6-8 central characters, the book creates a story that will never bore you. What would happen if you were trapped under an invisible dome and cut off from the world? Would people start killing because there was no one, but local people to enforce? The realistic quality of King’s writing allows your mind to melt with his ideas as if they were your own. His books are always exciting and hair raising, but this one tops them all!

5) Ender’s Game/Xenicide by Orson Scott Card-  My all-time favorite series to be published is the Ender series by science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card. He has mastered the genre of science fiction in these two books with gifted children, aliens, politics, and love. It is a culmination of what it means to be human in a world where aliens can potentially destroy the entire race or vice versa. Card flawlessly creates a world that you will get sucked into and love up until the final book (I have yet to read).

I can’t explain how much each and every person should read Ender’s Game, the first book in the series. If you can appreciate science fiction in any sense, you will most likely fall in love!

 

Hope you check out these books and the wonderful bloggers who have made a name for themselves through their fantastic blog posts. Happy reading/writing!

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The Twisted, Messed Up Reader Inside Me

Recently, I purchased a few books from an awesome bookstore in Pittsburgh. I was excited to start reading because I had found two books from the genius science fiction writer Issac Asimov. Since I hadn’t read many classic science fiction writers, I saw the books as an opportunity to learn more about the genre. Noticing the word “Foundation” as one of his best pieces, I picked up two books.

One problem. The ignorance of my purchase was validated when I picked up the book, Foundation and Empire to find that it is the second installment in the trilogy. In addition, I had purchased the third installment, Second Foundation, which was sitting at home waiting to be read.

I have the two books on the right: The ones with the orange and blue cover art.

How could I begin the series without the first installment?

Well, folks here is the kicker. I have a secret habit of reading most new series out of order. You’re probably thinking: Just go and buy the other book you need and then read it. My response: Why should I wait to read the story when I have two perfectly good books right here? I can go back and read the beginning of the series later. This mantra has consumed my life for as long as I remember. I pick up a book, read the entire thing, then find out there are three other books that come before and after it.

This accidental out of order reading has happened so often, I have accepted it as a normal habit when reading books. It is rather comical going back, and thinking about what book series I have read in the most interesting order.

Let me take you back to the first time I read a book in a series out of order. It’s 1999, I’m 10 and walked through Kmart or some department store. I’m with my dad when I notice the following cover of a book. It’s a thick book, but up until then I hadn’t seen a good fantasy novel that caught my attention.

I asked my dad to buy the book for me, and by the end of the trip I was at home reading it. Now I might have known about the series if I paid attention to the news, but the internet wasn’t as instantaneous or important to me at 10 years old. No, I read the book cover to cover, never knowing it was the third book in a series of seven.

How can a 10 year old say no to that?!

What book series, you ask? Harry Potter. The book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I was hooked on the story, but didn’t have any more of the books to fuel my addiction. Slowly I began collecting the other books (in the right order from that point) so that I could read the entire story of this boy wizard.

The funny thing about reading a series out of order is how your perception of the story changes. As you acquire more information, the story shapes itself like clay being molded rather than a flower unfolding. For most of the novel, I thought Harry Potter was actually Neville Longbottom because he gave a fake name while getting on the Knight Bus. Try thinking that the main character is pretending to be someone else, then going back to read the first book to find out he’s someone entirely different. Even at a young age, I loved piecing together the story line rather than just read it in order.

Let’s jump ahead to high school. I spent as much time as my schedule would allow in the library. Like any good bookworm, I sought after compelling books to take up my waking hours. As I searched though the stacks I came upon the final book in Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series.

You see that one down there on the bottom right? That's the book I chose to read first!

Anthony is one of many fantasy/science fiction writers that inspired my career today, but our relationship started out a little hazy. Like I said, I picked up the book And Eternity, thinking it was a standalone novel. I was impressed to find that it was the final part (well, now I know it’s the second to last book because he added another one on and I just found out) of the series. I wouldn’t figure this out until I picked up the 5th book in the series of 7. To save time, I will name in numerical order how I read the series: 7,5,1, 3,2,4,6. I know, I know, it seems like the weirdest way to read a series, but it worked. The shock when I discovered the connections between book 5 and 6 were much more drastic than if I had read them in order. The discovery of connections was confusing at first, but eventually became a satisfying result.

It may seem as backwards as reading the series in reverse, but the adrenaline rush I received from putting the story together is incomparable to reading it in chronological order. Also, the fact that I have found an additional book in the series I thought was finished makes me incredibly excited.

Check out the middle book in the bottom row. Doesn't it look appealing?

Moving on to a more recent trip down out of order lane, I was perusing through the fantasy section of a book store when I came upon this series. It was clearly stated that it was part of a series, but I had no clue in what order. Like most chain bookstores, they might have two or three selections from a series or from the author. In this case, I picked up what looked like the most appealing cover matched with the back cover blurb. Again, I had chosen the second to last book in the series, Cape Storm. 

Did that stop me from reading it? Hell, no. This time, though, it took me a bit longer to read the rest of the series. In this instance, I didn’t have the time or cash to supply my addiction. The time separating the first read from the rest of the series spanned two years at least. When it came to finding the other books, it took little research. Half.com provided me with perfect prices to own the series, IN ORDER. After choosing a book at the very end, I decided to try reading it in order. Only that didn’t work either. While attempting to find the right price for the books, I bought a few that were not in numerical order. One from the beginning, two from the middle, and a few missing in between. I read whatever arrived in the mail. I don’t remember exactly what order I read them, but the reaction was the same. Joy from piecing together a story I first read years before. The details of the first book were a little hazy, but eventually everything fell into place. At the moment, I am a few pages into the final book.

It’s sad to think most people never give this a shot. It’s somewhat like the idea Japanese manga has by placing the order of their books right to left rather than the normal setup. It’s a secondary challenge added on to the act of reading. You are the reader first and foremost, but you have the opportunity to approach the series from whatever angle you chose. You aren’t limited to reading it in the linear fashion we are taught. The book police aren’t going to burst into your room because you haven’t read the first book first.

Take a few minutes and think of what your favorite series would be like if you read it out of order. Try taking your favorite book of the series. Start from there and see how the story would change. It might surprise you how much you take for granted reading in order.

Share your story if you have ever read a series out of order! Maybe I’m not the only crazy one!

 

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