All It Takes Is One Book

I just finished The Book Thief (a fantastic book, one I’ll treasure forever, thank you so much for the recommendation Raya, please get your hands on it if you haven’t already read it, review to come) and I noticed something. My love for the book is separate from my love for the author.  Sometimes, I don’t make that distinction. Most of the time, I end up being a fan of an author because of a large body of their work. Think Tamora Pierce or Robin Hobb. It’s not the first book – even though that’s what sucks you in – but the series as a whole that I fall in love with. And even if an author writes stand-alones, it usually takes more than a book or two for me to start declaring my undying love for them.

In the case of a very few authors, though – all it takes is one book. And I can usually tell by the tenth page or so when I’ve found them. And, more often than not, it has very little to do with what they’re writing about. It’s how they write – you can TELL they’re pouring their soul into their writing – they don’t hold back. They bleed words and you treasure their books more because of it. Maybe this is why books can make me cry like nothing else can, I don’t know, but I get really choked up over things I think are beautiful, okay? And the way some of these people write? It makes you just want to drown in the words and never, ever stop reading them because real life just pales in comparison to the depth of the worlds they create.

So here you go. Here’s a list of authors that drive me insane with how beautiful their writing is.

Neil Gaiman

This will come as no surprise to anybody who knows me, and I couldn’t in good conscience make this list without him being at the very top. This man needs no introduction, and whether you’re a fan of his work or not (which I’ll find a little hard to believe, but okay), you cannot deny the fact that he just knows how to find the right words. His writing has a life of its own, and every time I pick up one of his books, I’m often left speechless and shaking my head in wonder. You cannot put him in a box – every book is different from the other and you almost never know what to expect.

My favourites: Sandman (review here), The Graveyard Book (review here)

Markus Zusak

I’ve only ever read The Book Thief and honestly? Two pages in, and I was in love. Fans of the book will know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t read it already, PLEASE go out and get it. Trust me on this. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and a lot of it has to do with the way Zusak writes. He’ll make you cry and ache to just reach into the book and hug all his characters – to protect them from everything you know is about to happen.

Susan Ee

Ever since I read Susan Ee’s debut, Angelfall (having found a review on The Novelettes’ Blog), my expectations of the entire YA Fantasy genre have gone up hundred-fold. Angelfall was such a surprise – a refreshing take on the done-to-death angel theme with a sensible female protagonist who had her priorities straight. And I think a lot of my respect for Susan Ee stems from that. Her writing seems effortless and everything that happens in the book is so natural. Not once did I have to exclaim, “Seriously?” – which I’ll admit, I do a lot. My point being, in Fantasy, a lot of authors create settings and then sometimes their characters do things that don’t make any sense in that setting. And that ruins everything else for me. Not with Angelfall. This one was easily one of my favourite discoveries of the year.

Melina Marchetta

onthejellicoeroadcoverOh, man. How do I talk about Marchetta without sounding like I worship her?

I discovered Marchetta through Raya’s review of Saving Francesca, and that book just messed me up. It was so good. I then went and devoured Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock and I fully intend to read everything she’s ever written. Ever. She’s so lyrical and she has a way of making you oscillate between emotions without giving you any choice in the matter. One second you’re crying your eyes out and the next you’re clutching your stomach, laughing hysterically.

She’s a wordbird. There’s no other way I can describe it.

Brandon Sanderson

Here’s my story: I got Mistborn. Page 1. “Ash fell from the sky.” That is all. The end.

Helps that he creates fantastic characters, though. And his world-building? Don’t get me started.

Frances Hardinge

Frances Hardinge is an author I can gush about for HOURS. She’s terribly underrated, and trust me when I tell you I’m doing everything in my power to change that. When you need an instant pick-me-up? Read Frances Hardinge. When you need an author that appreciates the power and beauty of the written word? Read Frances Hardinge. When you need an author that can cleverly weave a story about twenty different things without you even noticing what it is she’s doing? Read Frances Hardinge. When you want weird and witty and an author that takes insane creative liberties and makes it work so that it feels completely normal? Yep. Frances Hardinge.

(Twilight Robbery reviewed here)

Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was one of those books I read as a kid that defined me at the time. I read it when I was 13 or 14, I think, and I’ve read it more than ten times since. Extremely Loud is like my personal Lion King in book form. Oskar’s equation with his dad reminds me so much of Simba and Mufasa, and they’re both childhood treasures I keep locked up inside of me.

And there you have it. Are your favourite authors on my list? Do you have authors that make you feel the same way? Recommendations? Let me know!

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23 thoughts on “All It Takes Is One Book

    • Huh, I never thought about it like that. You’re right. :)
      Did you hear about The Graveyard Book movie? It was supposed to be an animated film at first (which I was really excited about), but that got shelved I think. If they give it the Coraline treatment and stay true to the essence of the book, that is going to be one HECK of a movie.

  1. I do love Neil Gaiman. I can’t remember being as keen on teh Book Theif though, although teh ending was heartbreaking. And Archangel by Sharon Shinn. I have never read any of her other books but that one was amazing. It was similar to your experience with Mistborn. The first line was about the Angel Gabriel going to Mount Sianai to find a wife and after that I was gone. (I don’t do the line justice here though.)
    I do like the sound of Mistborn though. Don’t take this teh wrong way but this blog is so not good for me – too many book and so little time!

    • Yeah? I’ll check it out! :)
      Ooo, Misborn is GREAT. You’ll totally fall in love with Vin and Kelsier! Plus Sanderson’s world-building is astounding.
      Haha, that’s actually a huge compliment, thanks Debbie. :)

  2. ACK, I want to read Sanderson SO BADLY, you don’t even know. I bought his The Emperor’s Soul, but I keep placing other books above it. (But I also want to wait until this NetGalley fiasco is dead.) Frances Hardinge has a high spot on my radar. (: I’d love to get a hold of her books, because she seems like an author I’ll fall in love with. Oh, and Marchetta? So I guess she’ll be coming out with a book all about Jimmy from the Saving Francesca universe, but it won’t be YA. He’s thoroughly absent in The Piper’s Son, which disappointed me since he’s one of my favorite guy characters in SF.

    • Sanderson deserves savouring. He’ll probably keep you up two nights in a row and turn you into a grinning zombie by the third. I haven’t read nearly as much Sanderson as I’d like, so I’m going to go fix that. :)
      YOU WILL LOVE FRANCES HARDINGE. A lot of people I know would, true, but you in particular. She’s first on my list of recommendations to you. You will love her, you will love Mosca, you will love Saracen, you will love everything about Fly By Night and Twilight Robbery. And I’ve got A Face Like Glass lined up next, and even before starting I can tell you’ll probably like that too. :)

      What, really?! I ADORE JIMMY. :D

  3. Don’t hate me, but I have yet to read any Gaiman books. They’re all on my TBR list and I swear I’m going to read them soon because you seem to be so in-love with him that I just have to know why. I started The Book Thief today and honestly? The book scares me because I can just foresee the emotional damage it will cost me to read through it. I love love love Susan Ee because of Penryn Young, which I believe should be the epitome of YA girl power. I don’t know Frances Hardinge, but now that I do, I’m going to look her up.

    As for suggestions, PLEASE read Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy if you haven’t yet. I assure you that you will not regret it. So few people seem to know about him and the Skulduggery series that it breaks my heart.

    • Gaiman was on my TBR list for AGES before I finally picked up Good Omens and then I just went on a Gaiman-devouring spree, so I totally get where you’re coming from. :) I’d recommend starting with The Graveyard Book, and if you can? I’d get my hands on a physical copy. I have the Dave McKean illustrated edition and it’s just precious. Look! That’s the first page.
      *hides face* I still haven’t touched any Terry Pratchett, though.

      No! Please keep reading! It’s heartbreaking, yes, but so beautiful.
      Penryn’s one of my absolute favourites. Frances Hardinge, YES. PLEASE DO.

      Skulduggery Pleasant, gotcha. I feel the same way about Frances Hardinge, so that’s totally going on my list. :)

      Also, I saw on Goodreads that you were reading The Grisha series? How are you liking it so far? (I’m a huge fan)

      • OMG it looks amazing *aaaaaahhhhhh!!!* Definitely getting a copy.

        I’m in-love with The Grisha trilogy. I was scared to read it initially because of all the hype but when I started it I can’t seem to stop. I devoured both books in a day and I’m supposed to review them but how exactly do you review books like that, I have no idea. Sigh. I can’t believe I need to wait for months to get the next book. :(

        • That’s pretty much how I read them. :) Then I sat down to write a review, stared at the screen for an hour and gave up. I just throw Tumblr-love at the series from time to time. :)

          I know. ON THE PLUS SIDE, THOUGH, we get Allegiant next month. And World After the month after that. I CAN’T WAIT. :D

          • Do you read Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan? Because we also get The House of Hades next month aaaah! I’m really excited for Allegiant and World After though, plus the Catching Fire and Ender’s Game movie this November. It’s like early Christmas OMG.

            • I stopped reading them ages ago and I’m kicking myself for it. :( But my TBR list is reaching scary heights and I’m constantly throwing carefully made I-will-read-this-next plans out of whack, so now I have so many books I SHOULD be reading right now, but last night I found a new trilogy that looked exciting and that threw everything out the window. :|

              *hides face again* I haven’t read Ender’s Game yet.

              • Don’t worry, I totally get the feeling. I’ve been leaving so many lose ends as well and overtime I just lose track of them. So many books, so little time. And blogging seems to emphasize that a lot more. Sigh

                It’s been a really long time since I’ve read Ender’s Game. You should though, if you manage to make time for it. It’s great sci-fi stuff. Plus the gigantic twist in the ending will really blow your mind. :D

                • Blogging and Goodreads. As a kid, I’d walk into a bookstore/library, pick up a huge pile, read every single one. Now I have so many unread books on my shelf, it’s distressing. And the number of books I leave unfinished add to the guilt.
                  That’s also a good thing, though. Earlier, I’d struggle to finish a book even if I didn’t enjoy it. Now, I just toss it and pick up another one. Plus the number of wonderful recommendations I’ve gotten from other bloggers and people on Goodreads? Wouldn’t trade it for the world. :)

                  It’s one of those sci-fi classics EVERYBODY seems to love, but I don’t know. I just get the feeling that I’d leave it unfinished if I picked it up now. The minute I’m in the mood, I’ll attack it. :)

                  • I feel the same. I remember struggling to finish War and Peace just because I already started it even if it’s practically lulling me to sleep. You’re right, though. All the recs and opinions and reviews are really priceless.

                    And yeah, no pressure, go for it when you already feel like it. But be sure to let me know once you’ve read it! I’d like to know what you think :D

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