Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Write by Wednesday-- The Stories that Stay With You

A couple of weeks ago, I had the delightful opportunity to meet a fellow writer that, shockingly, lives in the same tiny, middle-of-nowhere town I inhabit. She had read Max and Menna and gave me some incredible feedback on the book, saying that it had stayed with her.

As a writer, I think that is the best feedback I could possibly hope for from a reader, fellow writer, or anyone else. It took me over a decade to write Max and Menna. I actually do not consider the genre or tone of the book to be in line with my typical style as a writer, but I stuck with it and had to write it because it was a story that I could not shake. The idea that I was able to convey a story that haunted me for a decade in such a way that it stays with people beyond the last page is... well, I love it. That more than any royalty check or sales rank proves to me that I need to keep sitting here and banging away at my laptop weekend after weekend.

I have to give props, though, to so many writers who created books that stayed with me and propelled me forward with my writing, and there are too many to name. However, I have selected the following list, which interests me because of its variety. Some of these books stayed with me because of their beauty, and others because of their depravity. For some, the words linger with me because of the skill of the prose, while some just tell stories too enticing to forget. In no particular order, here is my very abridged hit list of books that took days to leave me:
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (I've written about this one and why a whole lot)
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • The Color of Night by Madison Smartt Bell 
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • IT by Stephen King
  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Flight by Sherman Alexie
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
What are your lingering books? You know, the ones that just seem to grab on to your soul?

1 comment:

  1. In mostly no order after the first two, mine are:

    Mila 18 by Leon Uris (easily the most influential book I've ever read; it's the reason I study revolutions)
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (the crown jewel in the works of my favourite author)
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Ste-Exupery
    The Iliad by Homer
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
    The Lover by Marguerite Duras
    Wicked by Gregory Maguire
    The Brothers K by David James Duncan
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Also: the short stories 'There Will Comes Soft Rains' from Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and 'By the Waters of Babylon' by Stephen Vincent Benet, who is, coincidentally, responsible for one of my favourite quotes of all times, "We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom."