Books I am Thankful For (From Under The Covers)
By Suzanne from Under the Covers
I am from the UK so Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday for me - although I really wish it were judging by all the delicious looking pies. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy and celebrate the sentiment of being thankful for what we have and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. My poor cynical brain is a little agog at my sunny outlook, but with Christmas around the corner it better get used to it! One of the things I am most thankful for is books. Reading books, sharing books with friends and writing about books is a huge part of my life and I am privileged to have the resources to do it. Books give you a window into a myriad of worlds and a host of characters, it then gives you the opportunity to connect with fellow readers in the world, people you would otherwise never know. So, I am going to share some of the pivotal books in my reading career, the ones that led to my adoration of reading and led me to where I am today.
I read this series of books when I was about 12 and they alone started my now decades long obsession I have with reading. Right from the very first page of Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings I was drawn in. The warmth, the humour, the characters and the epic story, I loved it all; It utterly enchanted me. It’s a book that has stayed with me through the years and judging by the many editions that are now out, I am not the only reader. It’s perfect for both existing fantasy fans or those that want to start exploring the genre.
I went through a stage when I was about 17 when I only read classics. I refused to admit that, with a few exceptions, they bored me to tears. Then I got started on Jane Austen, finally there was a heroine I could identify with even though she was written over a 100 years ago! Then there was Mr Darcy, perhaps my first ever fictional crush. Needless to say, I devoured Pride and Prejudice and all her other works! Next up came watching the TV adaptions. And if I had a crush on Mr Darcy before it was paled into insignificance in comparison to my feelings after seeing the BBC’s adaption of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth walking out of that pond…I still swoon a little.
I always say that I am not a big fan of young adult and yet one of my favourite series of all time is a young adult trilogy: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I can’t express how much these books move me, they are the most horrifyingly beautiful things I have ever read. The introduce concepts like god and the soul, things that at the time of first reading I had never given much thought to. These are young adult books with some very adult concepts, with both moments of wonder and fun, as well as darkness and heartbreak. I highly recommend reading these if you haven’t already…I just beg you please ignore the terrible film based on this books, they sanitized it and took the soul right out of it.
I’ve always loved fantasy, after all my first love was the Belgariad book series by David Eddings I spoke about above. However, the fantasy I had read prior, the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, was always set in a completely different world. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews opened my eyes to the urban fantasy genre. And what a revelation it was! It had the magical and adventure components I love about fantasy, but based in a version of the world today, combined with a strong heroine lead. I had found my jam. To this day the Kate Daniels series – and if I am honest anything produced by husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews – is my favourite. They have built a rich world full of characters I love, unique storylines with the bonus of an epic romance on top.
This is the last book on my list and the one that set me on my current reading trajectory about 9 years ago. The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward was one of the first paranormal romances I read and remains one of the best romances I have ever read. It made me realize that the romance genre wasn’t just “porn for women” but was so much more. Not only does she write romances that have deep roots, she builds up a world based on the bonds of friendship and loyalty, as well as the epic struggle between good, evil and everything in between. It’s a series that doesn’t hesitate to pull hard on your heart strings, leaving you at times elated, laughing, angry and heartbroken. Any book that has that kind of power over my emotions is a book I am thankful for.
These are the books that I am most thankful for each in their own way have revolutionized my reading. They’ve introduced me to new genres and new ideas and without these books my life would be different in a very real way. They are also some very excellent books, so if you haven’t given them a try, I highly recommend picking them up.
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About the Author
As you can tell, I, Suzanne, adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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