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Saturday Seven: Keepers!

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This week I’m posting seven random books from my keeper shelf.
Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
I absolutely love nearly every Jennifer Crusie book out there (and am horribly sad she doesn’t seem to be publishing anything new anymore). I had reservations about this since she had a co-author, but they knocked this sucker out of the park. You have to have a somewhat warped sense of humor to enjoy this, I think, since Shane *is* actually a hitman but it works for me and I recommend it to anyone looking for something quirky and fun.
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Just an incredibly solid series. Yeah, it’s young adult, but it’s just amazingly well written with these incredible, human, flawed characters who you fall in love with and mourn and celebrate with. It’s the series that got me to start reading YA again, and I’m so glad for it. But it’s currently the only YA series I reread. Thankfully, the movies stayed relatively true to the books… yeah, yeah, I know they left out a ton and had to change a few things around, but the meat of the story stayed solid.
Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
I have several of Nora’s books on my keeper shelf, but this one and Angel Falls are my two faves of her single title romantic suspense novels. I find myself returning to this one in particular when I need a fix. I just loved the irreverent characters, the descriptions of the hero trying to find his place after a trauma back home. I love the dog and the fact that the setting was a character itself.
The Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey
I actually love the entire Valdemar series and read whatever I can get my hands on, but this set of three is my favorite. Vanyel is so … real. Learning how he went from fragile flower to the most powerful herald mage in Valedmar is awesome, touching, sad, inspirational. And really, it helps to have read these books prior to all that follow since so much of what happens in the them impacts the future of Valedmar. If you love fantasy, I so recommend them.
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
I have dozens of writing books, but THIS is the one I return to over and over and over when I’m writing. I just love the things he challenges you to do (what are three things your character would never do? Find a way to make him do them) and how he helps you add depth and helps your writing become richer and more interesting. I can’t recommend this to my writing friends enough.
The Harper Hall of Pern: Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrumsby Anne McCaffrey
This is one of the few “non-dragon” books I really, really like in the Pern world. Menolly is fantastic in this and she cemented my need to have a fire lizard as a pet (what with her crew of more than a dozen!). As a teen, I wanted to be her in the worst way. Great characters, awesome adventure, just a really solid fantasy that I love and re-read whenever I’m craving a return to Pern.
The “In Death” series by JD Robb
I’m trying not to repeat authors, and I know this is cheating a little, but I have about half of this series on my shelf and I really love it. It’s one of the few series I’ve read that has SO many books but doesn’t get old for me. The characters keep changing and growing and the mysteries aren’t tired. Really nicely done.
So tell me, what’s one of your keepers? Why should I pick it up (and potentially add it to my own shelf)?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I was pretty pleased with the film adaptations of the Hunger Games trilogy as well. Yes, they left some stuff out and changed the order of other scenes, but they stayed true to the tone and message of the books. That’s what is really important when adapting novels for the big screen.
    This is my Saturday Seven post.

    1. Of all the YA book adaptations lately, I think this one did the best job. Divergent was okay, but OMG they destroyed everything with that horrible adaption of Insurgent. The Maze Runner movie was pretty close to the book, but the The Scorch Trials wasn’t even the same story. And the Mortal Instruments movie was horrible. Not a big fan of the series, either, TBH. I’m glad they’re trying, but I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just boil down the meat of the story. Despite the fussing from Harry Potter fanatics, I think they actually did a pretty band up job with the movies.

  2. I’ll always be grateful to you for introducing me to Jennifer Crusie…. Agnes & the Hitman looks like one I might need to add to my reserved list at the library.
    The books on my keeper shelf these days tend to be essays or memoirs: Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking, for example; The Cloister Walk By Kathleen Norris; or Julia Child’s My Life in Paris. They are long-standing friends, and when I pick them up, good conversations are sure to follow, and perhaps some rummaging about in the kitchen. One exception: Richard Russo’s Straight Man, which is one of those books that nails something about a certain kind of academic male who is all too familiar to me… and reading it always makes me laugh.

    1. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a memoir (Rick Springfield’s was my last, and I honestly wish I hadn’t read it…he wasn’t a terribly nice person and it rather ruined the memory of my teenaged crush, though it sounds like he’s much better now). Mostly my non-fiction reads are writing related or nutrition related. I should branch out again… thanks for the nudge!

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