Recommending a book for the New Year

December 29, 2007

A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on, you are enriched threefold.”–Henry Miller

With Mr. Miller’s words in mind, I thought that instead of listing my New Year’s resolutions (how many times can one lose the same 50 pounds?) I’d share my favorite book with you. My reading tastes are so eclectic, it’s hard to choose just one. But if pressed, I’d have to name THE FAR PAVILIONS by M M Kaye as the book I return to again and again.

If you’re looking for snappy dialogue and a breakneck pace, you’d be disapointed. At over 900 pages, this doorstop of a book is a rich, meaty epic set in Victorian India. It chronicles the life of Ashton Hilary Akbar Pelham-Martyn, from his birth in the shadow of the Himalayas to young manhood. We follow his dangerous childhood as companion of a young India ruler, his first heartbreak, his tragic real love for an Indian princess whom he can’t have. For adventure and romance set against the clash of cultures under the British Raj, I don’t think there’s another story that can touch it. I think they made a mini-series movie of it a few years ago, but I couldn’t watch it. None of the actors could possibly become the characters I already knew and loved so well.

I wore out the copy I had, so my dear husband bought me a new one this year for Christmas.

So now it’s your turn. If you could only have one book, which one would you pick? I’ll look forward to reading about your favorites. Who knows? I might discover a new favorite thanks to you.

Every month, I put recommended reads on my websites. You might want to check out www.dianagroe.com and www.emilybryan.com for interviews with hot authors and their new releases. Hope you stop by.

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15 Responses to “Recommending a book for the New Year”

  1. Oh, geeze… Only one?

    Maybe… hmm. I think it would be Dune by Frank Herbert. The characters and world-building are unforgettable.

    Loved The Far Pavilions, too, though.

  2. I devoured Outlander, the first in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, the first time I read it. Fresh, sensuous, and utterly compelling, it sucked me in and kept me absolutely riveted–and with a book that length, that’s some feat.

  3. Kelley said

    My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables. I adored the whole series and still to this day wish I could be more like Anne. 🙂

  4. How about “The Great Man: A Novel”?

  5. dianagroe4emilybryan said

    My husband is a big Dune fan, though he didn’t like the movie.

    I first tried to check out the Outlander book from the library, but when I found out I’d be #28 on a waiting list, I bit the bullet and bought the book. And all the rest of her works as well. The powers that be always say you can’t have the hero beat the heroine. You can’t set a romance in France (part of the story anyway.) Don’t have a red-haired hero. And don’t get me started about the homosexual element. Who would ever think of adding that to a romance? Gabaldon breaks all the rules, but she makes it work because she creates these incredibly real characters that we care about deeply.

    Anne of Green Gables! My sides still ache over Anne’s apologies and the wonderful scene when she gets Diana accidently drunk. Who didn’t cry their eyes out with Anne when Matthew died. I loved Anne and it was such a joy to share her with my daughters. Isn’t that the greatest thing? When you share a book, you share a unique vocabulary, a way to add subtext to your conversations. We still look for things that give “scope to the imagination.”

  6. I’d have to say the first three Diana Galbadon books were a great influence on me. They inspired me to write or at least try to write like her. I even named a hero Jamie. But my favorite book of all time is Sabrina by Madeline Pollard. Eash word is simply beautiful. It is set in Ireland, pre World War 1, has a great love story and is so fantasitcally written that it took me a while to realize that there was no sex whatsoever in the story. I keep this book in my night stand drawer and suddenly feel compelled to read it again.

  7. dianagroe4emilybryan said

    I’ll look for Sabrina, Cindy. I’m always scouting for interesting new authors and an Irish setting is a big draw for me.

  8. Angie Fox said

    I’d have to choose Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson. That book makes me smile every time I read it – a wonderfully absurd situation, fantastic characters, and the humor is spot on.

  9. dianagroe4emilybryan said

    MJ Davidson is hysterical. I got a chance to meet her at the last RT convention and sit in on one of her comedy workshops. Don’t let anyone fool you. It’s much easier to make a reader cry than laugh!

  10. I re-read SEP’s First Lady every year. Love that book. Then I re-read LaVyrle Spencer’s Small Town Girl.

    Oops. That’s two.

    Oh, well 🙂

  11. dianagroe4emilybryan said

    That’s ok. It’s hard to pick just one! I was just hoping to hear which book most makes you hate to reach the end. In stories where the characters really come alive for me, I have the irrational hope that once the cover is closed they are still off having adventures without me.

  12. Danielle said

    I have two books that I just loved….one is the politically incorrect book by Rosemary Rogers — Midnight Lady. The hero is an overbearing alpha who in the end is not too sure of himself. I have to admit I keep a copy of this book by my bedside.

    My other all time favorite book is Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss….it’s so sad to know that Everlasting is the last book by this author.

  13. dianagroe4emilybryan said

    The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss was the first romance novel I ever read. The intimacy, the emphasis on the relationship even wrapped in grand adventure, she really blazed the trail for so many of us. I never dreamed at the time that I’d eventually write my own. Ms. Woodiwiss will always be sorely missed.

  14. My all time favorite book is THESE OLD SHADES by Georgette Heyer, closely followed by its sequel DEVIL’S CUB, which has an absolutely breath-taking, action-packed, morally questionable opening.

  15. cathiecaffey said

    Gosh, this is so hard to think of just one book! Even though I don’t read much of those set in Civil War, this one just so touched me in so many ways that I still think of scenes from it, Lorraine Heath’s ALWAYS TO REMEMBER.

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