Everyone has one.*
Rachel Seigl's post this week on Pub(lishing) Crawl, Under the Radar: Authors Who Don't Always Get the "BUZZ", really got me thinking.
Everyone has those handful of books that they love but you seem to be alone in this infatuation. Those books aren't wildly popular or widely read or perhaps even highly acclaimed. But heck you don't mind because this makes them your books in a way. One might even get a little proud and, dare I say, hipstery about it.
Here is my Hipster Book List:
1. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness.
This series is so unique and innovative and heart wrenching that it blows my mind. Todd Hewitt lives in a community made up entirely of men. Every body's thoughts are painfully audible, called "Noise". What happened to all the women? How did the war get started that caused this mess? How can a community survive with no privacy and no dishonesty? These are just the questions being asked in the first chapter! Never has a book made me cry so hard as Monsters of Men. I was a sobbing, inconsolable pile of mucus by the end of it. This is some VERY special science fiction that is genius and violent and insightful.
Everybody needs to read it. NOW...are you reading it yet? Well, hop to it!
2. One on One by Tabitha King.
Be warned: this is a sports book. Trust me though, as someone who avoids sports at all costs, that is just a thin veil over the bigger story. Sam Styles and Deanie "the Mutant" Gauthier came so close to winning the basketball state championships last year. Sam is determined that both the boys and girls team can do it this year but that means trying to help the most damaged, hostile and bizarre girl in school. Deanie shaves her head, wears chains across her face and loves smoking illegal substances. All of this is a method in concealment as she has a mother who hates her and a step dad who beats and molests her. Sam has to fight the administration, his friends and even Deanie herself to get the teams ready for state.
This is one of those books that is successfully gritty and honest and jarring. It is also the strangest and most satisfying romance I have ever read.
3. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.
Ever since I read this diamond in the ruff four years ago I am constantly measuring other fairy tale re-tellings up to it and they never compare. The elements that combine to make Enchantment great: time travel, medieval Russia, Judaism, linguistics, magic, science and the gods of ol'. I truly admire Ivan for being his bookish good natured self and Katerina for her royal tenacity.
Definitely a fairy tale made for adults who like intellectual and religious debates alongside their quests and spells.
4. Love Walked In and Belong To Me by Marisa De los Santos.
Cornelia Brown--a big hearted, day dreaming, literary and cinema geek--is one of the most likable and admirable main characters ever written. I want to be Cornelia. If you're looking for something gorgeously written than look no further than the books by this award winning poet. Or you could read them for the warm fuzzies, adorable romances and true to life family dramas. As feel good as these books are they also deal with such issues as mental illness, parent abandonment and cancer.
You'll learn something, be inspired, feel joyful and optimistic about life all at the same time.
5. Tea Rose/Winter Rose/Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnely.
Seriously, when I think of epic I think of these books. They span from the time of Jack the Ripper to the end of WWI, all the while following the Finnegan family. Entrepreneurship, mountain climbing, White Chapel gangs, Parliament, England, New York, Kenya, California, the Middle East, death, birth and war. They have everything.
This series is like a one stop shop for any sort of reality based fiction you can think of. You'll cry and laugh and gasp and scream and you will love every second of it. I promise.
6. Stories of Columbyana by Linda Winstead Jones.
I would describe these books as paranormal fantasy. Each trilogy focuses on the love stories of a whole slew of characters but has an over arching conflict. Curses, prophecies, spells, shape shifting, folklore and court politics play heavily into these stories.
That is probably the reason why I like them so much: you get your romance kick without feeling like you're reading complete fluff. Jones does a great job of world building and tying all of her books together.
Readers, what literary gems are on your Hipster Book List?
*I apologize to any hipsters who may have found their way to this list. Honestly I don't know if you will approve of these selections. Your taste is more obscure than mine.