Friday, April 23, 2010

Favorites

By Deb Werksman

I was, of course, a book worm growing up. I was the kind of kid who would read while I was walking down the stairs, and my mom would have to call me multiple times for dinner because I didn't hear her while I had my nose in a book. (Can you relate to this?)

My mom and I used to have this conversation about re-reading--she couldn't believe I would re-read a book I had already read once. Meanwhile, there are some books I re-read on a regular basis (Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer come to mind). When I first read Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale I re-read the ending about 10 times before I could put the book down and I pick it up about every 3 months and re-read that scene again.

One of the things we're doing at Sourcebooks that I'm really excited about is bringing some of these classics back into print. We have 4 of Laura Kinsales: Uncertain Magic, Seize the Fire, Prince of Midnight and Midsummer Moon, which is lighter and funny and delightful, while the others are classic Laura--tortured hero, impossible situation, triumphant heroine.

I'm reading Fierce Eden by Jennifer Blake right now and reveling in the heat and light of a beautifully written "old skool" romance (as Sarah Wendell calls them!) The hero is ultra uber alpha and the heroine is falling in love with him by degrees--it's beautiful and torturous and I can't put it down!

We also have Rosemary Rogers' The Wildest Heart which was her #1 bestseller and I've never read anything as fast-paced as this. There's action in every paragraph!

We've got Laurie McBain, Pat Rice's Magic series, and other favorites coming soon too.

So I want to ask you all--what are the books you re-read and re-read and re-read? And what are the ones that you would if you could find a copy now?

In current submissions, I'm looking for:
*single title romance in all subgenres
*a heroine the reader can relate to
*a hero she can fall in love with
*a world gets created
*a hook I can sell the book with in 2-3 sentences
*the author has a career arc we can build with her

15 comments:

  1. Great post, Deb! I have to admit I don't reread books usually--although I do use some of my favorites in my writing workshops as great examples of what to do, but I rewatch movies that I love: The Princess Bride, Romancing the Stone, the first of the Star Wars series, etc, and my mother was always like, "You know how they end, why would you want to watch them again?" Because I fell in love with the characters! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I re-read a lot. My favorite to re-read is Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels books. My second fav is Lora Leigh's Breed series. Third is Cheryl Brooks Cat Chronicles. Fourth is Kendra Leigh Castle's Highland Werewolf books.

    They all have hero's and heroine's to fall in love with, cry with and cheer on as they beat the odds. Cheryl and Anne have created very realistic worlds that seem welcoming and frightening at the same time. I own all of the above mentioned books and am lucky in the regards that I can read and re-read at my leisure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. HI Deb,

    I'm not a rereader...like your mom, I guess. For me, the surprises are what make a book fun. If I see the words "spoiler alert" I run--or click off the page.

    Which brings me to your most recent advice in your editorial notes...to rid book 2 of the spoiler alert right at the get-go. Glad you said that. I forgot how I react to that!

    Thanks!!

    Ash

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a re-reader. I've read BRIDESHEAD REVISITED about four times, GILEAD twice, JANE EYRE countless times, THE GREAT GATSBY a half dozen times, and a series set in WWII Britain by Elizabeth Jane Howard (I think the series is called THE CAZELETS) twice. I guess I'm a geek. Or is that dork? Or geekdork?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bewitching by Jill Barnett. I have 3 copies, one of the original cover whose spine has been broken so much it's barely holding the pages together, one of the new covers which is starting to look like the old one, and a new one in which the spine will never be broken b/c Jill signed the book to me.

    She's got the rights back and I'm hoping she'll release it in eFormat so I can take it with me wherever I go. Love love love that book.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm a re-reader. The best books are the ones that I read the last page of, and immediately want to turn to page one and read it over.

    Elizabeth Goudge (sp?) wrote some of the most wonderfully rereadable novels--stories that never or wore out. They glowed richer and deeper each time I passed through them. Green Dolphin Street was her big bestseller, but my favorite was The Rosemary Tree. She also wrote entrancing fantasies. In the strictest sense her books weren't romances, but they were always love stories, and they always ended well.

    I don't have any of her books now. My last copy fell apart years ago and they can no longer be found even in used book stores.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think I've re-read all my old Julie Garwood historicals at least once. I've read The Secret 3-4 times. I've read most of Jane Austen's books 2-3 times. I've read some of my favorite Shakespearean plays several times. And it seems every class I took in college required me to read Huckleberry Finn, so I've read that like 10 times. Still don't like it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Deb, I've always been a bookworm and my mom quickly discovered taking away reading privelges was an effective threat of punishment, lolol!

    Books I've reread time and again? Like you, all of Georgette Heyers books. But also Nora Roberts trilogies, Julie Garwood and Catherin Coulter historicals,Jude Deveraux,Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon books.

    An epic series I've always LOVED was Roberta Gellis' Roselynde Chronicles. Gellis wrote a series of six books in the late 70's early 80's about a strong family of women in Medieval England.

    Also love and reread Anne McCaffrey's science fiction/fantasy series of novels about the Dragonriders of Pern.

    I've always loved books that create a world so real you feel you're visiting. When you read them again it's like a vacation back to a favorite place.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I re-read certain books, too! I've re-read books by Sandra Brown LaVyrle Spencer, Amanda Quick to name a few. I agree there are some scenes you just never forget like the first scene in Brown's Sunset Embrace.
    Amelia

    ReplyDelete
  10. I reread all of the Jane Austen books every year. I love them. I've reread the Great Gatsby and all Louis Nizer's books whenever I feel the need to be in awe of perfect writing. On the romance side, I've reread a few of Rachel Gibsons books like See Jane Score and Truly, Madly, Yours and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Fancy Pants. The only other books I've reread were craft books like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I try to read those every six months.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a complete set of Georgette Heyers, and some of them are the second and third copies I've owned. They never get old.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's easy. Ring of Fear by Anne McCaffrey. Rafe, the hero, is so darn sexy! Makes me drool every time I read it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't usually re-read books, except for Jane Austen, (I LOVE Pride and Prejudice). I have recently fallen in love with Georgette Heyer and had a burning desire to re-read Cotillion. I had loaned out the book so I actually had to buy another copy to read it again!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fun post, Deb! I agree with Cheryl, Georgette Heyer is timeless and her books, make great re-reads... luckily Sourcebooks is reprinting them!

    I also can read Born in Fire by Nora Roberts anytime and still feel like I'm reading it for the first time!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My two favorites that I've read so many times I've lost count: Sorcery & Cecelia, and Soulstring. Thanks for sharing, Deb!

    ReplyDelete