Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Page-turners in my life

I decided to write about books that have influenced me greatly in my life and in my career. Like all of you reading this, I am a book lover. I've read hundreds of books, many of them definite keepers by super authors. But three stand out.
Belva Plain's EVERGREEN, published in 1980. This was probably the first book I read which I did not want to end. It was a touching and scathing look into a classed society and showed the struggles of women and immigrants. I became a forever fan of Ms. Plain's after this book, and I miss her today.
Colleen McCullough's THE THORN BIRDS, published in hard cover in 1977. This was probably my first experience with true romance which also crosses the divide into main stream women's fiction. It was a rich, full, vibrant story set in a land alien to me and handled beautifully by the author. And, oh, that priest!
Pat Conroy's THE PRINCE OF TIDES, published in 2002. A study in character development, a lush setting, and undoubtedly some of the best "wordsmithing" I've ever encountered. I've often said that I could write for a full week and never produce one paragraph the quality of Conroy's.

So... is there one/two/three books that stand out from all the others on your bookshelf? Have you read any of my top three?  Please comment. I'd love to know if I've read any of your favorites and also if you relate to any of mine.

We're all together in this love of reading. Thick or thin, old or new - books, we love you.

Cynthia Thomason

15 comments:

  1. I haven’t read “The Thorn Birds” but I remember the TV series and all the hoopla about it. My favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” another book with bird in the title.

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  2. Cindy, The books I've loved over the years are too numerous to count. Some that pop into my head straight away are The Agony and The Ecstasy by Irving Stone, My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, and Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. Those are just a few. I also loved the Thorn Birds. Your post made me strain my brain this morning. LOL

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  3. One book stands out in my memory--Exodus by Leon Uris. I read this as a 10th grader and the characters and struggles of Israel becoming a nation are still with me. To Kill a Mockingbird is another that I loved. I read The Thorn Birds and so agree with your assessment of the priest.

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  4. Cynthia, fun post! I LOVE The Thorn Birds and to this day I've been known to make Father de Bricassart jokes. As far as influencing my life I'd have to go with Trumpet of the Swan by EB White. Read that book in third grade, then the rest of his books, and they made me want to be an author. Jane Eyre made me fall in love with romance. Then, as a teenager Jude Deveraux's velvet series made me want to be a romance author!

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  5. I loved James Michener as a young woman - HAWAII, THE SOURCE, CARAVANS. Probably not as socially significant as many of your favorites, Cynthia, but I loved his story-telling style - little nit-picky details of the setting from when man first arrived there. And I love TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD . Atticus Finch is still one of my favorite heroes. Fun to think about, Cynthia. You work up my brain this morning!.

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  6. I loved the Thorn Birds. I remember my future mother-in-law mocking me for it. And I loved The Grand Sophie by Georgette Heyer. Does anyone remember that one? And the Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

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    1. Melinda, I loved Kathleen Woodiwiss---The Flower and the Flame, The Wolf and the Dove, Shanna. I know there were others, but those are the ones I remember.

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  7. I loved the Wolf and the Dove. Wolfgar and Aislyn, wasn't it?

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  8. I think TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is probably the BEST book I've ever read. I enjoyed the three you named, too--well, not really THE THORN BIRDS, but that was me, not the book. I loved The Flame and the Flower--there was so much tenderness in it the rape went right over my head! :-) Great post.

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  9. So interesting ladies. The Kill a Mockingbird should be on my list as well. And anything by Michener, though I thought some of his passages about the history of the land were a bit tedious, if not beautifully written.Cynthia
    p/s I've heard publishers wouldn't buy from him today. Paper costs too much! A shame really.

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  10. To this day, when I see/hear 'The Thorn Birds', it makes me think of my mom. She loved and still loves it!

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  11. Oh, the beach scene in that movie! Yum. Talk about the build up of sexual tension.

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  12. There are so many books that come to mind. For romance, it was Satin Straps. I don't remember the author. I believe it was Emma something (Enlish author, when all Harlequins were English, Spanish, or Greek, even the island settings were English islands). It was the first romance I read. I was used to textbooks and tombs like Anatomy of a Murder and Exodus, two of my favorites. Love Michener

    Many people have children's books that influenced them. I never read any that I can remember. In 3rd grade I read Mystery of the Old Red Barn and from then on I was an avid reader.

    However, the stand out (pun unintentional) book in my life is Stephen King's The Stand. It taught me that in life you have to stand for something, otherwise you're on the sidelines letting life go by you. That is not the message of the book. It's the theme. Not sure if King intended it that way (I doubt it), but it's how it affected me.

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  13. Haven't read The Stand, Shirley but King is always good.

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  14. Definitely the Wolf And the Dove. Pride and Prejudice. Light of the Western Stars (by Zane Grey). And the Rosemary Rogers' romance with the love scene on the wagon train...under the wagon!

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