Saturday, February 4, 2012

If I Had A Time Machine...

Another Friday Five from the people at Paper Hangover:

What are the FIVE novels you wish you had written?

When I first saw this question, I immediately thought of the books that had inspired me as a child and as a teen.  These are the books on my shelves with broken spines held together with tape and glue, pages threatening to fall out.  I've loved these books to death and still re-read them to this day.

1.  Emily of New Moon (Lucy Maud Montgomery)

From the EoNM Anime
When I was ten years old, a distant family member gave me a box set of the Emily series.  I had never read L.M. Montgomery's books before (even Anne), so these books were my first introduction to the magic of Prince Edward Island and Montgomery's beautiful prose. 

Inside of these books was a ten year old girl like me-- someone who loved reading and wanted nothing more in the world than to be a writer.  Emily understood what it was like to have the thrill of words rush through you and, oh, God, her "Flash"... Montgomery gave description and voice to that magical moment of seeing something so amazing and beautiful just beyond our physical world.  I've seen and felt that, myself.

I lived with Emily through her 3ams of doubt, her rejections (haven't we all had that moment of disappointment when that first childish poem isn't published?), her growth as a writer, and finally, the publication of her first, wonderful book.

This book inspired me and still inspires me to keep striving, to keep trying to climb that "Alpine Path."  If I ever do get even near the top of that path, I'll partly have L.M. Montgomery to thank.

2. Blubber, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, & Deenie
This is the cover of the copy currently on my shelves
Been a tween and teen can be incredibly difficult.  You deal with bullies, body image issues, figuring out your faith and the "who" of who you are.  Judy Blume is like the incredibly cool aunt who completely understands you and hands you these books as manuals through your teen years.  I have her to thank for not panicking about some of our more stressful "rites of passage" and some of us ladies in the office still talk about Deenie when we have a discussion on non-operative scoliosis treatments (bracing, for example) and the effects on teen girls.  I want teens to read my books and feel like I've given them a little bit of a voice, too.  Maybe I won't be as cool as informative as Ms. Blume, but I want to be someone who supports and inspires them.

3. Emma (Jane Austen)

Emma is so sweet and clueless
And a genius adaptation
I love Jane Austen.  I especially love her snark and digs at the society of her time, something that doesn't always show itself to a first-time reader of her books.  Emma, to me, is the epitome of Austen's wonderful snarkishness (is that a word?)

Plus, it inspired possibly one of the best adaptations of a book-to-modern culture movies EVER:

I don't know about you, but I think Ms. Austen would have completely and totally approved of Amy Heckerling's adaptation.  *Hides from the literature snobs and Austen fanatics who start chasing after me with torches and knives*

4.  The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

MZB was one of the first women and feminist pioneers of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, paving the way for generations of writers.  I loved her Darkover books as a teen, but The Mists of Avalon was, by far, my favorite of all of her books.  Hearing the story from the traditional villain's side (Morgan le Fay, Arthur's half-sister) and watching her weave together a new version of the Arthurian legends still resonates with me and even affects my own thought process while writing.

Her novel, The Firebrand, is also high on my list of all-time favorites.

5.  Dracula (Bram Stoker)

Confession: I kind-of went through a vampire phase in high school.  The Fictional Dead Boy post touched on that a bit.  My vampires, however, did not sparkle.  Mine had that dangerous, sinister edge to them that many current vamp incarnations are, well, lacking.  And, during that phase, I stumbled on to the granddaddy of all vampire tales.

oooooooooohhhhhh... Classic cover without fangs!!!
Stoker's prose is beautiful (I'm a sucker for prose!), his descriptions so vivid that I get hungry when I read about Harker's meals in the first few chapters and my stomach churns when I read about Renfield's meals in later chapters.  I feel so sorry for beautiful Lucy, and I am brave Mina.  Everything that this book does, from drawing me into the action to making me feel a *little* bit sorry for the villain, is exactly what a book should do.  Stoker was a genius-- I hope that I can someday write a fraction as well as he did.

Those are my top five "wish I wrotes"-- what are yours?


  1. I love the EMILY series, probably more so than ANNE OF GREEN GABLES even. I think I've always related more to Emily than Anne :-)

    1. "They" (well, all of the experts in the LMM non-fiction books that I read) say that many writers identify more with Emily than Anne. Personally, while I like reading the Anne books... I think I would smack her if I knew her in real life.

      Meanwhile, Emily would probably turn her nose up at me :-)

  2. Wow, you really have a variety of choices! I think you are probably "versatile" after all. ;)

    1. :P Not sure about versatile, but the Star Trek books on my bookshelf regularly try to beat up on the Babysitter's Club books! ;)

  3. Currently falling apart on my bookshelf are The Secret Garden and Watership Down. The pages are yellow and some have actually fallen out : D

    1. Oooohhh... I FORGOT about The Secret Garden! I used to sneak that book under my covers with a flashlight! *happy sigh*