Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
For a long time, I had the idea to write short stories based on some of my favorite songs and compile them in a book. I started several, but never finished any of them. Now, the project has long since been abandoned though I still think it's a good idea. Someday I might go back to it.
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What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Great Gatsby - I first had to read it in high school, and I think the language is just beautiful. Though brief, the images are indelible and each character is perfectly drawn. Further, I know I'm in the minority in this, but I don't consider this to be romantic. I think Gatsby is incredibly tragic and sad.
2. The entire Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou. Yep, all of them. I strive to create characters this unique and situations this authentic. I've yet to read a better representation of BDSM.
3. The Handmaid's Tale - I only recently read this for the first time and I was struck not only by the amazing flow of words, but by its prescience. More than ever, the events of this book seem plausible.
4. In Cold Blood - Capote's words are unparalleled and in this book, he manages to give nonfiction a type of beauty normally reserved for fiction. Despite his attempts to be the unbiased observer, his feelings often come through very clearly which makes it even better.
5. Everything Is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer. This is such an unusual book and if you can get used to the three very distinct storylines and perspectives, you'll love it. It would have been an achievement for a seasoned author, but it was made better by being his first novel. He has an incredible voice.