I have read two books in my life that are written by people I’ve met. It’s a lot of pressure, reading something by someone you know. What if it stinks? I mean, writing a book is kind of a big deal. Not everyone can do it right. Right? So what happens if the person you know falls into the “people who can’t write a book” category?
Thankfully, I haven’t had to answer that question. I have been mercifully spared the “uh, yeah, your book, geez I’ve been so busy I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet” cover up conversation. Both books I got to read were more than satisfying. You know why? Characters, really great characters.
I read. A lot. Like, a lot. (Probably not evident after that horrible abuse of punctuation, but I do.) I have been known to disappear into a book so much at times that I enter a kind of dream like state and forget the world around me. I thought forever that what I was attracted to was a good story. But then I realized; I read everything. I love mysteries. I love memoirs. I love long, drawn out weepy novels and hilarious chick lit romps. I read everything and the reason that I love what I love is that I make friends with the people in each new book. Well written characters get added to my literary contact list and they rarely fade away.
In the end, I can almost never recall the details of even the most compelling story but I can recount every single friend I made in them long after the cover has been closed.
So lucky for me, of the two authors I have met, each has introduced me to people in their books that stayed with me long enough to honestly look their creator in the eye and say, “I loved your work”. **
**This post was inspired by the book Following Polly by Karen Bergreen. I love my new friends from Following Polly and their story is pretty great too.I got to meet Karen Bergreen at a cool little cocktail lounge in NYC. We had a conversation about competitive schooling NYC style. I kinda loved her, so the pressure to love her book was intense. Let’s just say she delivered and then some. I received a copy of “Polly” as a member of the From Left to Write book club. If you wanna know the other book I read by someone I know, you’ll just have to find me and ask.;)
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I was very relieved that I enjoyed the book as much as I did for the same reasons. Thanks for putting a blog to this private thought!
Amy @ Using Our Words says
Characters are EVERYTHING. I made this realization back in college when I fell in love with the show Ally McBeal (confession: I don't read nearly as much as I watch TV). Now that I have two little characters living in my house, I'm never at a loss for words. I love writing about them and hope that someday I'm inspired to invent characters as complex and lovely as the ones in Following Polly.
I once was laying on the Jersey Shore reading a mystery about the beach town that I was in. (I like to read books about the places I am in) After being on the beach I walked into town and there was the author signing her book at the book store! I showed her my book and could honestly say I loved it! And how weird of a coincidence was that?!
Cristie Ritz King says
Oh my gosh Linsey don't I wish it!!
Linsey K / Me Too You / From Left to Write says
I know what you mean – whenever I meet an author before I read their book it is really hard not to separate the person from the writing. Karen was so nice to meet, it was great that her book lived up the impression she made when we met her in NYC for the From Left to Write book Club. Since you are in NYC, are you and Karen having regular coffee dates? 😉
Sky Princess says
It is nice not to have to lie about a book.