Phase 1: Initial Attraction. A book that you bought because of the cover?
I would have bought this regardless, because Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favorite authors of all time. But, honestly, how GORGEOUS is this cover for Changing Planes?? It fits the book’s whimsicality and escapist approach. If you enjoy UKLG’s work and want to see the full breadth of her imagination and world-building skills, Changing Planes is that book. The best way I’d describe it is her science fiction equivalent to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.
Phase 2: First Impressions. A book that you got because of its blurb?
Um, every book on my shelves? I’m not kidding. I never decide to read or buy a book solely on its cover. But if a pretty cover comes with a stunning blurb (a.k.a. jacket-copy “summary”), I’m sold. A great example is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The cover caught my eye, but the blurb (which hinted at a young Spanish man who leaves home in search of buried treasure and discovers what’s more meaningful that worldly goods) convinced me that I needed this book in my life. Now I’m grateful I bought The Alchemist that day – because its underlying message still resonates with me today.
Learn more about The Alchemist at Goodreads.
Phase 3: Sweet Talk. A book with great writing?
This was tough, because several books would fit this stage perfectly… But I went with Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The writing in this book is so breathtaking, I can’t describe it without repeating my review word for word. So, I’ll quote what I’d said about Taylor’s writing below:
…[I]t’s pure sorcery. Taylor chooses her words with such precision that… well, it was impossible to believe the story wasn’t real. It made the chimaera’s blend of human and animal aspects terrifyingly beautiful, the chemistry between Karou and Akiva soulful and electric, and their fears and anguishes palpable…. Plus, Taylor wields a heightened vocabulary that I lapped up like nectar. I must have looked up definitions for close to 50 words while reading this book – and I didn’t mind one bit.
Phase 4: First Date. A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?
Another one that I debated for a while. There are SO many amazing first books of a series! I picked Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, though. Not only did I absolutely love this book and it convinced me to read its sequels Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, but I read those sequels only months after finishing the first book. Perhaps reading an entire trilogy in less than a year isn’t a huge feat, but it says a lot about how eager I was to finish it. 🙂
Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls. A book that kept you up all night?
Lots of books. I usually read at night, so chances are a truly unputdownable read will keep me up for a while. Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study is a great example. I took this book with me on a family vacation and finished it in four nights (which is super-fast for me!). In fact, I was so absorbed in Poison Study that even though I had “gone to bed” before the rest of my family, I had stayed up late enough that my mother came in to check on me because she noticed my light was still on. (*blushes*)
Phase 6: Always on My Mind. A book you could not stop thinking about?
I’m afraid of ruining the fun mood of this list with this entry… But when I think of haunting reads, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road always comes up. I don’t really remember why I read The Road; it’s more raw and horrific than what I typically go for. However, the father and son’s southward journey for survival was so riveting that the book was nearly impossible to put down. And that creeping sense of foreboding that death was never far behind… Gosh, it’s no wonder why I’ll never forget this book.
Read more about The Road at Goodreads.
Phase 7: Getting Physical. A book which you love the way it feels?
Well, I love how raised text and artwork on a hardcover book feels… But I also love big, heavy books even though they intimidate the reader in me like crazy. And which book is the biggest, heaviest book I own? The omnibus edition of N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. Three novels + one novella = 1450 pages. In. One. Book. 😮 This is also the book that N.K. Jemisin signed for me at last year’s Writer Digest Conference, so whenever I touch it or look at it, it carries that magical feeling of memory and awe from that day.
Phase 8: Meeting the Parents. A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?
If I love a book, I’ll sing its praises to everyone I know. (OK, maybe not everyone, but to anyone who’s an avid reader.) So, it was tough to choose which book to feature here… But I’m going with Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. The story delivers on the blurb’s promises and offers a moving World War II tale of family, compassion, and lost innocence. Then come the compelling characters, the evocative writing, and the amount of research Doerr must have done to bring setting, history, and important details to life. Basically, All The Light We Cannot See is the kind of book that triumphs in every aspect of novel-writing and storytelling. Anyone who reads historical fiction ravenously or occasionally needs to make time for this book.
Phase 9: Thinking About the Future. A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?
I have so many unread books to tackle that I rarely go back to ones I’ve previously read… But if I had the time? The Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (No, I refuse to decide between them!) Both series are the biggest reasons why I love fantasy literature so much, and my greatest inspirations for writing my own fantasy stories.
Phase 10: Share the Love! Who do you tag?
Everyone! This is an open tag, so feel free to “court” the Book Courtship Tag if you’d like. And if you do, please link back to this post so I can see your picks. 🙂
How about you? Have you read any of the books above? Do any of your favorite reads fit any of the “courtship phases”?