Making the rounds of many of the blogs I read is something called The 30 day book challenge, which was a list posted on a Tumblr blog that lists many such challenges. The list apparently was posted three years ago, so as the original 30 days has long since passed so there’s no need to do one per day as the list suggests and I’ll answer them in groups of ten. Because the questions were supposed to be answered over a whole month there are some that are just reworded duplicates, so I may sneak in different answers to see if anyone is paying attention.
In case you missed it, part one can be found right here.
A book you hated
The only book I’ve ever given one star to on Goodreads, and the one that I can legitimately say I absolutely hate, is The Ezekiel Option by Joel C. Rosenberg (not to be confused with Joel Rosenberg, who wrote the “Guardians of the Flame” series). His first two books, The Last Jihad and The Last Days were pretty good books. I have no idea what happened but in the last 40ish pages of The Ezekiel Option Rosenberg absolutely lost his mind. I haven’t been tempted to read another book of his since.
A book you used to love but don’t anymore
When I was a kid I loved “The Hardy Boys” series, so I guess that would kind of qualify for this. As for books that I’ve read in the last 30 years or so I can’t think of one I loved but then for whatever reason didn’t love anymore. There are books I’ve read from authors I no longer support (maybe more on that at a later time), but I just can’t put my finger on any book that fits here.
Your favorite writer
It would be hard to narrow this list to five, never mind one. And I’m sure if I were asked tomorrow I might give a different answer. But for today I’m going to go with Tom Clancy. He’s one on the short list of authors whose books I buy in hardcover, and the only one where I make my schedule around the day his book is released so I can get it first thing in the morning. Clancy is the one I judge all action/thriller writers against.
Favorite book of your favorite writer
Clancy is most famous for his Jack Ryan books, but for me my favorite Clancy book is Red Storm Rising. There are lots of NATO vs Warsaw Pact novels out there, but Clancy’s is miles better than them all. It was also the first Clancy novel I ever read, so that may play into it too.
Favorite male character
Without a doubt it’s Robert B. Parker’s main hero Spenser. In a world where writers make their protagonists out to be larger than life superheroes Parker made Spenser a regular, hard working guy just trying to do the right thing. He’s also an incredible smartass, which is something I enjoy immensely. With Parker’s passing I’m hoping Ace Atkins, who has taken over the series, continues to keep Spenser as he is and not turn him into a caricature.
Favorite female character
In a tight battle between Kinsey Milhone from Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet” series and Phèdre nò Delaunay de Montrève from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Universe it’s Phèdre in a recount. I had originally written the reasons why Phèdre wins, but it’s really a long list of spoilers for the whole series. Read the books and you’ll learn why she’s my favorite female character.
Favorite quote from your favorite book
“Truly, it is in loss that we learn a thing’s true value.”. From Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey.
A book that disappointed you
Victory and Honor, the sixth book in W.E.B. Griffin’s “Honor Bound” series. It read like half a book, and jumped ahead so far in the World War Two timeline it was as if a whole book was missing from the series. The series was on a roll and was heading for what should have been many great stories in the last couple years of the war, but instead Griffin (and his co-writing son William E. Butterworth IV) inexplicably jumped to the end of the war and wrote a novel that was only about one-third new material. The next book in the series, Empire and Honor, comes out in paperback on New year’s Eve and will need to be an incredible book to make up for how poorly Victory and Honor was executed.
Favorite book turned into a movie
There’s really a lot. The “Lord of the Rings” books by J. R. R. Tolkien would be right up there. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card would be another. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly is an addition to the list. If we include graphic novels Alan Moore’s Watchmen makes the cut. Then there’s all the Clancy novels made into movies. This is one of those where you ask me today you get one answer and if you ask tomorrow you might get another.
Favorite romance book
I would rather read the phone book than read a romance novel.
The final ten will be up soon, so stay tuned…