Another thing that gives me great pleasure (besides fantasizing about banging Robert Pattinson/Edward Cullen) is discovering new...well, everything from you guys, and sharing some of my own loves. It's a blast to discuss music, movies, and other non-Twilighty shizzle with you, even if we don't always agree. I've fallen in love with some fantastic fan fictions thanks to you ladies.
Therefore, I think we're a bit overdue for a few recommendations of the non-Twilighty kind. Lately, I've been really enveloped in music but I've finally managed to sit down read a few books I thought you would enjoy.
The first is actually much closer to the Twilight community than you might realize. It's a little indie fiction called lost and found, written by one of our very own readers, Lori Otto, aka Annasense.
When Nate Wilson confesses his feelings for his best friend, Emi Hennigan, she is torn between her constant– yet fruitless– search for love at first sight and the more-than-friendly feelings she actually does have for Nate. As the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi. (Taken from here)The one thing I loved about this story was just how real the main characters were. They had flaws, but not so much that it was their main personality trait. They were down to earth, though occasionally irrational. In short, they sounded actually human--sometimes funny and sarcastic, other times sober and somber. I found this intensely refreshing.
The story itself had a nice rhythm and flow, with just enough pull to keep me constantly wanting to know what happens next, and I really enjoyed reading it.
If you're interested, feel free to check it out here. Even better, Lori has offered up her story to be downloaded for no charge until May 14, 2011!
To purchase, simply go here and enter the code PP65R upon checkout. Not only will you get a great story, but you'll be helping out an indie author as well.
This next book I completely stumbled upon. NJ Transit was busy being a total douche-bag as usual so I slipped into the Hudson News Stand to buy something that would hopefully deter me from strangling my fellow commuters.
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan is one story comprised of many smaller stories. It opens with a tale about Sasha, the kleptomaniac personal assistant of Bennie Salazer, a record producer who sprinkles gold flakes into his morning coffee. Each character is somehow interwoven with another and their stories stretch over a series of decades.
Naturally, the first thing that drew me to the novel was that most of the stories seemed to revolve around the music industry:
(Quote from this interview)
I think, for one thing, all of us remember those teenage years and those songs that we fell in love with and the music scene that we were part of. So, in a certain way, music cuts through time like almost nothing else. You know, it makes us feel like we're back in an earlier moment.Even if you're not particularly interested in music or the industry, you'll find something to love about this book. While the characters aren't necessarily likable, there is a sort of vulnerability about all of them that makes you want to like them. The characters seemed to spin in and out of each other's stories and lives, some integrally while others were more peripheral. At first it was a little confusing--as Egan flitted from character to character and seemed to move through decades at a whim--but it became completely clear what she's trying to say soon enough. Which is, to put it simply, that we all move on and change and ultimately grow old. No matter what, whether we want to or not.
And then I think, on the other side, the music industry is an interesting lens through which to look at change, because it has had such a difficult time adjusting to the digital age.
Anyway, there you have it. If you get a chance to read these books, it'd be great to know what you thought. Feel free to leave your thoughts or any other recommendations in the comments!