September 24, 2015

What Do You Think: What Makes a Book Memorable?

Question: What makes a book memorable?

What I Think: My answer is three-fold.

1) I think a book that takes me out of my world and places me into another.  If I forget I am reading a book, I find the book is easily remembered.  Whether it is a true fantasy environment, as in Harry Potter, a futuristic Earth, as in The Hunger Games, a historical setting, as in Jane by Robin Maxwell or The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose, or, though less likely for me, even a contemporary setting a time or two, as in Invisible City by Julia Dahl.

2) Another reason a book can be truly memorable to me is if it evokes strong emotions from me and/or communicates a strong message.  The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 1984 by George Orwell, To This Day by Shane Koyczan, Sold by Patricia McCormick, and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini are all good examples.

3) The last reason is memorable characters: characters I want to be best friends with, characters who I find intriguing and mysterious, characters who anger me, characters who I feel sympathy for, characters who make me laugh a lot.  Good examples are My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (how can I forget those girls!), The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran (both setting and characters apply here), The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie, Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (I identified with her strongly), The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, and Meant to Be by Tiffany King.

What do  YOU  think?  What makes a book memorable for you?

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