Booking Through Thursday: Stories

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If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?


Yes, yes, YES!! The story is the thing! Give me a good story and I will follow you anywhere.

Storytelling is so basic to who we are as humans. Our family stories and cultural stories are passed down through parents and grandparents, teachers and leaders. It’s how we teach, entertain, and inform our young children- at bedtime, around campfires, at the dinner table. Kids love a good story; they lap it up like ice cream melting on a hot day, and some of us never grow out of that desire to know- what happens next?

Characters are important, of course, but you can take the most interesting character, plop him into a book, and give him nothing to do, and what have you got? A boring book with an interesting character. Or you can have an average Joe character, plunk him down into an action-packed adventure- and voila! You’ve got a page-turner. Of course if you can get BOTH- the interesting character AND the great story- well, that’s what all of us readers are looking for, right? But first and foremost is the story.

I want the great story. I want to be propelled forward with a need to know how things will all turn out. I want to be so sucked into the story that I forget what’s going on around me. I want to laugh, cry, be surprised. I want to be entertained. I want to care. A great story does that.

Here are some recent stories that did all that for me:

Sweetsmoke, The Last Queen, House and Home, The Septembers of Shiraz

12 Responses

  1. I loved THE LAST QUEEN, I’m dying to read SWEETSMOKE, and I’ve looked at SHIRAZ a million times in the bookstore. Good to know I’m on the right track!! 🙂

    Have a great day!

  2. I agree, and thanks for the book suggestions.

  3. I agree with you! I like your list of books, too.

    Also, I’m tagging you for a meme! Stop by and join in the fun 🙂

  4. Ha! We have the same blog template! 🙂

    There’s time for everything. I always select ooks with engaging plots when I go on a trip. Narrators can be unreliable but the characters have to be believable. There is a difference. But I also like to savor books that are metaphoric and symbolic, with multiple layers. That’s what literary fiction is for, to remind us the elegance of prose and style.

  5. I totally agree about the good story. Thanks for the book suggestions!

  6. Sweetsmoke–some of my book club members have been raved about this book…I added it to my to purchase/read list.

  7. Aaaaaaaaaaaggghhh! There are too many books I want to read, including The Last Queen.

  8. Yes, of course a good story is required. But don’t you think it’s basically an entry level sort of thing. Good stories just aren’t that hard to come by. I find I want a bit more than just a good story.

  9. i’m definitely with you on the “gotta have a good story.” i’ve read some so-so writing because i loved the story and wanted to know what happened next, as well as NOT finished books that were well written, style-wise, but didn’t capture my interest. 😉

  10. I totally agree on having to have a good story-Sweetsmoke and Septembers of Shiraz were definitely must reads with a great story.

  11. Give me a good story, I will read it. Give me a travelogue, I will read it too. I love historical books too. And books on anything!



    Booking through stories

  12. I’m with you… I love a good story. I love stories where I get so caught up in the action that I have to hold myself back from reading the last chapter first because I just have to know how it all turns out. I love stories where the characters feel like old friends by the end of it and I’m laughing and crying right along with them. And I love stories like The Pink Forest that are, for me, journeys of self discovery where I stretch my own boundaries in the reading of them.

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