Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The X Factor

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books - even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome. ~William Ewart Gladstone

What "grabs" you about a book? What makes a book the kind of story you can't put down? Can't stop thinking about when you have to close it?

That's something that I've been wondering about for myself lately. I've been trying, and failing, to find new books that interest me. I've picked up dozens, opened and started to read only to lose interest quickly and put them away. One I tried is by an author I usually love and I know why I stopped reading this one: the story starts with the H/H in love and then the hero discovers that the heroine has lied to him about something.

I know they're going to find their way back to trusting each other again, but that isn't the point. Oddly, I wouldn't mind having them at odds in the beginning if they weren't ALREADY in love. It's the destruction of their relationship I can't stand to watch. I'm not sure what to do about this book because it's part of a series, and I feel as though I need to read it. I guess I'll just have to wait until I can handle the sadness I'll feel.

But the other books? I'm not sure why I haven't been able to read them. It's been discouraging, and I finally started hitting my 'keeper' shelf instead.

Yesterday, though, I got an ARC for the LASR site. I usually pass them on to my reviewers, but this was from a very well known author I've never read before, and the review is actually due ASAP, so I thought I'd give it a try. I wasn't that hopeful, to be honest, since I'm apparently in a reading slump, but I figured it wouldn't cost anything if I hated it.

I didn't. I loved it. I didn't want to stop reading even when I was completely exhausted. I'm not sure what grabbed me, though. It didn't start with a huge bang, though it is a suspense book. But whatever it was... I wish I could bottle it.

I'm not teasing you when I say I can't tell you what book it is -- since I'm going to review it for the site, and I HAVE to stay anonymous, I can't share. But assuming the book continues as it starts, I know now why the author is so popular.

What do YOU think gives a book that "X" Factor? What pulls it from just okay to amazing?

What books can you recommend to me that you think have that? Because I'd sure love to populate my Nook with some great books.


You Get Your Point Across by Thinking

To the outside world, you seem to move at a snail's pace. You contemplate everything.

You are detail oriented, and you take things one step at a time. You are very accurate.

You tend to formulate ideas and make decisions alone. Once you're done, you're ready to talk to others.

You work best alone and at your own pace. You have a quiet and low key way about you.

About 75% right.



Angelina Rain said...

I go through reading slumps sometimes. When that happens, I stop reading for a couple of weeks. Then when I start reading again, it’s like rediscovering the passion for great storytelling.

What grabs me is a good hook, cliffhangers, emotional reads, and stories that make me think. I HATE overly descriptive works or too much back story. I enjoy it when the author drops little hints of the past to the reader, or when there are flashbacks throughout the story.

Two of my favorite books (Envy by Sandra Brown and The Witness by Sandra Brown) have a main plot, and then a sub-plot that’s in the form of flashbacks. Those flashbacks reveal a lot about the character’s personality as well as give you another great story. Both books are like reading two stories at once.

Brandy said...

Hmm, what hooks me as a reader? The characters. I will say the plot has a lot to do with it, but if I don't like the characters I can easily put the book down and not pick it back up again. I gave up on a series recently because of the characters lack of growth.

I'm not sure about what books to recommend! Although for a light-hearted, fun read you might like Gini Koch's Alien series. *g*

I hope you have a fabulous day!

Maria Zannini said...

If I knew, I'd bottle it. LOL.

For me as a reader, it's empathy. If the author can make me feel what the H/H feels I'll follow her anywhere to see how the story ends.

Dru said...

If I become a part of the story..the author has done a good job.