Introduce yourself! What's your favorite fiction book?


(Janelle Ludowise) #1

Welcome to the Riffle Fiction discussion board! Please take a moment to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you and your favorite books.

For authors introducing themselves and their books, we have a special category called "I am an Author"

My name is Janelle Ludowise and I'm the Fiction Category Editor here at Riffle. I live in California and I love filling up my spare time with reading and meeting my friends over a cup of tea to discuss our latest reads. I have always loved reading (especially fiction) from a young age, but I remember the first piece of literary fiction that I really connected with was The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. It made me view literature in a different way and helped inspire me to study English in college! I read widely and indiscriminately, so in addition to some literary fiction I also find genre fiction that I enjoy very much.

How about all of you? What's a book that made you fall in love with fiction?


(Jorie) #2

Hallo, Hallo Ms Ludowise!

I happily read your invite to this new part of Riffle, and I couldn't be happier! Mostly because one of the things I am striving to help encourage are bookish conversations and discussions. Not just on my blog but in other outlets where the bookish like to become socially engaged. One wicked sweet aspect I love of being a Riffler is having a 3-in-1 connection: my bookish blog, Riffle, and Twitter. I hand-selected where I wanted to become active on a regular basis, and these three in particular were a bang-on brilliant fit for me!

I'm Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story , a bookish library girl who by definition believes in being library-educated inasmuch as self-educated through books and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I love dancing through genres as much as I am a hybrid reader - in this vein, I read across mainstream and INSPY (inspirational) markets on a regular basis. I view the whole of literature being an endless sea of exploration and I do not differentiate between the two as they are two equal parts of a whole. Likewise, you will happily see my bookish blog exploring the realms of fiction and non-fiction across all platforms of publication: Major Trade, Indie Press & Pub, Self-Pub, and Hybrid Pub.

I am a champion of wordsmiths and the intricate worlds they build throughout the tangible narrative they fuse to their fictional worlds. I celebrate the joy of being wholly enthused and anchoured into a story I find 'unputdownable' as much as I want to enrich my mind with thought-provoking stories. I appreciate such a diversity in my reading selections it is hard to pin-point my preferences, which is why I oft refer people to my Story Vault.

Which individual book gave me my love affair for fiction!? Now, this is quite the question and I am unsure if I can answer it, as reading was a very arduous and hard road for me as I'm a dyslexic reader and writer. I fought to understand language both spoken and written, which is why my earliest memories of reading are equal to a heap of strife. I started to find my own rhythm with reading in elementary school, by the fourth grade to be honest, when my teacher went out of his way to inspire a disillusioned student who was losing the joy of learning. I can say the book which I never finished is most likely the very book which took me from a frustrated dyslexic to a lifelong appreciator of reading is none other than Robinson Crusoe!

As far as being passionately enthused with reading, I re-fall in love with reading each time I pick up a novel wherein the writer has me anchoured so wholly true inside their own narrative prose to where I cannot even notice the turning of time within my own environ. Hours will melt off the clock as I live the experience of the characters inside a story where I have found parts of my own spirit are etched inside the character's heart. This is why I love stories, they evoke such a powerful experience for the reader as if we have honestly lived the life we're devouring off the written page!


(Becky LeJeune) #3

Hi, there. I'm Becky of No More Grumpy Bookseller and I'm a total book junkie. I have been since the second grade in fact.

The book that kicked off my love affair with reading is a bit embarrassing but it was one of the Jeffrey and the Third Grade Ghost books. My parents really tried to instill a love of reading in me but until this one I just wasn't having it. I was seven! This was not only the first book I really liked, it was my first horror read smile

I've branched out since then and developed a very eclectic taste in reading but I will admit that for the first few years of my reading journey I was pretty strictly a horror reader.


(Murielle Cyr) #5

Hi,
I'm Murielle Cyr, and I'm so glad to see so many readers. Reading was my lifeline when I was growing up. I grew up on Nancy Drew books. Historical fiction became my passion in high school.I read anything in sight, actually, even the cereal boxes at breakfast before the schoolbus rumbled into the driveway. The novel taht I found powerful as a young adult was Collen McCullough's, THORN BIRDS. It changed my whole worldview and gave me a deeper insight on the role of women in society. All that reading inspired me to write my own stories which I hope one day will touch someone's life. Happy reading!


(Jennifer D.) #6

Hi Janelle.

Thank you for the invitation to Riffle discussions. I hope things go well and that it will be a great new feature for the Riffle community.

I live in Toronto, and spend a lot of time working in the book world, which is awesome! I love reading and have been a diehard bookworm since I was quite young. I also enjoy talking about books with people, and moderate a few online book groups. I am pretty introverted, but I am not shy. I have found comfortable common ground with others who understand the bookish love - it's so nice to have a shared passion like reading to talk about, and there's pretty much a book for any situation or mood.

While I dabble in reading many genres, I am most often reading literary fiction, classic fiction, and nonfiction. It's fairly impossible for me to name only one favourite work of fiction, though. I have so many books that are dear to me for various reasons. I guess what I will do instead, is mention a book that is one of my favourite works of contemporary Canadian literature: Galore, by Michael Crummey. This is such a wonderful historical family, saga set in Newfoundland, with just a little bit of magical realism thrown in to add to the evocative mood. It's so wonderful!

I am looking forward to getting to know some new book friends here in the discussion forums.

Happy reading, everyone!


(Janelle Ludowise) #7

Hi there, Jorie!

I'm so glad you're excited about Riffle Discussions! We're all looking forward to hearing from all of you Rifflers too! It's great to finally have a space to really talk it out and discuss our favorite things about reading, as well as getting to know all of you!

I understand what you mean! While I love all things fiction, it's hard to say what my favorite is within that. I read literary fiction, new and old, as well as some classics, and also some genre fiction. It's difficult to pick a favorite!

What an interesting story for how you became a reader! I love that you were able to overcome your frustrations with it as a child and become the avid reader you are today! smile I actually haven't ever read Robinson Crusoe. I'm glad it gave you your joy for reading though!

I'm so glad to have you on Riffle and Riffle Discussions! Welcome!


(Janelle Ludowise) #8

Hi Becky!

You know, you never know what book is going to get kids hooked. It's just a matter of finding the right one and allowing them to explore all the options! When I was little, I was in love with The Boxcar Children books. I'm not sure what the first book that made me fall in love with reading was, but that was definitely my first favorite series.

Welcome to Riffle Discussions! I look forward to hearing from you more and getting to know you better! smile


(Janelle Ludowise) #9

Hi Murielle!

I just picked up a copy of McCullough's The Thorn Birds a little while ago! I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but I've heard nothing but great things about it. One of my best friends recommended that I read it recently too. I'll have to bump it up on my "to read" list!

Thanks for joining our discussion page! I look forward to hearing more from you as we get discussions going!


(Janelle Ludowise) #10

Hi there Dawson!

Welcome to the discussion board! So happy to have you! smile

I know what you mean about picking a favorite! It's impossible for me! It really depends on what mood I'm in, what I've read lately, what author I'm enjoying at the moment...so instead I just have several that I know are on my favorites list.

I haven't heard of Galore before. Though I do love historical family sagas! I'll have to add it to my "to read" list.


(Rachel Cordasco) #11

THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN by Thomas Mann. Spectacular, brilliant...words cannot explain.


(Jorie) #12

Hallo, again, Ms Ludowise!!

Thank you for knowing how hard it is to pick a certain book or a particular branch of literature! I love so much of it, I even find myself having difficulty participating in the Top Ten Tuesdays which the book blogosphere loves to host weekly! Literary Fiction is one of my own top favourites because like Classical Lit it pushes you outside the cosy comforts of your regular haunts. It delves into fractures of literature where everything and anything can become explored on a deeper level of intensity.

I credit my love of learning to my Mum but my love of reading to my teacher, because he kept trying to get me to see outside the frustrations and find even a small measure of joy in the written word. I started off quite small -- the Sunday Comics and then, on my own I opened up Robinson Crusoe and found my first novel I could not finish. To me it felt like a failure (forgot to mention this part!), but my teacher had another lesson to teach me: curiosity for stories is never a failure, the only time we fail is when we stop trying to learn.

I sometimes look back on my path towards being a reader and a writer, quite amazed at what I've achieved. If I can encourage a reader to find a story that interests them that is one level of joy, but part of me hopes to encourage dyslexics to know even when you have severe dyslexia like I do (although I've overcompensated for most of it), you can achieve far more than you ever felt you could.


(Jorie) #13

Hallo, Hallo Ms LeJeune,

Ooh, I had a feeling No More Grumpy Bookseller was a blog! It's so hard to know when we're sharing links on here as they are not underlined/highlighted as links! I'm so thankful I thought to click on this tonight! Especially since it's nice to see another book blogger using Riffle's Lists to create their Top Ten Tuesdays! I did this myself one time, and had meant to keep it up -- only I have the hardest time sorting out which '10' books to select per question asked! lol

We both host for TLC too, how lovely!? Small world, eh!?

I love hearing your reading past -- how a ghost book turnt the scale of interest and gave you the foundation you needed. Nothing to be embarrassed by there! After all, it took me longer than you to become magnetised in curiosity for books due to all the issues I had in learning how to read. I think instead of feeling ashamed you should feel wicked happy it was a ghost story that gave you that first spark of joy? We all love different genres and thematic -- why not be proud of our histories? Reading is reading!

I'm just outside the Horror genre on the fringes with a curiosity piqued for "Cosy Horror", which I blog about time to time. It's basically referencing my love of psychological suspense rooted in Gothic Lit or Southern Gothic stories. You rock whichever genre you love and own your roots!

ps: I have a personal weakness for 'ghost stories' myself! blush


(Jorie) #14

Hallo, Hallo Ms Cyr,

The Thorn Birds is definitely on my TBR! smiley I grew up hearing about this book from my Mum and it wasn't until I started to find Ms McCullough's writings myself that I started to find the connection between who she was to the both of us! I haven't yet read her books (my selection was to read "The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet" & "Bittersweet") but I know at some point I must!

I LOVED Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys! I've started to learn about other sleuths I hadn't discovered when I was younger and I want to pick up the books as an adult. I find mysteries to be one of my favourites to read (next to historical fiction), as I love the sleuthing bits -- to see how the characters root out the puzzles and connect the threads which suspend them from knowing who did what and why?

The book which changed my impression on women in society was "Rivington Street" by Meredith Tax. Talk about a full-on narrative on the history of women's studies as related to factory workers and the landmark fire which changed the shirtwaist industry overnight.

Congratulations on being a fellow writer! Stories have a way of empowering us, do they not?!


(Jorie) #15

Hallo, Hallo Ms Oakes,

It is nice getting the chance to interact with other Rifflers in this new format which allows for conversations to occur organically. I agree with you about how I am hopeful this new feature will bring all of us together in a new way of having community connections!

It is lovely you offered a book recommendation for Canadian Lit because I am participating in the Canadian Lit Bingo Reading Challenge this year via @RandomHouseCA! smile I started working on my post two months ago, but tech woes in Feb derailed a lot of my plans, so I'm re-grouping this month instead. The benefit for me is seeking out the stories of my Northern neighbour, a country of whom I have appreciated from afar but have rarely read! frowning Sadly, this is true! I have watched more Canadian tv series or films, rooted for your Olympian athletes or fallen in love with your singer-songwriters, but when it comes to novels? I am falling quite short!

The book you've highlighted perked an interest for me because two of my favourite loves are Historical Fiction (and) Magical Realism! I had just spoken about how I fell in love with Magical Realism earlier today on the Science Fiction thread! I had no idea it was even catagorised as SF! Here I was placing it under my Literary Fiction section in my Story Vault without realising it was misfiled? Who knew!?

I will definitely make a note to see if I can borrow Galore via my local library!


(Janelle Ludowise) #16

Welcome to Riffle Discussions, Rachel! It's great to meet you.

I haven't read The Magic Mountain. It seems interesting! Thanks for sharing!


(Heather) #17

I read widely and indiscriminately

I love that phrase. I'm the same. Despite the fact that I mostly read fiction (classics and crime novels), I'll read anything. In fact, my love of reading is part of what brought me to law school.

I don't remember which book that made me fall in love with fiction, but the first one that comes to mind is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.


(Murielle Cyr) #18

You've inspired me to look up RIVINGTON STREET. That's what's great about this kind of sharing. If you know a book has effected someone in a good way, you definitely want some of that balm too. You're dead on about the power of a good book, it can be life-changing.


(Jennifer D.) #19

Thanks, Janelle!!

I am also very much a 'mood reader'. I do have a good list of favourite reads... but I find it so hard to single out one book, because my answer to that question will change, depending on the day. In trying to answer your question, I kept staring at my bookshelf, wondering which book I would pull if I had to get out of my house quickly and could only bring one. Apparently my best hope is to never get in that situation, else calamity will befall me, as I stand there pondering. Oops!! smile

I hope Galore will be a great read for you. I don't reread very often, and it is one I have gone backk to 4 times now. It just carries me away each time. (Not to over-hype it or anything...)


(Jennifer D.) #20

Hi Jorie! I am so glad my book recommendation helped you -- even better: Random House Canada was the publisher of Galore. You should get a bonus square for that. Haha! I also have their bingo card printed out, but I have been terrible about tracking it. The magical realism in Michael Crummey's novel is not quite as hardcore as, say, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But Crummey is definitely influenced by MR authors. I love the way he weaves the possibilities into his stories. I think there is something about the lore and myths of Newfoundland that lend themselves very well to magical realism treatments in fiction. I personally don't categorize magical realism in the SF/fantasy realm, though I know it is considered a subcategory, and many people do approach it that way. I use it as a subcategory within literary fiction. I guess we all develop our own feel or preference for classifying and shelving our books. smile


(Jennifer D.) #21

Hi Murielle! Last Fall, I was talking to my mum about rereading Colleen McCullough. I just adored her books when I was in my teens and early 20s - The Thorn Birds was definitely a favourite! When I heard the news about McCullough's death, well, it was so sad!! I hope to spend some time with her writing this year, which will now serve as a tribute to her, I suppose. I am glad to hear she was such an inspiration to you!