Monday, March 19, 2007

Ten Books I couldn't live without

This is a really tough topic... Seriously. Perhaps I could live without reading the following books, but if I got to choose, I would rather not :P They are in no particular order and mostly are from my favorite authors. They're also, almost all exclusively romances :P Hey, can't help it since that's almost exclusively what I read :P So here we go!

1. Pearl Moon by Katherine Stone - this book is by far my favorite book by Ms. Stone. I don't know, perhaps it's the setting, I'm in love with Hong Kong, but even more, I love the characters... Especially Maylene. I guess I've always had a weakness for those tough characters on the outside, but all soft and vulnerable on the inside. In addition, I love the parents' love story. This is the book that made me discover Ms. Stone and seriously, I love it :)

2. The FBI SCU series by Kay Hooper - this series come in trilogies. So far, there are 3 trilogies: Shadows, Evil and Fear. The first book of the fourth trilogy is coming out this summer, in July, and I'm really excited about it :) What I like about this series is hmm, the mystery aspect. This was the first series that got me into all that FBI stuff. Also, I like how Ms. Hooper incorporated the psychic elements - not magic, but science. I think that all the theories are very interesting. Another thing I like is the fact that although these are a series and trilogies, each book focuses on one agent and a case. Thus, although there are connections between books and characters, it can still be read as stand-alone. Some series are better if they're continuous, others if they're completely separated. If I had to choose one book of the whole series, I would probably go with either Out of the Shadows, Touching Evil or Hunting Fear.

3. Getting rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie - seriously, what would be life without Ms. Crusie? A lot more boring and not as much laughs! I love her books, ,they are simply just so funny! I'm anxiously awaiting her next solo book. Anyway, I love, love, love Getting rid of Bradley... probably because the main character grows a backbone... I don't think she was a TSTL, but she started out as a shy, intimidated, undecided person and became someone I'd like to be. Also loves the hero :D He's just so cute and sexy. Love the dogs as well :P

4. The Chesapeake Quartet by Nora Roberts - I love, love this series :D I guess these are the books that sealed my undying love for Ms. Roberts. The focus of these books are relationships and it's wonderful to see how it unfolds. I like the brotherhood feeling, but also the trust that develops between Seth and his older brothers.

5. Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong - Wonderful paranormal series in my opinion. Not only the characters are interesting, but the world building. Ms. Armstrong was able to create a world, although not unique, different enough from the rest. I really like her characters and how the story has gone so far. If I had to choose one book, it'd be Industrial Magic because that's the book where most characters come together.

6. Through a Crimson Veil by Patti O'Shea - seriously, this book comes as a surprise. What I like about this book is Ms. O'Shea's writing style. I guess it's because if I could write, I'd want to write like her. Kick-butt, but passionate heroine with scuffy, protective, possessive male. To protect each other, both characters never hesitate... My only regret is that Ms. O'Shea doesn't have an extensive backlist and actually, few stand-alone books.

7. The Perfect Lie by Dinah McCall - what can I say, I've talked and raved about this author a lot... it's just that her style fits my taste :D I like how she tells her story and I love the characters in this one. A father who would do anything to save his son - although he didn't knowhe had one, a woman who's been in love with the same man for years and years and who has stand on his side no matter what and a son who meets his father for the first time. Seriously, this book was great :D

8. Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard - Don't ask me why... a lot of ppl are put off by the incestuous relationships in this book, but surprisingly, I don't mind. I'm even rooting for Roanna and Webb. I guess I have something for emotional damaged heroines... they just go straight to my heart. The special thing about this book is while I was reading it, my heart actually ached for Roanna...

9. Study trilogy by Maria V. Snyder - Yeah, I know, the trilogy is not even over ^^; What can I say, it's soooo good! This is the kind of adventure/fantasy story I like :D Love Yelena, love Valek... love everything. Need I say more? There's also a very interesting intrigue in this... not just your typical love story.

10. Night Whispers by Judith McNaught - one of the first book I've read when I started reading in English and just fell in love with it :D I also read Until You, both in French and English, and it was also excellent. These two books are what made me fall in love with Ms. McNaught and why, no matter what she writes or which direction Ms. McNaught takes, she'll forever be on my autobuy list.

*** This is the author that I couldn't live without: Jin Yong, also known as Louis Cha. Mr. Cha is a Hong Kong author who has written 14 kung fu novels which have almost all been adapted on TV several times. His best known works are probably his Condor Heroes saga, as well as Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils and The Proud, Smiling Wanderer. If I would have never watched the TV series and read his novels, I wouldn't be the same person. That's how big an impact his books had on my life.

Of course, there's a lot more books I'd like to add to the list, but if I had to choose 10... that would be it :D I guess that after seeing my list, many think I have peculiar tastes :D They would agree with me for the authors, but perhaps not the book :P What can I say? I never used to think too much when I was reading and analyze things till I started reviewing. What I like about these books is how they make me feel - very good :D

*** ETA: this is like so forgetful of me! This meme was started by Kailana! If you want to know what are the ten books others can't live without, see here! Also, what are the 10 books you can't live without?


  1. I have Kay Hooper in the TBR pile I think, as well as the Roberts books but I know for sure I bought the Born In series by her - haven't read them yet obviously so some great books ahead of me!

    Dang, I think the cover of Through a Crimson Veil has kept me from buying it. I think I also get her confused with Susan Grant who is a huge no-no for me. Bad brain.


  2. Whoa, great thread! I always love reading other people's top 10s- so I can glom of course!

  3. My problem with doing a top 10 list is being influenced by what I've read on other people's list. I have a tendency to think, "oh yeah, that was a good one...oh that one too!

    You have a great list. I think SHADES OF TWILIGHT is my favorite Linda Howard, but then I remember Mackenzie's Mountain...

    I'm also a fan of the Kay Hooper series for the same reasons you stated.

    Ditto NR's Chesapeake series.

    See what I mean?

  4. I haven't read any of those. I wrote some of them down, I will look for them.

  5. I don't know how to select just Ten Books out of the hundreds that I like. Mostly, it's the books that I'm reading at the moment that really captures my soul.

    Speaking of Jin Yong, I'm having trouble reading his novels now. Maybe because I'm really, really trying to get away from his brand of wuxia for a while and try out other writers that I've always wanted to read - like Wen Rui-An ("Face To Fate") and my latest discovery, Cang Yue (just posted an entry about her). But of course, there's no denying the amount of influence JY novels had on both our lives - truth be told, we wouldn't even have become friends if not for our common love for the old master's stories! :)

  6. Cindy - I think that you definitively should try Kay Hooper, especially if you've been tired of the usual romance :) As for Roberts, the Born series isn't my favorites. I think that The Chesapeake quartet was much better :D and main characters are males also :D

    You should definitively try Through a Crimson Veil, I think that I carried that book with me for two months afterwards, just so I could re-read it :D She's really good... and the cover isn't that bad. and yes, perhaps you're mistaking Patti O'Shea with Susan Grant, who's a big no-no for me too :P Definitively give Through A Crimson Veil a try and it stands alone very well in the series.

    Zeek - you should do it too! Kailana's been looking for ppl to do it :P I'm curious to see what is yours top 10. by the way, what do yo mean by glom?

    Rosie - LOL :) it's true that when you read others' top 10, you're like: how could I forget this one? and Oh yeah! Anyway, this is just for fun :P it's not as if we're asking you to cut down your books to ten, so no harm if you leave out some books :P you can always have "honorable mention" :P And yeah! a fellow fan of Kay Hooper!!! I think the Chesapeake trilogy was Nora Roberts' best trilogy out there :P

    Chantal - definitively :D and let me know if you liked them or not :D
    by the way, for Kay Hooper, the first two Stealing Shadows and Hiding in the Shadows are not necessary reads to understand the series... they're more like to set the tone, but don't need to read... I think that out of all the books Ms. Hooper wrote for the series, Hiding in the Shadows was her weakest.

    Edmund - I think we're doing an overdose of JY... we spend so many years just reading and re-reading his works :D and yeah, if not for him, we wouldn't have become friends... so he's a big, big, big influence. By the way, I got your CD yesterday! and I'm still waiting my email reply!

  7. I like how you snuck those series in there instead of choosing individual books. ;)

    I also love the Chesapeake Bay series and Women of the Underworld. I still need to try Kay Hooper and Patti O'Shea. And Pearl Moon sounds interesting--I don't think I've ever read a romance set in Hong Kong.

  8. Hi Nath,

    So relieved that the CD reached you safely. You like it? :)

    Will reply your mail after this weekend once Simon and Melvin goes home! Then I'll have lots to tell you...

  9. Glom for me means "suck up and take for myself" sorta like copycat!

    I'm thinking about it- it's tough to limit it to top 10!!

  10. I love Katherine Stone. I enjoyed Pearl Moon, but Happy Endings is by far my favorite. Great book.

    I have Kay Hooper TBR, but all the others you listed? Yep, right there with you. OH, except Kelley Armstrong. I've got some of hers TBR, too, but haven't had a chance to read them yet.

  11. Hi Natty!!! Just stopping by to say hi. Bad me and my lack of bloghopping but I do think about you all the time! Well, I was watching Paris By Night the other day so yeah. ^_^

    Man I love those PBN videos!

  12. Jennie - i did not cheat :D apparently, that's how it was done in the original meme and I just followed suite :)I'm glad you liked the Chesapeake series as well as the Women of the Otherworld :D Definitively try Kay Hooper, I think you would like it :D I hope you try Pearl Moon and you like it :D

    Edmund - all right, will be waiting for your reply :D Glad the CD arrived as well :) already listened to it many times :)

    Zeek - oh, so that what it means :D Then by all mean, "glom"... I thought "glom" would be something like collect book recommendation :P and I'm heading over to see what's your list :D

    Holly - Hi there! I saw your review of Pearl Moon and I was sad you didn't enjoy it as much :( I like Happy Endings too :) that would probably my other favorite :P I like Katherine Stone, she has a very particular style I think... all soft and flowy. I hope you get to read Kay Hooper and Kelley Armstrong soon!

    Mailyn - hey girl!!! been such a long time! LOL, I'm supposed to go by Paris by Night for my mom tomorrow! glad you enjoyed it!ww.nat

  13. I agree with SHADES OF TWILIGHT. I loved counting each time Roanna's smiles then Web and her grandmother would be so happy. I think I love the tormented heroine also.

    Of course, I love nearly all of Howard's books - her early ones the best: DREAM MAN, SARAH'S CHILD, DUNCAN'S BRIDE, SON OF THE MORNING, and Wolf's family.

  14. Love LOVE LOVE the Quinn Brothers series...those are the bombs!