Nov. 9th, 2008

laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
Which books do you read for comfort? These are not necessarily your favorite books (although they are probably among them), but ones you pick up when you don't know what else to do. When you feel like reading, but don't feel like reading something new. When you feel lonely and want to feel something familiar, without having to bring the awkwardness of another person into the equation. They're the books you've had for years which you will never disavow.

Mine are:
The Bible (especially Job, Ecclesiastes, James)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Sailor Moon series by Naoko Takeuchi
"Evangeline" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Which things do you love in storytelling? I was reading the comments to this post by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, and started formulating a list of my own, which is by no means complete. But maybe it will be interesting to the audience!

Cross-dressing
Men with glasses
Building of families that aren't romantic or blood-related
Wordplay
Hidden weapons
Competent characters
Loyalty
Forests
Geeks with social skills
Dogs, wolves
Gunfights (I get bored with descriptions of swordplay. I just want a fucker to get stabbed. But with guns, I appreciate long-distance capabilities, etc.)
Flashbacks
Collared shirts
Confidence
Moral ambiguity
Blurred lines of sanity/insanity
Metanarrative
Thieves with their own code of honor
Double-crosses and betrayals
Unrequited love
Girls who are allowed by the writer/etc. to get angry
People who are good at lying/adapting facades (Veronica Mars, Burn Notice)
Questioning authority (The Golden Compass, Harry Potter)
Freedom fighters/revolutionaries (Westmark, Les Miserables)
Placing other duties/obligations before romantic ones
Dresses/dress clothing with pockets
History being misremembered, the story explains what actually happened [or the characters find out and are all WTF] (Final Fantasy Tactics)
School uniforms

Psychological fuckery: nice people brought to their breaking points, character growth

Stories that explain the aftermath of an "ending" that's already happened. I am especially attracted to post-apocalyptic societies

Characters actually dealing with the aftermath of things often used as plot devices that really suck (death, esp. suicide; mental illness; broken relationships, etc.)

Someone doing the wrong thing for the greater good, and understanding the sacrifice they're making (Wesley in S3 Angel)

Futile choices: Person will never love you back, you will never win the fight, but you lay it all down anyway

Consistency in character. An asshole is always an asshole, even if he falls in love (Logan Echolls) [I do appreciate believable character growth too, though, i.e. Wesley Wyndam-Prce.]

Political intrigue: nothing is as it seems
Subcultures

Craftsmanship - people who make sensible, needed things, and take pride in their work. Violin makers, farmers, bakers, carpenters, whatever.

Characters who have a dream (to write books, to bake cakes, to be a doctor), make a logical plan to achieve their dream, and follow it.

Stories that don't have The Chosen One(s) - instead, stories about people who work hard/are in the wrong place at the wrong time (Protector of the Small > Song of the Lioness)

Intense light/dark motifs that make sense in-world but are also applicable to reality (ie, Lord of the Rings, The Dark is Rising)

Stories that bend tropes, buck cliches, etc. (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Princess Tutu)

Unreliable narrators - they hide shit, you figure it out, you feel betrayed but also respectful of the writer's ability to manipulate you

Not glorifying violence, but making it clear how brutal and damaging it is

Stories about girls not being overtaken by stories about boys (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
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