Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This week's Road Trip Wednesday question is:

What book brings back memories?

Books and memories go hand-in-hand for me, but I'll never forget when I discovered Anita Shreve. I had run out of books at home and didn't have time to go to the book store, so I picked up the first cover that grabbed me in the grocery store: The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve. She was well-known for The Pilot's Wife, thanks to Oprah's Book Club, but I didn't know that at the time.

I remember that trip to the grocery store so clearly now, because it just always felt like a twist of fate. (I'd never before and haven't since bought a book at a Kroger.) I was absolutely floored by The Last Time They Met. The beautiful prose. The unique story structure, unlike anything I'd ever read. And of course, the characters and their heart-breaking love story.

Of course I went out immediately and bought all of her other novels, and I've read all of the new releases since then. I have loved most of them, and even the ones I didn't love are still excellent books. But here's the kicker: The Pilot's Wife was my least favorite. If I had picked up that one first, the highly-promoted one with the big "O" sticker, I wouldn't have fallen in love with Shreve's writing, and I may have missed out on all those other amazing stories.

Shreve writes adult fiction, but the common theme that attracts me to her work is the same thing that attracts me to YA. Many of her characters have that knock-you-in-the-gut, life-changing love as teenagers, and they struggle for the rest of their lives to move past it.

In all of the recent discussion of New Adult, I've actually thought of Anita Shreve. Her book Testimony is certainly adult in nature, but it is about a scandal at a high school, and in addition to a teacher and one of the parents, most of the main characters are teenagers. If  her books are an indicator, and with the lines constantly blurring, a book that the writer considers NA is probably more marketable as general adult fiction.

How about you? What books get you thinking about times gone by?

** As a post script today, Angelica Jackson is holding a writing community auction to raise funds for the animal rescue Fat Kitty City. She has tons of amazing items up for auction. Please stop by Pens for Paws to check it out!

Music for today: Helicopter by Bloc Party


  1. It is funny how that happens--the right book at the right time hooks you. There are books that I know grabbed me because it was the book by that author I needed to read at that particular moment, and if I'd read any other book by that author, or read that book at any other time, it wouldn't have meant the same to me.

  2. Oh haven't heard of those. Might have to check them out. But I agree every book has a memory. I'm glad you picked up a book and fell in love, that is after all the hope we all have when we open each book.

  3. Alas, the last auction items closed last night, but thanks for the shoutout. We're talking about doing it again next year, since the $2,662 we raised is a lot for our little sanctuary, Fat Kitty City!

    1. I thought you had a few more days left. That is a fantastic total, though! If you do it again, I'll help you promote earlier next time!