Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Friday, April 21, 2006

My Keeper Shelf

When people talk about their books, they often talk about their "keeper shelf." I do it too. Except, I'm a book pack-rat. If I like a book enough to read the whole thing, then it's a keeper. Even if I know I'm never going to read it again. So, for me, the "keeper shelf" is the shelf where I keep books I reread. Over and over and over . . .

What is it about some books that makes it so we reread them? They aren't necessarily the most brilliant books we've ever read. I've read absolutely fantastic books that I totally loved--but know I won't read again. Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm leaps to mind as an example. Ask me what my favorite all-time romance novels are, and I'd mention it. But it doesn't have whatever magical thing it is that makes me want to read it again.

No, the ones I want to read over and over must be ones that somehow hit just the right buttons, even if those books have nothing to do with one another. Here's what's on my shelf (in the order pictured above):

  • Those Who Hunt the Night, by Barbara Hambley (vampire mystery/thriller)
  • The Gold Coast, by Nelson Demille (Mainstream)
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving (Mainstream)
  • The Devil You Know, by Liz Carlyle (Historical Romance)
  • The Gandalara Cycle 1, by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron (Fantasy)
  • Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness, (the Dark Jewels trilogy) by Anne Bishop (Dark Fantasy)
  • The Mirror of her Dreams, by Stephen R. Donaldson (Fantasy)
  • Passion Play, Nobody's Son, and Resurrection Man by Sean Stewart (Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • War for the Oaks and Bone Dance, by Emma Bull (Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger (Science Fiction)
  • A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Young Adult)
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken (Young Adult)
  • Skull Session, by Daniel Hecht (Thriller)
  • Velvet Glove, Menage, and Strange Attractions, by Emma Holly (Erotic Romance)
  • Archangel, by Sharon Shinn (Fantasy)
  • Crazy for You, by Jennifer Crusie (Romance)

Also on my list, though not on the shelf because there are too many of them: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Laural K Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and Roger Zelazny's Amber series.

What a wild selection, eh? I've got a couple of really dog-eared books from my childhood, some fantasy, some science fiction, some mainstream, some romance, some erotic romance. What do all these books have in common? What magic thing drew me to them so completely? I don't know. And in some ways, I don't want to know. That might spoil the magic.


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Sonja said...

Great blog. :-) My keeper shelf is mostly reference books. Boring, I know. I just don't tend to read novels more than once, usually because I give them away when I'm done with them.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Jenna Black said...

Give them away??? Sacrilege! How can you bear to part with them? LOL

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Zinnia said...

I have a passion for ref books.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Mary Beth said...

My keeper shelf is really rather larger at the moment.

I have

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters, and Kinley MacGregor books

Amanda Ashley--most of her vampires

Christine Feehan--all of the Carpathians

Lora Leigh--the Breed series

Jude Deveraux--all of her published books

Janet Chapman--her Highlanders

Katie MacAlister--her Vampires

Kerrelyn Sparks--her Vampires

Do you see a pattern with these books??? LOL

I love paranormal!!!


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