Monday Musings: Qualities in a book?
The Monday Musings question for this week is: What is the one (or maybe two) qualities a book must have for you to pass it along to your best friend as a “must-read”?
It is a tragic reality that my best friend and I have very different taste in books and our attempts to trade our libraries between us have had less than stellar results. I love fantasy. She loves romance and contemporary fiction. I find the “romance” in most romance books stilted and unrealistic. She finds herself unable to connect with fantasy. It pains both of us. We both love books, just not each other’s books.
For a truly great book, a book I would whole-heartedly recommend, it has to have a great world. Fantasy more often than not has worlds that are made-up, completely fabricated from the author’s mind. For a great fantasy book it needs to have a fully formed and articulated world, one that you could see actually functioning with all the different parts of society and nature running like well-made gears. A fantasy books needs to make me believe that somewhere that world could exist.
Lord of the Rings is such an example. J.R.R. Tolkien actually created a whole language for his Elf characters. That’s great world building. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett is another great fantasy world. The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis all display worlds that are whole and functioning. The depth and detail of the worlds in these books makes you believe they could exist. That’s what makes a great fantasy book for me.