Q is for (Books About) Quirky Characters #atozchallenge

For A to Z 2018, my theme is Books About ____. If you’re stopping by from your own A to Z blog, feel free to leave a link. If you need help with how to do that, you can look here.

If you’re someone looking to read a lot of great blogs, here’s the link for the A to Z challenge.

I love quirky characters, especially when they feel authentic, not like the author was trying to insert a bunch of quirks just to distinguish Character A from Character B.

The Martian, by Andy Weir (science fiction): Mark Watney is probably one of my all-time favorite characters. When he gets stranded on Mars, he doesn’t let anything get him down for long. He deals with each challenge as they come, cursing a little and keeping his sense of humor. The book does a better job of showing this character’s personality than the movie does (of course), but the movie is still worth watching.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (YA): Full disclosure: I liked the first one better than the second two. If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably stop after the first. But anyway, the first book did something unique in using old photographs and building a book (and characters) around them. Because the children are all peculiar, they’ve developed some quirks which makes them fun to read about.

John Dies At the End by David Wong (?): I’m honestly not sure how to classify this book… maybe science fiction or fantasy? It’s weird though. The movie didn’t do a good job of capturing the awesomeness of the book, but I’m not sure any movie could. David Wong (the narrator of the book) was involved in a huge conspiracy after taking a drug called soy sauce. Weird things happen to him and his friend John, and the way they react to the events is strange and fun. The sequel was as good as the original. If you read it, be warned: some of it probably won’t make sense. And that’s okay.

What are your favorite books about quirky characters?

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Judging Books By Covers

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The first book I picked up because the cover was pretty. The second, because I like the way the vines look.

I have some strong opinions when it comes to books, possibly about many things that other people don’t care about.  That’s okay; I can live with that.

One of the things that drives me crazy is when a movie comes out, and suddenly the book is released with a different version of the cover to reflect the movie.  I get why they do that; it’s to increase sales.  Associating the book with the movie makes good sense from a marketing standpoint.

But I still don’t like it.

In general, I prefer the older covers, and when I go to used book stores, I can spend several minutes choosing which cover I like best.  For example, I accidentally bought two copies of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  This was a great book, but I obviously don’t need two copies of it.  However, I can’t decide which one to sell back to Half-Price Books because I like both covers.

People say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” obviously meaning not to judge something’s content by what it looks like on the inside. It’s true, but I confess that sometimes a book cover will catch my eye, and that’s the only reason I read the description on the back of the book.

These things matter. If they didn’t, all books would be in a plain brown cover with simple black writing. A good cover can hint about the contents. When I’m in the mood to read horror, I’m unlikely to pick something with flowers on the cover, no matter what the title says. Well, unless they’re dead flowers. Or blood spattered… you get the idea.

One of the best choices I made, based on the cover, was John Dies at the End. I spotted it while walking through the library, and when I read the back, I had to give it a try. It was a fantastic book. Runners up are the ones pictured above.

Is the book cover important to you?  What are your preferences?