I want to give a big thanks to Charlotte of The Daily Snapshot for agreeing to do a guest post for my blog. I am so excited for you guys to get to know her, so I won’t keep you any longer! I introduce to you (DRUM ROLL) CHARLOTTE!!
Hello to Stephanie and her readers! I’m Charlotte, of The Daily Snapshot. I like to think I blog about “life, the universe, and everything”, but in reality, a lot of my posts revolve around books. I’ve always been an avid reader – I taught myself how to read when I was 3 years old – and since August 2010, I’ve been the host ofThe Book Club Bloggers. I had been wanting to join a book club for some time, but I couldn’t find one that fit my real-life schedule. On a cross-country road trip, my friend and I hatched the idea to host a book club online. You can read the books we’ve read so far here.
Well, since that time, I’ve actually gotten involved in a real-life book club too, with two of my best friends. We call ourselves The Only Wonderful Books Book Club, and we read – you guessed it – only wonderful books. The format usually consists of one or two of us reading a wonderful book, recommending it to the other one[s], and then getting together to talk about it. Nothing too stressful, and good literature to boot!
But this format has gotten me thinking: what constitutes a wonderful book? And for me, a book can be a winner or loser simply based on its ending.
Yes, yes, there are other factors that make up a wonderful book, but the ending is the biggest component. It can turn a mediocre book into a recommendable one, or ruin a beautiful novel. An example of the former is “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffenegger. The book was enjoyable – some creative and heartwarming characters, relatively unique plot – but about three-fourths of the way through, Niffenegger begins to muck it up. Characters act irrationally, and it’s beginning to spiral into the realms of fantasy, when bam! Revenge. Without giving too much away, it makes you go “hah! Serves you right!” I didn’t think Niffenegger had the chutzpah to go in that direction, but I’m glad she did.
Endings can also make a great book greater. Take “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, for example. (This book was actually our first pick for the Wonderful Books Club.) When I intentionally read this ending, I wanted more. I wanted the book to keep going; I wanted to know exactly what happened. But after getting over the initial disappointment, I realized that I didn’t want more. The ending tied up all the loose threads, but didn’t elaborate. Well done, Mr. Zusak, well done.
Of course, as I said above, book’s ending can also ruin it. I have all sorts of issues with J.K. Rowling’s ending of the Harry Potter series, but I won’t go into that now. If you’re terribly curious, email me, and then settle back for the venting that will surely take place.
I realize that the love of books is different for everyone, so now it’s your turn – what’s your definition of a wonderful book?
(A quick plug: the Book Club Bloggers are reading “The Catcher in the Rye” this month, and it’s not too late to join in! Everyone is welcome.)