MY LITERARY VALENTINE...(AND WHAT'S YOURS?)
14 February 2014
By Bella Pagan
It's Valentine's Day so the shops are groaning with hearts, flowers plus cards laden with heartfelt messages. Or funny pictures. Whatever takes your Valentine's fancy! And to find out the 'real' myths behind the day, there's some fascinating facts here. But, to turn things book-ward, we wondered what much-loved literary gems you'd give as a Literary Valentine to a loved one? We've asked our authors with new books out in February what reads they'd give and who they'd choose to receive them. Below, some wonderful answers from Leigh Evans, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Liz de Jager. You can also join in on twitter and let us know what book would be your literary valentine, just search for #litlove and off you go!
Written in Red by Anne Bishop:
When my darling daughter was a kid, I used to show my Valentine’s Day love by taking a heart-shaped cookie cutter to her ham and cheese sandwiches. Now, I demonstrate Mom-love by recommending spot removers and great books, which is why I hope my grown up kid spends February 14th curled up on her couch reading Anne Bishop’s Written in Red. In this urban fantasy, Meg Corbyn is a blood prophet, running from an organization that views her as a commercial product with a limited life span. Right there, I’m intrigued, aren’t you?
Wait, it gets better. Meg stumbles into an unlikely sanctuary - a colony of shape-shifters, blood sippers, and other super-cool supernaturals, who view humans as prey. In Anne Bishop’s skilled hands, the reader gets to watch the “Others” suspicion slowly turn to respect and affection. And we find reason to fall in love too—with Meg and shape-shifter Simon Wolfguard; with the novel’s fully-fleshed world and it’s multidimensional characters. But for me, (a Canadian in the grip of a winter that just won’t let go), here’s the final gotcha: it’s not springtime or summer in Meg’s world. It’s the dead of winter. Anne Bishop writes so well, I can almost taste the snow...
LIZ DE JAGER
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin:
I love this book so much because it's fantastically layered - it's a fable, it's a romance, it's an adventure story and it's a time-travel story. It's a story about good vs evil and all the shades in between. And I'm sad that not enough people may have read it, possibly because they are put off due to the size of it (and it's been out of print for some time). But, a movie is coming out on Valentine's Day itself based on the book. The movie stars Colin Farrell and my husband and I are either going to love the movie or it is going to tank completely, as is the wont for most book-to-movie movies. I really hope it doesn't tank, but most of all I hope that Winter's Tale will be picked up by more people to read, because it is so worth it.
Winter's Tale is something I'd definitely make my husband Mark read, because it's a book set in New York. Both him and I fell in love with NY when we went there last year. It's also a book I'd make travellers read, people you see on your daily commute, the grey people who look lost. This is a book which will make you realize you are allowed to dream and dream big.
These recommends by Peter S. Beagle:
As for who, well, if I'm giving Valentine presents to anyone but my wife she'd want to know why; but as to what, I advise anyone to give a book by Peter S. Beagle.
Give them The Last Unicorn; give them The Innkeeper's Song; give them the hard to find and out-of-print Folk of the Air. Because Beagle's prose is sheer poetry, with a grace and beauty that few others can approach, and Beagle's writing knows more of all kinds of love than any other.
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New books out from Tor UK this month:
The Problem with Promises by Leigh Evans
Banished by Liz de Jager
War Master's Gate by Adrian Tchaikovsky
We are also launching an ebook reissue of
The Borribles Go for Broke by Michael de Larrabeiti,
the second book in his Borribles trilogy.