• My name is Mary, young hobbist writer and bookworm. I like to describe myself as a fangirl victim of reality, due to my constant state of suffering over fictional characters, but I won't let that stop me from enjoying my books.
    "The Bookshelf" is what I call my collection of readings I have adored so far. Currently it is composed by:

    • Various Sherlock Holmes novels, by Conan Doyle.
    • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.
    • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.
    • Wild Cards Collection, by George R.R Martin.
    • The Mortal Instrument, by Cassandra Clare.
    • Various Philip Pullman books.
    • The Paris Winter, by Imogen Robertson
    • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
      And so on...

    Is a pleasure to be part of this community, Thank you for making me feel welcome.

  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    Hey Mary! Welcome to Plotist!

    I can only speak for myself, but many here feel the same suffering about fictional characters. I remember reading Game of Thrones, the now famous Red Wedding, and not being able to sleep well because I wasn't sure what happened to one of the characters. The first thing I did when I woke up was to get the book from my nightstand and re-read the last part of the chapter, desperate to find clues that the character was ok.

    Of your list, I haven't read many, but I definitely loved Ender's Game (and all the rest of the series) and His Dark Materials by Pullman. Sherlock Holmes is always fun to read, and I have Wild Cards in my reading list. My newest obsession, and sadly I haven't had the time to finish it yet, is Arcadia by Iain Pears. Amazing book.

    Hope you have a good time around here. And again, welcome to the community!

  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    Hi Mary, welcome to the Forums!

    Oh my gosh, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials remains one of my favourite books/series of all time - and Mary Malone herself was an extremely important character for me when I was 16 in terms of articulating my thoughts on religion. I sobbed at the end and although I adore many books they rarely evoke that reaction - so I definitely suffered for this one!

    I keep wanting to try Erin Morgenstern, especially as she is a NaNoWriMo success story, but I've always been put off by "circus" settings - should I read regardless?

    Does your writing fit into a similar theme as your favourite books?

  • Hey @MaryMalone!

    Have you ever read All the Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr)? I ask because I saw The Book Thief, and I love both of these books <3 All the Light We Cannot See is set during WWII, about a German soldier and a blind French girl. Fair warning that you will be sobbing at the end, but it is SO worth it!

    Since there are people here who have read His Dark Materials, what is that actually about? It's something that I keep seeing people talk about, but I've never actually known what it was about.

  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    @typical_demigod It's an epic fantasy adventure story that is loosely LOOSELY based on the fall of Eve, knowledge vs. ignorance, innocence, organised religion etc, but it also looks into "is there such a thing as a soul and what is it" and tries to interpret that in lots of really wonderful ways. And one of the greatest things for me is that each book in the trilogy is better than the last, it was like the series grew from infant to adult with the story itself. So in that way the tone for 'The Northern Lights' feels completely different from 'The Amber Spyglass'.

    Don't know if I'm selling it, but it's definitely worth a try : )

  • @Sian I'll look into it. I'm compiling a book list right now of stuff I need to read, so I'll put it on ;)

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @MaryMalone Welcome! As you can tell by the many responses, you'll definitely fit in well here!

    Your various books hint at a great love of drama and mystery! Are these the types of genres you also like to write? :)

  • @Josey Thank you!
    Mystery and drama together make a great story, just like hot chocolate in autumn. I like to write drama involving as many characters as I can, my strong spot is creating new characters, and introducing them to drama is my happiness. I tried to write pure mystery, but failed miserably, those tricky plot building is just pain, to read and to write.

  • @jaycano Thank you!
    I know that feeling very well, you know what just happened, you are sure but still, you reread the whole text looking for hints that will tell you is a joke from the author. The only death I remember suffering deeply was Sirius Black's, it seemed to me so unfair.
    I read His Dark Materials for the first time when I was 8, and it made a huge impact on who I am.
    Arcadia? I'll look for it. Just by the title I can start to picture many scenarios, the first one was a kingdom and pretty princess, I guess.
    Wild Cards was my obsession back in 2014, what I like the most of those books is the variety of story you can read, and the various styles you'll find!

  • @typical_demigod Hi! Hmmm? All The Light We Cannot See, I'll look for it. I read the Book Thief because a friend gave the book as a birthday present, and I wasn't disappointed.

    His Darks Materials is a trilogy that narrate the story of Lyra and her friend Will, they travel around dimensions and fight against angels and demons and...WOW!
    I know it sounds childish, but trust me, each book has a unique way to point out what the real world is like, the author takes it to a point in which you start to question yourself about everything you know and care.
    It's beautiful and my favourite.
    One of the characters left a huge impact in my life and believes. I'm a writer thanks to Pullman.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @MaryMalone I agree! I am always in total awe of anyone who can tell a story with a mystery where I don't find it obvious what the end is going to be. :D

  • @Sian Thank you!
    Mazapan was my favourite part of the whole series! Mary Malone left in me such impact, I wouldn´t be the person I am if it wasn´t because of her.

    I think you should try reading The Night Circus, and I mean it when I say try. Most people I know get tired of the way the author describes the ambiance and settings, in my opinion it is magical and colorful, but is true that Erin takes half a page to describe one dress. Is not easy to read if you don´t enjoy descriptions.
    I adored it, every character has it´s very own development, you see them all grow, not just the main protagonists, everyone! The way Erin sets the whole book is charming, you can almost feel like if you where in the circus.

    My writing is hodgepodge of fairytales and urbanized cities, just like The Night Circus or Lyra´s Oxford.

  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    @MaryMalone Me too re: Mary Malone, her speech about "going to China" is still very clear in my mind.

    I will definitely give 'The Night Circus' a try - though I notice she has a book of fairytales so maybe that would be a better start for me with her writing.

    I also LOVE fairytales and folklore. I would recommend you Catherynne Valente if you haven't read her already - her fairytales are simply gorgeous.

  • @Josey @MaryMalone If you want a good mystery, try Frances Hardinge! The first one I read was The Lost Conspiracy, a fantasy novel about... well, a conspiracy. Anyway, the entire novel, the MC was going after the villain, the man without a face (or he was described somewhere along those lines). And you KNEW, without a doubt, that it just COULD NOT be the one guy. AND IT WASN'T. But it was still a surprise, and the person who it was just added to the theme of the story so well. (Talking about an amazing end without ruining it is so hard :P)

    On the other hand, it starts out really slow. I was struggling through the first 100 pages. But if you can get through those, it is FANTASTIC.

  • @typical_demigod No worries, that's my kind of book. "Slow" stories are the hard to enjoy but at the end it is always worth it. I'll give it a shot.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    I'll have to put Frances Hardinge on my list. The list never stops growing! Though slow stories can be enjoyable, I will admit that if something doesn't capture my interest in a certain period of time, I may just drop it. Granted, my idea of what captures my interest could be vastly different than others, so... ;)

  • It has some pretty interesting worldbuilding, too. needs to reread it because it's been years

  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    @typical_demigod She must be a good read -- a couple of weeks ago I went to a talk about a new compendium of fantasy literature, and the author of the book completely sung the praises of Frances Hardinge! It was the first I heard of her name - but then I realised she's 'The Lying Tree' author, right? I've been hearing about that one a lot lately, so I'm really curious to read it!

  • @Sian Yes, though I haven't read it. I've only actually been able to read three of her books (The Lost Conspiracy, which I forgot is also known as Gullstruck Island, and then Fly By Night and the sequel, Fly Trap/Twilight Robbery), but I'm hoping to get some more of her books soon. The Lie Tree sounds good, though. (Tbh, I'm just waiting for her to write the sequel to Fly Trap XD)

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