SEEKING THE PERFECT BOOK

I KNOW…it’s Tuesday and I don’t have a top ten list up. My list is actually up at The Broke and the Bookish today so go check that out! I figured since I did the list over THERE perhaps I would talk about something that has been weighing on my mind recently.

Most of the time I’m pretty good at knowing what books might be the right ones to suit my mood (because you know I’m a crazy mood reader so that’s important). But lately I’ve just had a hard time because what I want is so, so specific. It’s not even a particular genre or theme or what not that I’m looking for. Nothing I can really anticipate.

And I try to ask for recommendations and I’m so unhelpful because I can’t even begin to describe what I REALLY want when people ask what I’m looking for or in the mood for. I tend to say something like, “I want a mindblowingly good book” and then I get some good recommendations but I realize how subjective it is and how maybe that’s not even what I mean.  I mean, I’ve read some mindblowingly good books recently. Some GREAT, AMAZING books that I would reread and recommend over and over again until I’m blue in the face.

And the mood I’m in right now? Those books, that I’ve given 4 or maybe even 5 stars, don’t even fit the bill of what I’m looking for right now. No matter how much they moved me or made me cry or REALLY GOT INTO MY SOUL. It’s weird.

Sometimes I want something and I don’t even know what it is that I want. I just know what feeling I want.

 

If I took out a Wanted ad for this book I’m looking for it would look something like this:

 

The book I’m looking for would be so profound and so earth shattering I’m pretty sure the axis of the earth might shift.

The take action kind of book.

The  I-will-never-be-the-same kind of book. A book that changes the landscape of my heart and my brain and my soul.

I want a book that makes me feel ALL THE THINGS and I mean ALL THE THINGS.

I want a perfect book and not even a technically perfect book but the book that feels so perfect you don’t even know if it’s real.

I want the best book and not the kind of best book that has to be recognized as the best book by the world.

I want a book that will make me consider not reading any more books because nothing will ever compare to it but it also makes me want to read ALL the books to find THAT kind of book again…because I NEED the fix of experiencing it.

I want the kind of book that I know was meant to find me. That I don’t know how I’ve ever lived without.

The book that lingers and lingers and is impossible to push from my mind no matter how many books I read in between.

I want a book that doesn’t even know it’s that kind of book.

I want a book that feels like it was written for me. Like an author scooped out the pumpkin-y insides of my brain and my heart and my soul and all the icky and beautiful and confusing things about me and made magic with it.

I want a book that is hard to explain why it makes me feels all those ways because words seem flimsy and dull when describing it and all you wish is that you could start a new language wherein you just FEEL things that people mean.

A book I almost don’t want to talk about. Because once I try to put it into words the magic is almost lost in some way by doing so.

 

I sound nutty probably. I don’t even know if what I want exists. Or if I’m just building it up too much. Romanticizing it. I know I’ve felt it before.  I know I have. But, hey book, if you are out there….make your way to me! I don’t want every book I read to be like this for me because that would be a whole lot of hearts bursting and souls changing and a whole lot of feelings I can’t deal with on a daily basis. But I just know that I need THAT kind of book right now. I really do.

 

Let’s TALK:

Am I completely batshit crazy or do you have moods like this where you need a very specific book like that or that you don’t even know what you want but you know what you want to feel? Do YOU have a book that has made you feel this way? Am I building up that SEEKING PERFECT BOOK notion so it’s almost unattainable?!
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Have you read TIGER LILY?

  2. If you find it, let me know!

  3. Well. The trouble with this is that it exists, but it’s different for everyone. And not only is it different for everyone, it’s different for you today than it is for you next week or next month or next year. I think it’s almost like a beautiful accident when you find THAT BOOK and it makes you reevaluate life and everything when it happens but it doesn’t happen all the time and you can’t pick a book and make it happen. I almost feel like it’s kind of a fate thing.

    For example, this book for me was Divergent. Which is weird to say I think because wouldn’t it be great if it weren’t such a popular, trendy book, whatever. But the thing is is that I had that book on my Kindle for a few months before I decided to read it. I was in a book frenzy (I still am, this was just like a month ago) and I kept looking at it but it kept not feeling like the right time. I just moved for the second time in 2 months, and these were pretty big moves, and I’ve got a lot going on that isn’t crucial to this long story comment, haha, and still I read another book before finally settling on reading Divergent. And it was at the. perfect. time. I felt like I was meant to do things as I did them because literally I needed to read it THAT DAY and it WAS that perfect book that you described in your want ad. But if I’d read it the next month or the previous month.. It wouldn’t have been. It would have been a good book, sure. But it wouldn’t have been THAT book.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is.. You can choose your books and you WILL choose that book, but you won’t know it until it chooses you, too.

    • I totally agree, it is specific to you at a time in your own life. I don’t particularly like kid-with-terminal-illness books much (I’ve read lots) and yet The Fault in Our Stars just hit me and made me sob and sob. If I re-read it now it probably wouldn’t have the same effect at all. It’s completely personal. It’s not even like a specific genre, could be a romance novel that hits you like that, it’s all just timing.
      I definitely get that feeling, Jamie! I hope you find your book.

  4. “I Was Here” by Gayle Forman – I know it’s only coming out next year so it’s early to read for review porpuses but IT’S GAYLE FORMAN!!! And my personal experience with the book was what you’re looking for – it made me ugly cry but also made me laugh out loud, it made me heart happy and warm and full of hope but also shattered it to pieces at so many times, I can’t even fathom words to express my love for this book and just talking about it now make me want to pick it up again. It’s my favorite read of 2014 and definitely one of my favorites of all times – btw my fave read of 2013 was “Looking for Alaska” and I think it “I Was Here” hit me even more emotionally (and personally too). Hope you follow my suggestion soon and read it so I can know your reaction (tweet it so I can see!).

  5. I felt that way after reading the Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett. It was weird, and creepy, and I loved it. And it was a total impulse buy. I also feel that way about American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I totally get the feeling though. Sometimes I stare at my books and think I want to read the best book, a magical book, but I don’t know which book I want, or even what it should be about. So I don’t think you’re crazy 🙂

  6. I totally get where you’re coming from. I’m organised to the point of being OCD so I have planned my reading out for the next 2 months, but I sometimes find I’m reading a book which I know is good but I’m just not enjoying because I’m not in the mood for it. Here are my recommendations:

    The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey – I’ve just read this and it was brilliant, made me question humanity and the ethics of certain things which I won’t tell you as it spoils the story.
    Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon – Fanstasy novel with lots of magic, friendship and a bit of will they won’t they action. Love the characters, this was one of the first fantasy novels I read and I still love it.
    Wool by Hugh Howey – Set in the near future. It’s a series but I think you can read this as a standalone (although I got sucked into the series and the many, many books inspired by).
    The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Set around 100 years ago, this is a beautifully written story of a couple trying to start a farm in snowy Canada and start being visited by a mysterious child.
    Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson – A really gorgeously written book set at the start of the 2nd world war on a North American island community. A bit of a murder mystery with a bit of war stuff thrown in.
    The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas – Bizarre but totally addictive.

    I could go on like this all day 🙂

  7. Trust me you’re totally sane. Or at least, you’re just a sane as I am. Which may or may not be a good thing. I dunno. I get what you’re saying- sometimes you just need THAT book. THAT book which has no name. THAT book that is just so perfect you haven’t heard of it yet. THAT book is the book that, as a reader, will be the ultimate book. The pride of my bookshelf. You’re not alone in your search 😉

  8. I completly understand where you are coming from! I have sooo many books I absolutely needed to have right then and once I finished the book I was reading at the time I wasn’t in the mood for the new book anymore. So I looked for something else and the cycle continues. I put myself on a bookbuying ban last semester so I would read the books I actually own. I run out of shelf space and I don’t want to give books away I never read.

  9. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta was that book for me. (And, to a slightly lesser degree, The Piper’s Son, but that one would have been less impactful if I hadn’t read Saving Francesca first).

  10. I totally get this. And I feel like it’s important to find “that book”, because if you don’t, it almost colors your experience of the books you read between now and “that book”, because it’s so frustrating that they’re not the one! The Harry Potter books are “those books” for me, but I know you’re not a crazed HP fan. It’s so hard to say what the right book will be for you, like someone else said it might even change TO YOU day by day. But good luck finding it!!

  11. I know exactly what you mean! The feeling for this kind of book is always strongest–to me–after reading a really, REALLY good book. Everything else pales in comparison. Books I would have loved on another day are MEH. Amazing books sometimes cause reading slumps until they loosen their hook on you.

    In some ways, it’s good that such books are rare, because it makes them more SPECIAL. But I think we’re all looking for them all the time, and so when they sneak up on us, it’s a beautiful surprise!

  12. I totally get how you feel! It’s like a book hangover but worse! I’m right there with you!

  13. I love that feeling when it happens – but it’s also so devastating when you want someone else to love it like you do, and then they don’t. /heartbreak
    As many people have said, it’s such a personal thing – like finding your book soulmate, so it’s so pretty special when you find it. Sometimes you’re lucky and you read two or even three in a row. Other times … it can seem like years between perfect books.
    Good luck with your hunt! I’m rooting for you!

  14. Jamie, I hope you find it!! Incredible description, by the way; it’s so about where you are right now and what you need. My book like this, during this year, has been Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; for all of the reasons you described, but unique to me. I’ll will send out good book vibes for you! 🙂

  15. Have to read The Bronze Horseman?? That’s my all time favorite.

  16. First of all, this really made me smile. Your want ad for the perfect book is just so lovely and I really enjoyed reading it. I think these books are rare, and they are not always the same book for everyone, but you’ve really captured what they are like ^_^

    Now, I would like to rec some books to you, but of course it will be nearly impossible because what is the perfect book for you will not be the perfect book for me. However, here are several books that have given me those feelings that you are describing (in no particular order):

    TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz
    DREAM OF GODS & MONSTERS by Laini Taylor
    CRASH INTO YOU by Katie McGarry
    SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
    THE MARBURY LENS & PASSENGER by Andrew Smith

  17. I know the feeling. Life-changing books are few and far between. And lIke another responder…if too many books were so killer, we’d sink into a pit of despair. Like book heroin.

    That being said, the book like that for me was Deerskin. There are more, but this was one of the first that tore out my heart and torched my soul.

  18. That book for me lately was ‘Redefining Realness’ by Janet Mock- I bought that book 3 times for other people and is the reason I started my second blog, but as someone earlier said, it is different for everyone. Reading ‘Home’ the first time by Toni Morrison took everything from me, but my cousin hated it.

    I’m glad there are always books out there to make you want to never read again and read everything at the same time.

  19. I’m in one of those moods right now. I’m having the hardest time finding a book to read that will hold my attention just because… well, mostly because of a book hangover. I LOVE that ad. It’s perfecto!

  20. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ― Toni Morrison

    If you’ve never read her stuff, do it. She’s a brilliant writer.

  21. I’m a *very* moody reader. But, I think it keeps book life fun and mysterious. (=

  22. I get in those moods, too. I’ve yet to perfect the Goodreads/Google/Amazon/Overdrive search for “a book that will blow MY mind and rock my world and become the best of all time or at least right now.” Only a few books have really done that to me, and the one that immediately comes to mind is The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis. *huge sigh* I hope you find what you’re looking for. And if I figure out how to get the internet to read my mind, I’ll let you know.

  23. Perhaps you are building it up too much, but I KNOW THOSE BOOKS EXIST BECAUSE OHMIGOD HAVE I FELT THEM!!!! They change your soul and the way you view life and how you handle different situations and YES THEY ARE SO AMAZING <3 I highly recommend The Lucky Place by Zu Vincent, my first pick, secondly Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer, and lastly Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar. The Lucky Place especially was a book that truly changed the way I viewed life and gave me some amazing quotes to think on. I really couldn't deal after reading it this WAS one of those books you're talking about, and I would say it definitely meets your requirement of not knowing it's that kind of book. Hope Was Here was devastating yet so beautiful too, still second to The Lucky Place for me. Really read The Lucky Place it's very well written.

  24. I do have specific moods, but not THAT specific. Most of the times it’s more a general mood, like: “fantasy – assassins – kick-ass girls” and those books are pretty easy to find if you look on Goodreads. It must be very hard to have such a mood, where it’s almost impossible to find a book that ticks off all the things you look for.

  25. Heather Miller says:

    I completely know what you mean when you say, so here is my very brief list of books that have done this for me recently: Every Day by David Levithan
    More Than This by Patrick Ness
    The Girl With all the Gifts by MR Carey
    Lexicon by Max Barry
    And just for fun in case you’re really looking for something different but very compelling, the graphic novels Sex Criminals and Saga are each ongoing series that have completely captivated me to the point that I squee aloud over new volumes being released. Hope this sets you toward the path of your next magical unicorn book!

  26. I know exactly what kind of novel you mean, and yet, I can’t come up with any suggestions! Personally, I think it’s because novels are very subjective; something that might have deeply moved me might be different for you and vice versa. The last book I remember shattering me like this was The Start of Me and You (for personal reasons), and the ones before it were Golden (loooooved this one) and Just One Day.

  27. I know exactly how you feel! I’m currently in the same boat. Right now I have no clue what I’m in the mood for. There are thousands of books I want to read and I know I should be then I sit there with it and maybe read a couple pages and start thinking – Is this really what I want or am I just reading it cuz. I almost feel like I will never find exactly what I’m looking for, or if I do I will no longer be in that mood anymore. I’ve been in this mood for a month or so now. In fact, a book that should have taken me a week tops! took me 5 weeks to read. It’s not that the book was bad – in fact I really liked it – it was just that I never felt in the mood to read it. Once you find that out-of-this-world-perfect book please let me know! I am desperate to find my own!

  28. I totally understand you and agree with Cat. It has to be the right book for the right moment. For me, right this very minute, I’m loooooving the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington. It may not be completely mind blowing (though there are quite a few themes that have hit me and I’ve liked) but I can’t put them down and I’m loving them.
    Another time, it was TFIOS. Another time it was the Imdalind series by Ethington. Another time it was Winter Sea by Kearsley (that one still is a Top Five).
    Good luck!! I hope you find Your book.

  29. I want a book that will make me consider not reading any more books because nothing will ever compare to it but it also makes me want to read ALL the books to find THAT kind of book again…because I NEED the fix of experiencing it.

    I can relate to this. In a way, it almost makes me not want to find those super-duper awesome books because everything I read after that (for a while, anyway) seems like a major letdown. When I read books that sound like they should be similar and therefore amazing, I’m usually disappointed because they’re not.

  30. I know you’ve said this has been on your radar for a while, and I cannot recommend WINGER enough. I laughed a lot, and it also produced tears toward the end. I felt a lot of things and loved the characters and the setting and the little details. It’s got a couple points in it too that make statements, which I love. Overall just a wonderful read, and I think it might fit the bill 🙂

    I totally get what you mean though. I just finished Isla and now I’m sad because whatever I read next won’t be as good as that one.

  31. I think this is why we are all readers. We seek those books that are perfect for us as individuals. Sure as book blog readers we often will follow the hype on a certain book or try something because one of our blogging buddies loves it but we all seek those rare books that become the cream of the crop that year or cream of the crop of our entire reading life. We all want those few and far between reads that we find that strike us. We read more and more to find that perfect feeling again. I lately found that with Colleen Hoover’s books and I hope you are able to find that feeling soon in whatever you read soon.
    Happy reading!

  32. I FEEL YOU JAMIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Wow, that sounds like a very intense book that would take an author a lifetime to write ;-). I think from time to time I do get in a mood where I just want a really good book and turn to hyped up older books that have stood the test of time with reviewers, but most of the time I’m too overwhelmed with the idea of finding such a book that I just read what is next on the TBR review pile because that doesn’t require decision making >.>

  34. “I want a book that will make me consider not reading any more books because nothing will ever compare to it but it also makes me want to read ALL the books to find THAT kind of book again…because I NEED the fix of experiencing it.”

    Oh gosh. PLEASE tell me when you find it!!

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