This post is going to…well…some people might think different of me after it.
I’m an honest person most of the time and I don’t think it’d be fair not to put this author into the “Authors I Love” series. Out of all the books I own, I have read more of his books than any other author (with a similar number of books to their name). He has seventeen published books and I own the first sixteen. I have read eleven of these. ELEVEN and I started yet another recently.
There’s obviously something about this author’s writing that keeps me coming back for more. It might be the setting of the books in general; the setting is described; the way I don’t have to try hard to get sucked into the lives of the characters. It may be so many things. But maybe I should tell who this author is first; this guilty pleasure for me.
Today I reveal to the world that I enjoy reading, and will continue to do so, Nicholas Sparks’ books. There I said it. I have enjoyed the work of man who created The Notebook, the book that was turned into one of the biggest chick flicks I can think of. But hey, we all have something that might take people by surprise.
Why do I say that he’s my guilty pleasure? Well I’m a guy. I don’t care if books are “for me” or “for women,” but I have not met a man who has read or even wanted to read a Sparks book. I’m sure if I asked some of my girlfriends gay friends, I could find some, but that doesn’t help my point here. Without pissing people off, my point is that I think that from the outside people would not associate me with anything in the “woman’s” realm of fiction, film, music, etc.
Rambling much? Probably. Let me just get to talking about the author and his books for a bit. Haha. Got to save this shit show somehow.
Fora good part of my life I didn’t show emotion or an outward appearance of feelings at all. Even to my self, I was unaware of much emotions. I don’t know when things “snapped” and helped turn me into the well-rounded, happy, easy-going person I am today, but it was sometime before discovering Sparks’ books. What I’m saying is that he’s not the cause, he just came around at a good time not too long after.
It was my first year of college when I first heard of the movie The Notebook and I didn’t think much of it. I heard that people who watched it cried. Big fucking deal, people say that about many movies. But then a girl I was into tried to get me to watch it. It wasn’t terrible, later on when I watched it again I grew to like it somewhat. It was sometime after the first viewing that I figured out it was a book first….like so many movies great and not so great are.
The next time I was at my local bookstore I spotted a few of Sparks’ books. At a dollar a piece I picked them up, as I do with almost every other book I find any interest in (the prices DON’T help me cure my addiction). Eventually I grabbed one of them from my shelf. I stayed away from The Notebook though. I knew I should read it, but I also had A Walk To Remember and I knew that was another book turned movie. I hadn’t seen the movie, so it was more of a reason to read the book. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it even more once I saw the movie. They changed the time period drastically and some motivations of the lead male character, blah blah. I don’t know why they felt the need to change it that much but they did.
Let me fast forward as to not bore you. From that book, I continued to read Nicholas Sparks’ books when I bought them. Because I have done so, and have heard some people putting him down, I’ll share some gems I found.
For the most part, yes, he writes the same type of stories all the time. There’s either a guy or girl who finds a man, they get to know each other, there’s usually a sex bit, and they end up together. Who cares? I don’t very much. At the time of reading these I think I found the love story aspect pleasing. I was younger, I was looking for that sort of stuff in life (not that kind of love story, just looking for someone to be happy with). But there was more that I enjoyed, and continue to enjoy.
His books are set primarily on the southern East Coast. Ever since going to Virginia Beach one summer and realizing there’s much more to life than living in Upstate New York, or New York in general, something clicked. I think I’d enjoy being in The South, preferably by the ocean. I know Virginia is like the beginning of The South, but a taste of it was enough to make me fall in love with it. The settings of Sparks’ books and the way he writes them makes me relive the week I spent on the beach, smelling the ocean air for the first time in my life, feeling the warm nights and seeing the beauty of the beach and the surrounding areas.
So yea, that’s a big part of it. It helps me feel what I (probably much more imaginary than what the real thing is) believe is The Southern lifestyle. I don’t want to change my view of this just yet. To me it’s too beautiful, laid back, and personable to not find joy to it all.
I shouldn’t forget to mention something that I’ve always wanted to let people know: not all his books are the same old story. There are two books of note that stood out over the rest. They are A Bend In The Road and The Guardian. The first one was not completely different from the rest, but it’s still one of my favorites. There was more drama in it than his other books. I just suggest it be read, it was long ago and I don’t know what I want to say more about it. The Guardian is one of the books I recommend skeptics to read. I think if any of his books surpass his normal lovey dovey romance genre it’s this one. When I read it, the love story took a back seat. I would say this is his attempt, and not a terrible one from where he’s normally writing, at a suspense/thriller type book. There’s a stalker. There’s action. There’s a bad ass Great Dane! It’s almost his longest book, maybe that’s because he needed to fit elements he normally adds with the new thriller stuffs. Either way it’s work the 500 page read, in my opinion.
I’ m sure if you’ve stuck with me this long, you’d like to know what I felt about The Notebook. It was ok. It’s not my favorite book. But I enjoyed it much more than the movie. All I’ll say is, if you liked the movie, read the book, then hate the movie…at least the ending of it. Whoever approved that ending screwed EVERYONE out of a second movie. I say this because there’s a second book called The Wedding. It’s a continuation of the first story centered around the children of Noah and Allie. I’d like to tell you about why I didn’t like the change in The Notebooks’s ending by telling you more about its sequel, but I’ll refrain from doing so. You can always find out online if you want to know.
I’ll start wrapping this up, I think. For the most part I hope I said something work reading in this long post, haha. Let me close up with this: The movies made from Nicholas Sparks’ books differ enough for me to say if you think that it’s a waste to read them after seeing a movie, you’re wrong. They are two different experiences. But that’s up to you.
I enjoy reading him. He’s an author I love. I’m fine knowing that I might not be the first person who’d seem to pick up one of his books. I like going against the grain anyway 😉
And now I’ll let you all go back to your regular lives and stop rambling/embarrassing myself 😛
Oh, one last thing. His picture. I can’t talk about an author without showing what he looks like. (Well, I could and can share reasons but fuck it. Let’s make pictures a staple here on “Authors I Love.”)