So confession: I completely missed July's Read and Watch Challenge. Being up against a book deadline and getting ready for the RWA conference pretty much buried me. I shut down all social media and had to buckle down to get the book done. I also was reading all non-fiction since I was so focused on keeping my head in my story and didn't want to add more fiction in there. So I apologize for missing the month! But I'm back now and ready to tackle August's Read & Watch theme: EPIC
The basic premise of the challenge is that each month, you read a book and watch a TV show/movie that play to the theme. If you want more details on the Read & Watch challenge, you can still join in. Just click here to see the other themes. And even if you're not doing the challenge, stick around for some book and tv recs. : )
Okay, so "epic" can mean a lot of different things to different people. For me, when I think of epic, I think of stories that span a large amount of time or a lot of characters. When I read a story that is epic, it stays with me for a longer time than a typical book. I feel like I've lived with the characters and they are now permanent residents in my memory. Epic books stick longer. And typically, they are literally longer--page-count wise. Or, they are part of a long-running series that follows the same characters. Harry Potter, for example.
I also find that epic books are a double-edged sword because on one hand, they are the books that stick with me and often become lifelong favorites BUT they are also intimidating as hell because they're often SO big, which means I'm reluctant to pick them up in the first place. Anyone with an out of control TBR pile knows that feeling--I could read this giant book OR I could read three shorter ones. But that's why I wanted to choose this as a theme. I almost never regret having picked up one of the long books, so I need to make myself get over that intimidation factor.
So, what would I recommend if you're looking for something epic?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I know many of you have probably read this already or have watched the TV show, but this is always the one that first comes to mind when I think of epic. The book is long and has a lot of history woven in, which is fascinating in its own right, but at it's core, the love story between Jamie and Claire is what has stayed with me. Even with my faulty memory these days, this story hasn't left my brain.
11/22/63 by Stephen King
King is really the, well, king of the long ass book. I could recommend a few different ones of his for this theme. And I will have another below that I'm picking as a reread for me. But I'm choosing this one because if you're not into horror, you don't have to be scared of this one. The premise is that a guy in present day finds a wormhole back to a few years before the Kennedy assassination. He tries to stop it from happening. Along the way, he meets a woman and there is a romance thread as well--which was a nice surprise. This is also now a TV show, which I haven't watched yet, but I loved the book. It was fascinating and character driven and just so well done.
The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz
If you want your epic in sexy form, grab these. I know I've talked about these books here before, but they are a fantastic example of an erotic series that is about so much more than sex. You will follow the characters through so many stages of their lives and they will feel real to you--like they are living their lives in some place you just haven't visited yet. Highly recommend.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
Another TV show (Shadowhunters). But I read the books years ago and they've stayed with me. This is YA urban fantasy/paranormal so a little outside of what I typically recommend here, but I raced through this series and loved it. Love triangles and hot warriors and kickass ladies. I'm so there for it.
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Oh, how I devoured these books. Another YA paranormal (I was going through a phase, with the rest of the world) but these are SO good. Don't let the vampire theme scare you. It's very well done and unique. And the love story in this one does feel epic to me. I love me some Dmitry. And just writing this makes me want to reread them because I haven't read them in years. Damn. *adds back to TBR pile*
What I'll Be Reading
It by Stephen King
I read this in high school and it has always stayed with me (in my mind and on my shelf.) It's one of my favorite horror books of all time. But with the new movie coming out, I really want to reread it with adult eyes. So my goal is to take that doorstop down from the shelf and start it again.
What I'll Be Watching
So those are my picks, what would be your picks for EPIC? What will you be reading and watching this month?