Five Books Everyone Should Read is a feature we’re running in 2015. We’ve asked some of our favorite authors, readers and bloggers to share five books that touched them or have stayed with them throughout the years.
Today we have Jill Sorenson here with her list of Five Books. I love how varied Jill is in her writing, reading and interests. Her list includes some of my favorites, as well as some new-to-me books I’ll be picking up soon.
Hello Book Binge! I decided to include some non-romance titles because I don’t think everyone should read romance. Here are my picks:
In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.
My childhood favorite! Karana gets stranded on the island where she was born, off the coast of California, after her entire tribe sails away. She lives alone with a wild dog as a pet for many years.
This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman.
Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship.
One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don’t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.
Clan of the Cave Bear is the first in the series, but this one has sex and romance, yay! It’s another story about a woman who survives on her own for years. She rescues injured-traveler Jondalar, whose legendary manhood is too large for other women. Ayla accommodates him perfectly and it’s TRUE LOVE.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
I read this in college and I was blown away by Zora Neale Hurston’s writing. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board…” There is a romance, but the HEA is for the heroine only. You root for Janie from start to finish.
For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood isn’t the land of golden opportunity. It’s the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting….
Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay—and those fires from long ago may burn them both.
They’ll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.
An excellent romance from my favorite contemporary romance author. I think this is a great choice for non-romance readers because it’s beautifully written, and Dahl doesn’t rely on over-the-top tropes or male fantasy figures. She writes about real people, real families, real issues…and hot sex.
Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz
Slim MacKenzie is no ordinary man. With eyes the color of twilight, he’s been blessed with a psychic gift: premonitions. He’s also been cursed, for Slim can see the monsters hiding among us, feeding on our suffering.
And when Slim joins a traveling carnival seeking sanctuary, what he’ll find is a hunting ground-with humanity as the prey.
In my teens and twenties I binged on Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I selected this book from Koontz because it’s sexy, romantic and violent, with a fascinating portrayal of carnival culture. The 17-year-old hero is a goblin killer with The Sight. He falls for a woman with a dark secret of her own.
Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels, including the Aftershock series by HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, twitter and reality TV.
Riding Dirty is her first erotic suspense novel.
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