Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A lovely little descriptor

Nicole is a lovely young lady who is part of my book club.  At our last meeting, she said her boyfriend nudged her and said, "I know you're book drunk, but . . ." 

I didn't even hear the rest of the sentence, because I fell in love with "book drunk."  Yes!  That's exactly how it is!  

Not every book makes me drunk, of course.  Nonfiction almost never does.  But every once in a while I'll pick up a novel and so lose myself in its characters and setting that when I'm forced to stop reading, I look up, blink, and murmur, "Who am I?"  That's when you know you're book-drunk. 

The most recent books to inebriate me were the Twilight series--and boy, did they ever do it.  I was on a beautiful cruise ship, and I didn't even want to look up, I was so into the books.  Even after I'd finished them, I wanted to go back and read them again.  That craving?  The result of being book-drunk. 

What books have made you book-drunk?  Can you put your finger on the quality that adds to the inebriation and keeps you coming back for more? 



SmilingSally said...

I just finished the first Twilight book, and although I liked it, it did not make me drunk. lol

A recent book, Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins is one that got me hooked so that I hated when I was forced to do LIFE. Ooooo, what a good one that is!

Anonymous said...

Book Drunk...OMG, that's great.

And yes, Twilight did that for me as well. And I did read them a few times...the entire series.

I'm so lovin' that word, though. Book Drunk. LOL

Leslie said...

Heh. I'm boring Twilight...um... Freudian slip? I mean I am borrowing Twilight from a co-worker's daughter (LOL!) solely based off of your recommendation.

Hmm, usually the ones where I would classify myself as "book drunk" would be when I completely relate to the main character - like in Kristin Billerbeck's Ashley Stockingdale series or other fast-paced, third person novels.

Mocha with Linda said...

What a great expression!

As a child, I remember my mom getting exasperated because I wouldn't come when she would call. I honestly didn't hear her because I had been transported to the setting of what I was reading.

Deep interpersonal interactions (and that aren't always predictable) draw me in. When books spend too much time in descriptions of the setting they lose me.

I'd say authors that are pros at this are you (really!), Nancy Rue, Harry Kraus, and - when I'm brave enough - Brandilyn Collins!

Kay Day said...

I used to get drunk on nearly every book I read. It's harder now. I was warned that writing would ruin reading for me. Seems it has. I am much harder to please.
Maybe I am just getting ADD. I also notice that I don't enjoy movies as much as I used to.

Suzanne said...

I'm with Kay. I used to get that way more than I do now. Maybe it's because Christian fiction has come such a long way from its beginnings? A happy little sappy love story used to do it for me but now I crave more.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one that stands out as making me book drunk.
Oh and Mindy Starns Clark's Million Dollar Mystery series.

Anonymous said...

I agree that non-fiction rarely affects me that way. But one author who does is Christopher de Vinck. I first learned about this author when reviewing his "Simple Wonders." I was reading the galleys at IHOP and the next thing I knew I was crying into my pancakes. Very embarrassing. I went on to read several of his books and what a treat. I still like the simplicity of "Simple Wonders" though.

Angela said...

Am loving these comments--obviously, what makes one person "book drunk" isn't going to work for another, because we're all so different. Nick, thanks for the nonfiction tip--I'll have to check out "Simple Wonders." Would have loved to see those teary pancakes!

And Kay--yes. I think it's analogous to a magic show. When you go see a magician or an illusionist, you are simply caught up in the wonder. Mesmerized. But if you learn how the trick is done, the fun is gone and suddenly it all seems very . . . mechanical.

That's why I love it when I get so caught up in a story that I forget about the mechanics. The irony is that it usually takes a very skilled writer to carry me away. Not in the literary sense, but in the sense of story and setting. How are they made real? What makes me lose myself? All of it--characterization, sensory input, story fascination. What a tempting brew.

Back to work--

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Oh yes. Both of the Marisa de Los Santos Books - love walked in & Belong to Me - intoxicated me. I read each of them slowly, savoring the words like expensive chocolates and dreaded the ending.

Mike + Stacey Duncan said...

My husband can call me and just know by my tone of voice that I'm reading - he won't even ask, "Are you reading?", he'll say, "So, what book are you reading?" I get so "book-drunk" its crazy!

The books that do it to me are After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart, Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson, The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers, and a whole host of other books - it would take forever for me to list them.

Kristin said...

Twilight didn't do it for me. I know, I'm weird, but I could have left it at any point and not finished it. I liked the characters and the storyline, but for some reason...

Last books to make me drunk:
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
anything by Anne Tyler

I think they all have this quality about understanding the human condition in a way that you know is true, but never fully examined. These authors are able to take you to a place you really don't want to go, but leave you with a sense of hope.

Kari said...

I love the idea of being "book drunk." When I am reading a book I have to have at least 1 or 2 more books waiting for me. It is a sad thing when I finish a book and have nothing else to read.

(I'm reading The Elevator right now and love it!)

Holly said...

I began reading Twilight aloud to my Chris on our way home from Texas. Since then we began reading side by side this past week. I am on the fourth book and Chris is on the third.

I have been calling them our crack, cause we are so addicted and cannot put them down.

I wrote a post called Christ Figure about it, if you want to read it :-)

Anonymous said...

Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers), an amazing story of profound proportions. The viscious cruelty, the patient romance, the steadfast love: anointed story.

Secrets/Unforgotten by Kristin Heitzmann, it was like I was inside the protagonist's skin as far as his passion for the Lord. I don't read books twice--I read these each three times.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the saying! I am a book-a-holic and have been most of my life. When I was a girl and it was a scorching summer day, I could be buried under covers reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Guess I've been a book-drunk for many years! :)

Kristine dB said...

Like Linda, as a child I had to be called a number of times if I was reading! Charles Martin's books cause me to get book drunk (Love that phrase! Must use!). My current read, while not getting me book drunk, has sucked me in by the concepts. And it's non-fiction too! The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot Mcknight. Quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

I relish reading books that transport me as you said, Angie, so that coming back to real life takes some effort. Numerous books by Randy Alcorn, Davis Bunn, Dale Cramer, and Liz Curtis Higgs do that for me, as do yours, Angie. (When I finish Liz's books I speak with a brogue for days!) And after reading these comments--seems I have a few new authors to check out. I appreciate the recommendations.
Mary Kay

Anonymous said...

Love the term...Book Drunk!

I let myself go when I travel. I love to have a book that makes me forget I'm on an airplane or in an airport. The more drunk the better!

At home, I'm more of a book sipper. I read a little here and a little there. Sometimes more, but usually enough to savor the flavor of the book.

I realized that I was sipping with "The Face." I can read several chapters each night with out getting book drunk :)

Christa Parrish said...

It's the language that makes me book-drunk, a poetic style rich with unique images, the kind that make me stop, reread, and think, "How brilliant," and then realize what I have to strive for in my own work.

Some authors who do that to me: Sheri Reynolds, Lorrie Moore, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje.

Kristine dB said...

Another non-fiction book that made me book drunk: A Walk With Jane Austen by Lori Smith. Sucks you right into the English countryside!