Join us as Brandon Witt goes Outside the Margins.
Inside the Margins
The next Outside the Margins post will undoubtedly be celebrating ending one chapter of my life and beginning a new one, and probably a lot of worry over the limitless possibilities and outcomes of that leap. But, we aren’t there yet. For now, there is a lot to talk about. Riots in Baltimore, the Supreme Court debating gay marriage, all those throwing their hats in the ring for upcoming presidential campaigns (didn’t we JUST do that?). But, I don’t want to talk about any of those things. Not tonight. I want to talk about the thing I love most (outside of family, boyfriend, bffs, and a corgi).
So, I guess we can call this post Inside the Margins. Huh. Guess I just came up with title. I should probably delete this line and just use the fucking title. Don’t wanna.
I’m going talk to you about five books. Three of them, you’ve probably already read. Maybe all five.
Let’s start with two I’ve read in the past week (or listened too, audio is my preferable medium).
LOVE LESSONS by Heidi Cullinan.
I first met Heidi at GRL in Chicago. And by met, I don’t mean actually spoke to her, at least, not that I recall. There is something extremely daunting about Heidi in person (NOT in a bad way). She’s rather intimidating, at least to me. The first time I remember noticing her was during the author spotlight setup. I was crazy nervous, of course, and as I sat my little table (shared with the loveable Edmond, who was sweet enough to let me latch on), I see this person of power across the way from me. Dark hair, red lips, piles of books, that charming hair and glasses logo on her author banner. Shit. I was in the same room with her! I wasn’t exactly sure who she was, but whatever unnamable quality made her intimidating to me screamed out that she was an honest to goodness author. She wasn’t just pretending like I was.
It was that presence of hers, combined with the cover of LOVE LESSONS (I mean, come on, that cover is perfection) that made me click the purchase button. In honesty, I’m only a little over halfway with the book. And, I’m salivatingly addicted to it. Heidi has a talent that I find to be one of the most enjoyable qualities in an author. She’s making me love a type of story that I hate. This book is pure romance. It’s all about these two guys and how they get together and all the shit and beauty that makes them who they are. Borrrring. I hate pure romances. I’m too ADD, to cynical. But here is this Cullinan woman blending two of my favorites, Disney and Tom of Finland! That’s not why I love this book, but it didn’t hurt. So, all this to say, it’s not the flawless hair, or those read glasses that scream “I’m an Author!” It’s the talent that seeps from her pores. If you haven’t, stop reading this post and go get your copy of LOVE LESSONS.
BENEATH THE STAIN, by Amy Lane
My next victim was even more intimidating, because I already knew her name. In the MM world, she’s right up there with Jesus, Oprah, and Britney.
Amy Lane. Go ahead, breathe. You’ll be fine.
Amy, I did speak to. Sweatily. Yes, it’s a word. (And I was sweaty, not her.) I think the fact that some of her books have cute bunnies and alpacas and such on the covers made her more approachable to me. However, it wasn’t until two weeks ago that I gave into the hype and started listening to BENEATH THE STAIN. In many way, this book is more my fashion. There’s a huge cast, to a nearly epic level. There is darkness in this book. There are tears to be shed. However, she too, made me care about two things I don’t care about. Rock stars and people in their early twenties. (Been there, done that, yuck. I don’t understand people who want to be in their teens or twenties again. Talk about torture!) Holy shit, this book is perfect. Yeah. Flawless. And spread throughout is some of the most beautifully figurative and artfully descriptive use of the English language I’ve read in years. If you haven’t already, don’t be leery of the hype (it lives up to it, and beyond) and don’t be afraid. Any tears you’ll shed will be well worth it. Go buy it now.
(And yes, I know this would be more effective if all of you haven’t already read these two brilliant pieces of literature, but I’m late to the party, as per normal. To make me feel better, go buy them, again.)
The next three will be quicker, mainly because they’re old. However, that’s the beauty of books. There are those few, or many, that stay with you your entire life and change your life. Feel free to buy these, or not. At this point, I’m just reliving wonderful readings.
HARRY POTTER, by J.K. Rowling
I’m counting the HARRY POTTER series as one book. Sue me. These are, and always will be, my favorites. No, I didn’t grow up on them, though thank you for pretending that I could pass for that young. (Stop laughing. Seriously rude.) Though I’ve read them in good times, this series is where I turn when I’m hurting. When life seems too hard to face. By the time I re-work my way through all seven books, I’ve spent an enormous of amount of time with dear friends (yes, Ron and Hermione are my friends!) and my life, invariably, is better. If I had only one book to read for the rest of my life, this is what I would choose.
REBECCA, by Daphne Du Maurier
This was my first adult book (not in a dirty way) and the only book that was assigned reading in six years of higher education that I enjoyed. LOVED, actually. If you haven’t read this, you simply must. It is timeless and beautiful and haunting. Alfred Hitchcock turned it into a movie. Do not watch it. It will ruin the book. That film had none of the artistic nuance of the novel (and I love me some Hitchcock). When I think of great works of literature, this is the novel that comes to mind. I would kill to have just one of my books (past or future) be use as bookends for this novel.
FROM THE CORNER OF GOD’S EYE, by Dean Koontz
You wouldn’t think a book that starts with a newlywed couple in love on a mountaintop quickly followed by the husband shoving his wife to her death, simply to see what would happen, could leave the reader in tears over the small joys of life, the mysteries of our world and souls, and a new vision of God, but that is exactly what FROM THE CORNER OF GOD’S EYE does for me. Every time.
I can’t imagine anyone actually made it all the way down here, but either way: Thank you for letting me re-live some of my favorite novels. Dear Lord, I love what we do.
~ Brandon Witt
About Brandon Witt
Brandon Witt resides in Denver, Colorado. When not snuggled on the couch with his two Corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan, he is more than likely in front of his computer, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding they keys. When he manages to tear himself away from his writing addiction, he passionately takes on the role of a special education teacher during the daylight hours.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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