Thursday, August 2, 2007

Diary Books

I decided to do a post on one of my favorite type of novels: fictional diaries.
There are so many books and series in this format that deserve credit and haven't gotten it. Besides--writing in diary format is one of the hardest ways to write. You can only see what the character sees--if the character has blinders on, then so do you. AND you have to give them a distinct, flawed voice. So much different than 3rd person, or even 1st person.
So here are some of my favorite diary-novels.

The Royal Diaries Series
These books straddle the children's and YA genres since the princesses go from being like 11-15, around those ages. There are so many of them now--but a few of my favorites are Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Isabel of Spain, Eleanor of Aquataine, and Anastacia, among others....

Dear America: A Coal Miner's Bride
There are many of these Dear America books also, but the only one I've read remains one of my favorite books of all time.
Anetka's story of how she was torn from her homeland and grandmother at age thirteen (this was in the 1800's of course) because her father has "sold her" into marriage to a Coal Miner in America.
Anetka's voice is real and her wounds are painful, but we also get a happy ending and a very non-boring book.
This is one of my "comfort books", I think.

The Princess Diaries Series
by Meg Cabot
These are some of my favorite books! There's going to be nine full novels, with many little novelettes in between.
I love how real Princess Mia is, and I just love the situation: just imagine being told by your father that he's a prince and you are the sole heiress to his country! It's so much fun.

And last...but certainly not least:
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale
I haven't read this one yet, but I know I will already love it! It's gotten some great press by those who were lucky enough to get an ARC (*pouts*).
It comes out this September and I'm so excited, I can't wait!
But for right now...I think I'll focus on scoping out all the bookestores in the vicinity for an early bird copy of Eclipse


Bohae said...

Thanks for sharing! And I can't WAIT for Book of a Thousand Days. I still wonder if I can get it here...

Hannah said...

Thats cool!!

Anidori-Isilee said...

Book of a Thousand Days definitely deserves to be on that list. It is absolutely wonderful.

Yes. I'm discovering the challenges of writing a fictional diary at the moment. Fun but hard. Major writer's block since I discovered that fact. ;)

Oh, and apparently the early released copies of Eclipse were from Barnes and Noble and sent to customers who had preordered, I assume online. I don't think there are any in the stores.

Sookie said...

Man! I preordered from the store! Too bad.... Oh well, just four or five more days left!

Erin said...

Diary-formatted books are the hardest to write, I think. That's why I so rarely find one that I love. But Book of 1000 - WOW. Best diary-style book I've ever read.

Not to torture you or anything.... ;)

Cassie said...

(Apology if this posts twice, as the computer felt like error messaging)

See, I loved the Princess Diaries at first. I started reading right after the movie, when there were only two books out. Then the third book came out and it kind of gave an ending to the books. Then the fourth book came out and I continued to read. By the sixth book or so, I realized that every book barely covered any time and that Mia hadn't grown up and changed much. Now, I'm a book behind at least (not to mention the mini-books) and I just can't seem to care about Mia any more. Still love Meg's other books, but Princess Diaries has lost its appeal. The relationship between her and Michael feels especially juvenile and at a dead-end plot wise (as in, they could live happily ever just fine, but... any more plot contrived over done stress and I just can't seem them working).

Anyways, have you read Sorcery and Cecelia? Not quite diary, but I'm in love with the way the two letter stories intertwine and play out together. I can't think of any other books that do it so well, especially when you consider that the authors actually wrote the book as these letters, then simply edited them to take out bits that wouldn't make sense to the reader or that dead-ended.

Some of Meg's various adult books also explore different story telling styles - e-mails, journals, etc.

I always wanted to write a book using LiveJournal. I think that could be really cool.