Why I Love...Stand Alone Novels

It was a beautiful, sunny day here in the PNW, though I forgot to take a picture of it (I even thought to myself while I was driving home from work: "take a picture of the sky because it's an amazingly nice November day.  That doesn't often happen here").  However, that has absolutely nothing to do with today's post.  I just thought I'd share :)

Instead, it's time for "Why I Love".  This week's topic is....series or stand alone novels.  Intriguing and important!  While both have their positive and negative attributes, I have to give the honor to those novels that can stand alone.  Those that don't depend on anything else to make them complete.  Those that come full circle within the given pages.  It's so satisfying in that respect.

Don't get me wrong, I love a series just as much as the next girl (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Stephanie Plum to name a few), but there's something about a stand alone novel that pulls you in and keeps you there while satisfying you completely by the time you've finished.  There is a sense of completion and a feeling of...zen...for lack of a better word.  I like the fact that you don't have to wait impatiently (in my case) for the next portion to come out and there are no real cliffhangers, besides between chapters. 

In fact, when I list out a few of my all-time favorite books, all of them are stand alone novels:   
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind...I first read this in the 8th grade and, soon after, became obsessed with anything and everything having to do with the Civil War.
W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz ...I read this novel in an undergrad course taught by a great instructor (and mentor) named Kit Andrews.  It's a brilliant novel with rare paragraph breaks and photographs throughout.
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children...Again, I read this book in a senior course in undergrad taught by the great Gavin Keulks.  This was the ONLY book we read the entire term.  It's dense and awesome!  Rushdie had a magical complexity that he weaves throughout this novel.
Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees...Another course taught by Kit Andrews introduced me to this writer.  This was the first book I ever read by Calvino and it is among my favorites.  Nearly all of us have spent time climbing trees as children, Cosimo (the lead character) just takes this childhood pastime to new heights.
 ...and I could go on and on into infinity...seriously. 

Every single one is not part of a series.  They're all epic in their own way and every single one has fully developed, complex characters that could easily fill a series but doesn't need to.  So...three cheers for the stand alone novel!!!


  1. Of the books you listed, I've only read Gone with the Wind but it is my favorite book. There is something about Stand-alone novels...when they are good, they are good. Loves it!


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