I was having a conversation with a friend just this afternoon about books and fiction, and what stands out. We also discussed formulaic fiction, and how it leaves the reader wanting. I can remember one book I've read in which the opening line was something like "It was raining the day I died." It was Roseflower Creek, and I've never forgotten how that book broke my heart. It had an opening that made me sit up and take notice, and I haven't read anything like it since. I've also recently read "Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood", and it too stands out among the crowd, if for no other reason than it's style and voice. Too often, we can watch a movie made from a book, and yawn because the movie is not unique. This one is. Reading the book is like watching the excerpts that ended up on the editing room floor. It's follower, "Ya-Ya's in Bloom" has the same sassy style. It's also addicting!
As an author, I have learned quite a bit in recent years about both good and bad writing. What will make a story or article melt into the pool of obscurity, and what will make a piece stand alone. I admit that my own novel was quite the learning curve. Nowadays, I want a book that will stick with me as much as yesterday's oatmeal. I want fresh characters, dialogue that makes sense. I want purpose and morals, lessons hidden like pearls in muddy oysters. I want to remember a book long after I've returned it to the library, or it's owner, or tucked it away with my other books.
What about you? What makes you remember a book? What will make you fork over your hard-earned dollars for the printed word?