Updated: Mar 29
Hi everyone! I’m Cate (C.E. Ord), author of the Of Ember and Flame series. Thanks so much, Asia, for having me guest post.
Seeing as we’re all about the books here, I thought I’d give you a little insight into my bookshelves, sharing with you five reads that I’ve loved/have shaped me/or are, in my opinion, important/interesting books, along with what I'm currently reading, and what's up next on my TBR. Now, seeing as we’re all busy and social media has given us all the attention span of frantic goldfish, I’ll go ahead and jump right in!
1. FAVE BOOK OF ALL TIME
This is, without a doubt, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. A huge tome, I’ve read all 933 pages of it multiple times, and my dog-eared copy was stashed in my backpack the first time I ventured around India – a trip that was undeniably inspired by the book itself. Shantaram tells the tale (apparently somewhat embellished, somewhat factual) of the author, who was the last man to escape from Pentridge Prison in Melbourne. He fled to India, and the book details his escapades and redemption of sorts while living on the run. It’s beautifully written, and is something of a love letter to India. There’s so much more I could say about this book, but for the sake of expediency, I’ll keep it simple: Read it. It’s amazing.
2. WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING
I’m currently reading The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, by Ambelin Kwaymullina. I’m only a short way into this book, but I’m loving it so far. I came across this author and book in a slightly unusual way. One of the two leading men in my OEAF series, Coen, is of Indigenous Australian heritage – this wasn’t a plan or intention of mine when I set out to write the book, but as I began to flesh out the story, I realized that, given that Coen comes from the part of Gaea that corresponds with Australia (sorry if that makes no sense, I won’t dive into a big explanation now, just trust me!) and his father’s family were the ‘Chosen’ ones for that region, it would only make sense that they would be Indigenous People, as they were the original custodians of this region. This, of course, got me thinking about Indigenous representation in YA fiction, and I wanted to know more about the Indigenous writers and characters that are out there. And that led me to Ambelin Kwaymullina and her book, The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf. If you’ve already read this book, please comment and tell me your thoughts! Though I’m reading at a glacial pace due to general life hecticness, I am really enjoying it so far.
3. CHILDHOOD SERIES I WAS OBSESSED WITH
The Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant. They weren’t dog-eared because I was reverently careful with them, but I read all the books I owned (the first 15 in the series, I think) probably literally a million times each, and every other book in the series from the library countless times. Honorable mentions here to The Babysitters Club by Ann N. Martin and Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal.
4. WHAT’S NEXT ON MY TBR
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. I know, I know, I’m a little late to this party, but life is hectic, and I just went through a pandemic, so please forgive me. I’m thoroughly intrigued by this book, and the snippets I have read were completely enthralling, so I’m keen to dive into this one as soon as I can.
5. A BOOK I WISH I’D WRITTEN
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is possibly the perfect children’s book. A simple, fun, engaging story, with absolutely stunning illustrations. My son is currently obsessed with this book, and now I am, too!
Thanks so much for having me, Asia! I’d love for readers to share in the comments their own favorite/influential/important reads, and recommendations for my only-slightly-out-of-control TBR will be gratefully accepted.