Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To all the books I've loved before.

I have always been a reader. Even before I could read I was trying to read. I would take comic books and look at the pictures and try figure out what the words were. I can remember laying in bed with my parents as they were reading and holding a book upside down pretending to read. In my childhood books were as important as bikes.

I can remember my mother reading Charlotte's Web to me on a camping trip. I remember thinking how could this E.B. White be such a horrible person and let Charlotte die. What is the point of writing if you don't make things right in the world you create? My mother was pursuing her Masters Degree in library something or the other and she brought home Bridge to Teribithia. At the end of that book I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been 18 and on the bus on the way to a football game. (Just kidding). I was 17.

Stories have a way of affecting you. When you feel grief at the death of a person (or spider for that matter) you don't even know is where the magic of good story happens. It is a neat thing when a story created out of whole cloth in the mind of a writer can illicit any emotion. These are the books and stories that have done this for me over the years. (In no particular order save the last one which is my fave)

The High King, Lloyd Alexander. This is the last book in the series The Chronicles of Prydain. I read it last. Even without knowing any of the back story from the other four books I was able to connect with the characters and story. The part where the bard has to burn his harp or they all freeze to death and as the harp burns he hears every song that has ever been played on it. Beautiful book. Notice the Newberry Medal on the front. This almost guarantees a good read.

It, Stephen King. Sure the killer clown gets all the attention. But this book is really about the friendship of a group of losers. It makes me wish I had grown up in the 1950's.

The Tommyknockers, Stephen King. This was my first Stephen King novel. When I read it in 9th grade I thought it was awesome. Given a little time to mull it over however it is not as good as it once was but it was as good once as it ever was. King himself admitted to having a cocaine problem while writing this book. But it was really good in the 9th grade.

Wizard and Glass, Stephen King. This is book four of the Dark Tower Series. It is the best of the bunch because it takes us back to when Roland was 15 and the girl he falls in love with in the small town of Meijis. It is Stephen King so bad stuff happens to good people. I think this is my favorite book by King.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy. Borrowed this from Jamie and read it during my days off at Christmas. I can't imagine a book less suited to the Christmas season than this. It is about a man and a boy traveling across post-apocalyptic america. Bad things happen all over the place and the ending kept me awake the night I read it. Not for the faint of heart. No details are offered. He never reveals names, places, or explanation as to how things got this bad. But the background is not essential to the story.

Boy's Life, Robert McCammon. I have read this book 4 times since 1994 when my mother recommended it to me. It is a murder mystery wrapped in a coming of age tale. This is without a doubt my favorite book. I have highly recommended to people and they have liked it. What makes me really believe this is a good book is Sam liked it.

What books have you loved before?


Edward G. Roberts said...

My favorite growing up was James the Jaguar. While I didn't have sisters, I did have an older brother that would torment me. This book gave me the confidence I needed to make it until I got a little brother I could knock around.

Another influential book in my life was The Return of the Native. My senior literature teacher wanted me to read it. I didn't want to. She tried to force me. I refused. She won on my report card. I lost my slot at the Air Force Academy.

The Fountainhead is THE book for me. It fulfilled the philosophical base that James the Jaguar suggested, and made me realize that people like my senior literature teacher don't really count anyway... I still have't read ROTN.

Joseph said...

Edward: You certainly showed her. Besides, Colorado Springs is really cold most of the time.

Jamie said...

I have loved many books before. I am what you would call a book hurr.

Mary Poppins by PL Travers was a book that loved me back.

Margo Redding said...

One of my favorites growing up was "Judy's Journey". I have a copy sitting on my kitchen table. Well, it WAS on the kitchen table. I moved it for Mother's Day because we had extra guests dining with us and I didn't want it ruined.

Like Jamie, I'm a book hurr. I LOVE to read. My children do not care for reading...they are damaged.

I enjoyed "The Fountainhead" immensely. Thank you hubby for that gift, the first of many.

Samantha said...

It's hard to pin down a favorite book now - but I do remember the first book I ever fell in love with:

"The Phantom Tollbooth" - Norton Juster

I would read this book to my grandmother over and over again.

I'm in love with all things Kurt Vonnegut now - thanks to my 12th grade English teacher.

I could go on for days but, I'll leave it at that.

Deborah Busby Ingram said...

Wuthering Heights :)