Friday, February 20, 2015

Favorite Books

In my Advanced Composition class, I have my students writing about a book which changed their view of the world.  Naturally, one of them asked which book I would choose.

Picking a favorite book is no easier to pick than my favorite child.  (I don't have one, of course)  But, I believe I can narrow my "favorites" list down to five. Each of these titles has changed my view of the world in a profound way.. I'll try and give you an overview without giving anything away, because I loathe spoilers.

1.  The Giver by Lois Lowry

I think this book left such a huge mark because it was the first time I realized that people who believed they were good and who thought were doing the right thing could be so profoundly WRONG about their beliefs.  Also, an outside view of our world as it is now, both beautiful and horrible, has never left me.

2.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I owe my understanding of this novel to my twelfth grade AP Literature teacher, Mrs. Hukari, because she asked me to analyze the words "The horror, the horror."  When I realized what the words meant (and I won't ruin it for you), I was very moved.  As humans, we work so hard to create an illusion of being civilized.  How common of us.

3.  Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson

I so identified with Sara Louise, understood her desperation to have someone notice her for being the "responsible" child, that I cried for days every time I thought about the end of this novel.  Not everyone will understand, but if you do, we are kindred spirits.

4.  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

At the end of this novel, a character displays his complete inability to understand how two unlike people could become friends.  In so many ways, I feel his ignorance is displayed in situations I encounter daily, making this an essential read.  The problem is that if you read it and don't understand what I'm talking about, there is little hope for you.  It's okay, though.  I forgive you.

5.  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

How an author created a novel like this is still mind-boggling.  She combined some deep science-fiction with complex emotional components which made me read the book at least three times.  The relationship with Meg and Charles Wallace will never leave me, along with the theme of love transcending all things, which also appears in the Harry Potter books years later.

I really encourage you to read these fantastic books, and would love to talk about them more in the comments below!

Beth - 1
People Who Don't Read - 0