A Life in Books

I saw this via Big A, Little A and Miss Rumphius Effect.

1. What are your 5 most important books?
2. What is an important book you admit you haven’t read?
3. What classic (or childhood favorite) was a little disappointing on rereading?
4. What book do you (or did you) care most about sharing with your kids?
5. Name an acclaimed book, either classic or contemporary, that you just don’t like.

1. What are your 5 most important books?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is my mom’s favorite book, and she’s always talking about how wonderful it is. When I read it in 8th grade I thought it was good but couldn’t see what “the big deal” was. I tried again in college and liked it more, but I still don’t think I “got it.” I read it again as an adult, when I taught it to summer school students, and finally–wow! I cried so much that time. Now that I have my own child, I think I’d cry even more if I read it again.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Likewise, I read this book before I had my son, and I think I’d cry even more if I read it now. This book is just so beautiful and shows the incredible bonds of love between parent and child. I remember thinking, as I read this book, that each sentence was like a piece of dark chocolate–almost too rich. I couldn’t read too much of this book at one sitting. I had to take small “bites.”

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough. This was the first “grown-up” book I read as a kid, and I loved the scandal and romance! Sometimes I’ll pick up The Thorn Birds and read a few parts just for fun. A few years ago my husband and I dressed and Meggie and Father Ralph for Halloween.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I’m always amazed with how often I think of this book, especially now that I live very close to California. I’ve seen pick-up trucks just piled with stuff–it looks like all a family’s possessions. I think, “Wow. Grapes of Wrath.” Or when I see an orange grove I think of that book. The Joad family, as well as the descriptions of Depression Life in Grapes of Wrath are just unforgettable. I should re-read that again.

Feed by M.T. Anderson. Again, I often think of this book as I go about my day-to-day life. I’m just a few years too old to be a “digital native.” I used the internet for the first time when I was a senior in high school. Now, I couldn’t live without the internet (and especially my blogs!). But technology is scary, too. When I see a kid on an airplane watching a movie on a tiny DVD player, I think of Feed. When I see a high school kid think a cell phone at school is an absolute necessity, I think of Feed. I really can see that book happening “in real life.”

2. What is an important book you admit you haven’t read?
Oh gosh. There are tons. I haven’t read any of the famous “Russian novels.” I haven’t read The Iliad. I haven’t read Canterbury Tales. I haven’t read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. But how about this. I’ve had Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace on my shelf for years, waiting for me to read it.

3. What classic (or childhood favorite) was a little disappointing on rereading?
I’m too afraid to re-read any childhood favorite, for fear of disappointment. I loved Little Women. Loved Secret Garden. Read all the Baby-Sitters Club and lots of Nancy Drew. I’m afraid to touch any of them again.

4. What book do you (or did you) care most about sharing with your kids?
There are too many to list! I’m looking forward to sharing so much! My son is 10 months old, so we’re still in the board book (and book chewing!) stage. When he gets older, I can’t wait to share some Roald Dahl! Oh, and The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright.

5. Name an acclaimed book, either classic or contemporary, that you just don’t like.
A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I love the title of this book, and I really wanted to like it. But I didn’t. It just went on and on, and I actually found Dave Eggers to be pretty annoying.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. Errol Lord said

    Dave Eggers’s new book looks amazing (much different than AHBWSG).

  2. Mom said

    Ah, I’m so happy you chose To Kill a Mockingbird as one of your all-time favorite/influential books. What an intelligent child I had 20-something years ago. With love and pride, Mom

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s