Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stories That Have Stayed With Me

For one more day
I started this post a year ago, but here is the finished post.

Today I was thinking about the letter "o." I was thinking how the shape of it resembles the shape that your mouth makes when producing it. Then all of a sudden, I got a flashback to a description of October Sky, which I read four years ago.

The description that came up is actually one that I think about a lot--it's at the part where Homer and his friends are trying to get railroad scraps to sell for money. While doing this, Homer's wrist gets badly injured, and he describes being able to see the round "o" of his vein which has been severed.

So I decided to make a list of books that stay with me. They may or may not be my favorite books. I may have rated them 5 stars or 4 stars or less. Regardless, they have impacted me in some way. They are the ones that I remember, and will continue to remember.

In no particular order...

One of my most favorite book ever. For One More Day by Mitch Albom is a must read for everyone!

For One More Day by Mitch Albom
I always list this book as my favorite. I read it back in 2006, and I still remember the day. I was home alone for some reason, and it was storming outside. My dad had gotten this book in the mail--he had accidentally forgotten to cancel it from his book club. I took it from him (I'm not sure if he ever knew this) and gave it a new home on my bookshelf. That night, I read the entire thing, and tears poured from me on every page. It made me rethink and appreciate my relationship with my mother. It touched my heart in a way that other books have not done.

Peter Pan (Puffin Chalk): J.M. Barrie: 9780147508652: Amazon.com: Books


Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
I read this in 6th grade. At the time, I was particularly obsessed with Peter Pan due to the live-action movie that had recently been released. (I still love that movie. I always will.) I read the book, which is a bit different than any of the film versions, but lovely. It's just lovely. I think reading this book is what prompted me to write as much as I did during that time in my life.

Years later, I'm still in love with the story. It's always been with me.


The Things They Carried is Random Thoughts Bookclubs selection for March 28, 2013.  A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
It took me three tries to actually get through this book, which I finally did early this year. It's unlike anything else I've read, both because it's about the Vietnam war and because you can't really fit it into a literary genre. It's not quite a novel, but it's not quite a collection of short stories; it's also not quite fiction, but not quite non-fiction.

Upon finishing the book, I wrote in my journal, "you applaud Tim O'Brien for writing truth in a way that you will always strive for and for writing a story you know you never could. You are intrigued by this naturalistic, pessimistic view on life in writing and would like to experiment with it in the future."

Honestly, this book broke my heart. But it needed to break my heart. It wasn't painful to be painful--it was painful because that's how life is. My words can't do it justice. Just go read it.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding | 23 Books You Didn't Read In High School But Actually Should

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I'm going to be honest and say that I did not enjoy reading this book very much. I really didn't. I read it my senior year of high school not because it was required, but because that was when I began focusing more on classic literature.

So why is it in this list? The ending. When Ralph weeps for "the end of innocence and the darkness of a man's heart" at the end, it always hits a chord with me. It's chilling and powerful and overwhelming.


Good Reads: Spring Reading List The Book Thief was AMAZING! I highly recommend it.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I first read this book in high school. We went to my grandma's for Thanksgiving every year, out in the middle of no where. I brought this book with me, which I had been trying to get through for a month. I read the last 1/3 of it on the carpet in her storage room and cried until there was nothing left.

You will never read another book like this one. You will never feel language the way this book paints it. You will never find characters that are more dear, more desperate, more destined. You will never see Death so clearly and uniquely portrayed. You will never cherish the art of storytelling as much as you will after experiencing this book. This story demands to be told. This story lives on after the last page. This story will never be forgotten.

When this brilliant, nasty tale of a small town’s annual ritual of randomly stoning one of its citizens to death was published in the New Yorker in 1947, it generated more letters than anything the magazine had ever published. Many wanted to cancel their subscriptions, others wanted to know what happened after the story's end. A terrifying few asked whether 'The Lottery" was real and, if so, where could they go see one enacted.

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
Chilling. That's what this story is. It's very short, but it speaks volumes. It portrays the horror of mindless traditions. It's like a compact version of The Hunger Games. And the thing is, you don't realize what's going on until the very end. Everything appears normal until the very end, which makes it all the more shocking. I can read this story over and over again and still be fascinated by it.



Harry PotterHarry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
I read Sorcerer's Stone for the first time in 4th grade. I was nine years old. Up until that point, I had most been reading The Babysitter's Club and other books of little substance. I wasn't a reader until I met this series. It literally changed me. I continued reading the books throughout middle school. I waited in line at midnight when Deathly Hallows came out in 2007. I reread them all again in high school. And I just finished reading Sorcerer's Stone again, because I'm in the midst of all kinds of change and just finished Divergent and my school work is too much to focus additional time and energy on another new thing. But I can always go back to Harry Potter. Any time, any age, any circumstance. It's enjoyable, it's heartbreaking, it's well-written, it's easy to get through. It's the story of my generation. I grew up with the characters, like childhood friends. It's one thing that will always remain constant in my life.



Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro -- My husband and I, before he was my husband, read this book at the same time and discussed it as we went along.  Wonderful time.Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I saw this movie first. I think it was with Karlee and Jenna. I just remember the credits rolling and not understanding what just happened, not understanding how everything could be so wrong, how so much pain could be felt without any resolution. We all were a bit awe-struck, a bit depressed
Then I read the book. And the more I dove into the story, the more I fell in love with it. It's still heartbreaking and depressing and makes you want to beat someone's head against the wall, but it's beautifully crafted. Kathy H., is mostly sensible and has the memory of an elephant. The whole story is just her recalling on the memories of her life, piecing them together but not at all giving the reader too much information at once. The thing is, Kathy and her friends don't realize the circumstances they are in. The reader does. The reader is all too aware. And the reader feels everything, feels everything violently because the characters can't feel anything at all.




other notable works:
Flowers for Algernon. one of my all time favorite books!Life of Pi...I need to read this book before the film comes out.  I have heard it is great; movie trailer was amazing.Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye | Community Post: 21 Unreliable Narrators Who May Or May Not Be Lying To YouNineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult book reviewThe Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel- A feel good book, one u wouldn't expect from Mr. King.Huffington Post's 11 Required Reading Books You Should Re-Read Now That You're OlderEntering Seventh Grade, Book of Choice Option: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  Williston Northampton, Middle School English DepartmentThe Bell Jar.  A very sad but interesting read.  I wish she would have expressed more how she got from successful to suicidal.  And of course we all know the eventual end.One of the all time, classic, young adult novels.On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’ s incomplete grasp of adult motives–together with her precocious literary gifts–brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages theThe Time Traveler's Wife: my favourite book #books #romance The Perks of Being a Wallflower


*please note that although I love reading, I'm a rather slow reader and have not read as many books as I should. Just because a book isn't on this list doesn't mean I don't like it; it probably just means I haven't gotten to it yet.

--Emily
currently listening to: Love Runs Out by OneRepublc

P.S. I finally finished Season 3 of Sherlock today and oh my goodness!!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful list. I appreciated that you didn't just post books you love, but rather books that impacted you. Sometimes books are like medicine, they strengthen you and yet they aren't terribly enjoyable to eat. Your thoughts on Lord of the Flies were very familiar. I hated reading the book, and yet have no regrets. Also, the Book Thief is one of my all time absolute favoritest books in the universe.

    I can't wait to get my hands on some of the ones I haven't read yet. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete