I received my first "tag" from Cee
on the topic of books. It caused me to think about my choices in literature and I remembered some very good (and some very bad) reads. So in answer to the categories she posed:
1. A book that has changed your life: The Magus by John Fowles, which was given to me by my boyfriend of the moment with the inscription "I hope this opens some doors that may have not been opened yet." As much as the Magus was a mind-expander, so Bill expanded my experiences. Our relationship was far too volatile to last, but the book has stayed with me and I have read it several times over the years, with a different set of doors being opened each time.
2. A book you have read more than once: Exodus by Leon Uris. This was my first glimpse of the struggles to establish a permanent home for the Jews. I read it again prior to our family trip to Israel in 2000. It was such a wonderful preparation for our visit to many of the sights mentioned in the book. I shuddered when I remembered the scenes from the book, which were only too real even though the book is historical fiction.
3. A book you would want on a desert island: My first inclination was a long and complicated book, so what better choice than the Torah – the first five books of Moses. I could spend a lifetime reading and re-reading this text and never really understand parts of it. But I would also like to have a book like "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon, a book that makes you think outside the box, probably a good thing to do on a desert island.
4. A book that made you laugh: "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins. This colorful tale spans centuries. The major themes of the book include the quest for immortality, the meaning behind the sense of smell, individual expression, self-reliance, sex, love, and religion. He manages to put a smile on your face as you cover all this ground.
5. A book that made you cry: "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath, an autobiography written by this talented woman who took her own life at a young age. "The Time Traveler’s Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger is another book which I was tempted to put on the list of books that made me laugh. It includes scenes that bring tears to your eyes followed by scenes that prompt gut-busting laughter.
6. A book you wish you had written: "Crossing to Safety" and "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. The prose in his books is the finest I have ever read. If anyone could paint best-in-show pictures with words, it is Wallace Stegner. If you start either of these books, you will have a hard time putting it down.
7. A book you wish had never been written: "The Charterhouse of Parma" by Robert Stendhal. Whoever wrote the NY Times review in praise of this book needs to have his head examined. It was the only book I have had to really struggle to complete. And I only read it because it was a book club pick. Even the person who chose it regretted her choice. That was when we introduce the requirement to read the book before recommending it.
8. A book you are currently reading: "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle, who lives in the French town where we will be renting a house in October. It is giving me a gourmet taste of what life in the Luberon area of Provence will be like. In addition, I am reading "The Sabbath" by Abraham Joshua Heschel, in my continuing quest to appreciate and understand this religion I embrace.
9. A book you have been meaning to read: Several on the best-seller list which have caught my attention include "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger, and "A Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I always have a stack of books that are waiting for time to read.
10. Now tag 5 people: I have tried to name people who have responded to my posts about books or who have indicated a love of books, but I will inevitably miss someone who wants to join in this fun. I will suggest: Kassy
, Old Lady
, and Reya
for starters. Just add a comment if you decide to write about your taste in books.