Saturday, September 6, 2014

What's your book about?

For some reason, I have always hated that question.  If it's a book I adore, it hurts to reduce it to a few digestible bites.  And even if it's a book I am merely moderately enjoying, aren't all books really "about" the same thing--what it means to be human? 

It's also nearly impossible to talk about my "favorite" books.  Ha!  As if I'd even know where to begin...I do like the list I've seen people posting on Facebook lately--essentially ten books that have impacted your life. 

Although I did read one really snarky article by someone who claims everyone is lying on their lists in order to look more well-read or sophisticated, I love seeing others' lists and matching the lists with what I know of the person.  So telling.  

Without further ado, here's my list (in no particular order):

1.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2.  The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
3.  The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
4.  The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
5.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
6.  Middlemarch by George Eliot
7.  Riven Rock by T.C. Boyle
8.  Otherwise by Jane Kenyon
9.  Pablo Neruda--odes, sonnets, etc.  (I can't possible choose one collection)
10.  Beloved by Toni Morrison

I just finished my list and have to console myself that this is just one day's list.  On another day, surely I'd make more room for poets, for Shakespeare, for Arthurian legends, for Faulkner, for non-fiction.   

Ten seems so little, when books have been so central in my life...I just noticed that of the books I posted, not counting the poetry, only one is set in the present--the others are historical fiction, classics, or futuristic.  Hmmmmm...I would not have guessed that.  

What books would be on your "list?"

1 comment:

  1. Oh God, this is hard to compile! Some are well-regarded and others more middling, but my list is of books that have impacted my life the most and left an imprint on my personality. I can tell because I quote or reference them or think about them frequently. In no particular order:

    1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    3. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    4. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    5. War Trash by Ha Jin
    6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    8. Tell Them You're One of Us by Uwem Akpan
    9. All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson
    10. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    11. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Gah! Couldn't do 10...