Friday, February 15, 2013


Books change us.

We have all read that one book that made us forever look at the world through different lenses, those two books that would not have been the same, nor would we, had we not read them back to back, those three books that we tell everyone they must read, the four books that sit on our night table waiting to be read-- because someone we know says those books changed them…

Book change us.

Vampires became different the moment I began reading The Vampire Lestat.

The middle ages and the Church took on new meaning after reading The Name of the Rose and The Starbridge series illuminated my own Anglican/Episcopal Church heritage.

I will always be a bit suspicious of houses after reading House of Leaves.

Each time I begin to scatter more and more notes in more and more  places, I think about The Golden Notebook.

And I never walk by the color purple without hearing Shug Avery remind me “that is pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t to notice it.”

What books have been most influential in your life? Which books will you never forget?
Which books do you reread over and over?

The House of Paper begins this way:
One day in the spring of 1998, Bluma Lennon bought a second hand copy of Emily Dickinson’s poems in a bookshop in Soho, and as she reached the second poem on the first street corner, she was knocked down by a car.

Books change people’s destinies.

This delightful, imaginative little book then goes on to elegantly remind us of our sometimes deep and inexplicable relationships with books, and how those book tie us forever to other people.

I am in the midst of reading The End of Your Life Book Club in which the author asked his mother the most important question that can be asked of one book lover by another, “What are you reading?” 

His mother’s answer led to a book club of two, as she lived her life---and finally died----with pancreatic cancer.  The books they shared, their lives and relationships woven together and surrounding the books, make for a story, that if you are a reader, enchants you from page 1.

On Facebook, a friend once asked folks to list the 15 books that will always stick with you-- the first 15 that you can recall in 15 minutes. 

My list follows in no particular order other then the sequence in which I thought of them. … and it is longer than directed …and  I guess, at some point, I need to make several other lists----poetry, children’s books,  spiritual or religious books, nonfiction, and professional books... but for now, here is my updated general list. (As I wrote this post, I couldn’t resist adding the last seven entries to the original list, which had been completed two years ago.)

  1. SSSay You are One of Them by Uwem Akpam
  2.  The Name of the Rose by Anne Rice
  3. *The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. NFHealing by Frances McNutt
  5. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewki
  6. SSDrown by Junot Diaz
  7. Beloved Toni Morrison
  8. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  10. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  11. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  12. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  13. The Way of the Pilgrim- unknown 19th century Russian peasant (many translations)
  14. *Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  15. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  16. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  17. The Starbridge Series by Susan Howatch
  18. NFGodel, Escher, and Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
  19. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  20. The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern
  21. SSThis is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  22. *The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  23. *The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  24. NFThe Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  25. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
*Children’s books  NFNonfiction SSShort Stories

Next week this list may be very different.  Daily, I meet new books. The world changes. We change. 

Books change us.

Today’s Deeper Writing Possibility
What books that have changed you, influenced you, taught you, and/or helped you grow into the person you are today?
Make a list of the 10 (or 15 or 25) books that will stick you with you always.

Write  a personal narrative about one (or two or three books) that are most important to you.
How did the book(s) enter your life?
How did the book(s) affect you while you were reading?
How does the book (s) affect your life now?

Write a recommendation or book review of the book (s).

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