Kecks in Paradise

Kecks in Paradise

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 15: Books on Books on Books on Books

It is really common these days to see lists on social media--10 Things to Eat Before You Die; 40 Animals That Look Like Poodles, But Aren't Poodles; The 15 Most Epic Pictures of Feet. You know 'em. You've read some of  'em.

At the beginning of the list posting trend, I just wanted to browse through every one. They are so fun and concise! It would only be about midway through a list of "33 Things only Burmese Undergrads Studying in Canada Would Understand" that I would think, "Oh, wait. This really doesn't apply to me."

I am no longer helpless to most lists. I can click or not based on my flavor of the day. Oh but there is one I simply cannot resist.

Always this one.

Almost invariably.

Book Suggestions.

Have you ever posted something akin to "I need book suggestions!" on Facebook? Well, then I have probably read your list. And reread it. And checked it days later to see if anyone else might have a straggler suggestion.

Those are my favorite lists of all.

I love books. I love that they become more than entertainment or education for people, especially good books. Good books can give you new eyes. Good books become part of you.

Here's the thing about those book lists, though--I never comment! It's not that I don't want to, or that I am not enjoying reading all of those suggestions. It makes me feel too vulnerable. What if I hand over this tiny part of myself to someone, and they hate it? What if they make me feel bad for having only read those books, without reading these other ones that are so much better?

Plus, different books go with different people. You may have a life changing experience through a 700 page memoir that I think is a snoozer, you know?

But I am brave, so I am making a tailored list for you, my friends, of some precious books that I have loved that have stayed with me.

Here it goes:

For you who are just learning to love fiction and don't know where to start:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There is a reason this gets put on school reading lists every year. It is a great story, great writing, and great characters. It is funny and smart and sad and forever changes the way you look at your reclusive, pale-faced neighbors.

For you who only read non-fiction:

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

I had this one recommended to me approximately eight billion times. I think I shied away because it is non-fiction and I wasn't looking for a research project (it can take a long time to get through those books, yo!). But it is really compelling. It is heartbreaking, but miraculous, and makes me want to get on my knees and thank God for every single thing. Even fleas.

For you who want a glimpse at my soul:

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

I read this book, then asked Jason to read it, then read it again. You know with some books you just have to get through them, even if they are driving you crazy, you have to know what happens? This isn't that at all. This is a I am enjoying every page and I want to know what happens but I would be happy to read this forever kind of book.

For you who want to be swept up in a world of magic:

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I hope I am not the first person telling you to read Harry Potter. Read Harry Potter! And don't give me this, "I have watched the movies," nonsense. Read Harry Potter. 

For you who love intrigue and romance:

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I wish I could forget this book so I could read it again with the same fervor as the first time. It is so creepy. But good. But I couldn't read it alone at night. But it is not scary, you know? Ah--romantic suspense, that is what it is. Thanks, book cover.

For you who love sweet and strange and mysteriously educational:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Once while all my friends were out of town, I walked around our apartment and read this book out loud to myself and cried like a banshee. Then I told them about that (like a dummy) and they all laughed at me. Worth it.

For you who want to savor every page:

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

I was going to do a "if you like this, you'll probably like this" on each one of these suggestions because I have a hard time leaving out some beloved books, but I decided against it to try to be somewhat brief. I will say for this one, though, that its companion novel, Home, is wonderful. I was on a good book streak when I finished that one and couldn't read anything for a while after that, worrying it would ruin me.

Back to Gilead, though. My friend said, "Dude, reading Gilead is like laying down on the grass on a spring day." I loved that. It is true.

For you who like to wonder if they will survive:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Oh gosh. This book is rough. It is a cold, cruel world in there, folks. But it is a page-turner if ever there was one.

For you who want to laugh and cry on every page:

The Absolutely True Story of A Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I had this book recommended to me by one of my teacher friends while I was on that good book streak. I kept making Jason listen to parts that were funny, until I read him most of the book.

I should stop there because it is almost bed-time, and I want to go read my library books. They are so good. To be totally honest, I feel bad leaving books off this list. Like I betrayed them. I didn't even hit poetry or picture books. Gaaahhhh. I have to go watch that Ikea commercial about lamps. Inanimate objects don't have feelings!

I hope I hit your genre, and if I didn't let me know! Let me know all the books that you love! You know that is a list I can't resist.


jean said...

I never read what people suggest. Unless, it is someone like you :) Somehow, I feel compelled to read right now. I love, Love, Love your book list. However, I am one of the people who says that I saw the movie for the Harry Potter books....Having a grandfather for magician I somehow haven't found the magic yet. But when I do... You'll be the first to know :)

Angie said...

Oh my goodness how I love books!! I would hide bags of library books in my playhouse because I knew my mom wouldn't let me have so many. On that note, I now have a dresser full of books to read. :-) #bookhoarder
I love your list--and I feel the same way about jealous of those who get to read it for the first time.

Kimberly said...

Angie, your hashtag! Haha. I love all your book choices. You should come up and join yet another book club here in SLC!

Mom, read Harry Potter! ;-)

Angie said...

Tempting! Oh so tempting! ;-)