There has been this meme making the Facebook rounds. I’m sure you’ve seen it. If you haven’t (or if you aren’t on FB) it goes something like this:
List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.
While I didn’t do the post on FB right away, I have been thinking about this ever since. We all have our list, don’t we? Mine changes, that’s for sure. Ask me throughout the year and my list will inevitably be different. But one thing remains: words have the power to change, to heal, to remind, to forgive, to move us somewhere we’ve never been. My favorite books are the ones that feel like a security blanket to me. They remind me who I am, what is inside me. I’m going to list my ten for you (and remember, this is off the cuff. Please no judgment!)
- Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself – Judy Blume
- The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
- A Trip to the Stars – Nicholas Christopher
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
- Little Children – Tom Perrota
- The Awakening – Kate Chopin
- Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
- The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
- The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
- The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Oh, man. That was hard. There are so, so many other books that are now springing to mind because isn’t that what great literature does? Even bad literature does that. To be perfectly honest, my guilty pleasure reading (the kind of books I read when I don’t have the energy to pay too much attention or I want something I can finish quickly so that I can feel like I accomplished something) is of the mass-produced paperback variety. Mysteries, thrillers, detective novels. I inhale them. Those are my standard late night reading because often they are formulaic enough to be of comfort.
One of you lucky birds is going to get a little care package from me; a bag of sunshine, if you will. You have until Thursday, September 18th. All you have to do is tell us:
What book has had the greatest impact on you personally?