I left you hanging last time with my list of all-time favorite books. Well, now I’ll fill you in on My Guilty Pleasure, The Book that Changed My Life, The Books that Terrified Me, The Most Underappreciated Book, and The Book that Didn’t Disappoint. In opposite order…
The Book that Didn’t Disappoint
It’s hard to explain how I feel about this book. For as long as I can remember, I have seen this in bookstores. And I have always always been drawn to it. Even when I was in middle school. But I never bought it, only read the back and put it on the shelf, somehow knowing I wasn’t ready. So when I finally did read it, I thought it was amazing. I loved every page. It was dense, but something about Irving’s voice, the way he words things, I can’t get enough of it. I would read sentences outloud, just to hear them. The fact that I wasn’t disappointed by this book that I waited so long to read puts it on my list. Maybe when I reread it, I will feel differently. Maybe. But somehow, I don’t think so.
The Most Underappreciated Book
I fell in love with Murakami’s writing style after reading Kafka on the Shore. That novel is not my favorite of his, but it was a wonderful introduction to his storytelling capabilities. I have a feeling most Murakami fans would not approve of me selecting after the quake as my example of his writing, but that’s exactly why I chose it. The stories in after the quake show a restraint that, for me, is the most impressive thing about Murakami. I’ve read most of his novels, short stories and even his non-fiction. And for me, this short collection of short stories is what I love most about his books: small connections, the conscious of an entire culture, the fantastic, the mundane.
The Books That Terrified Me
Any book that creates a strong emotion in me is one that I add to my favorites. These two books are probably some of the scariest I have ever read. Both gave me nightmares, both made me lose sleep. And I know you’re thinking that that’s not a good thing, but it is. Blindness, by Saramago, is also one of the best translations of a book I have read. Anyone familiar with Saramago’s writing style knows that it is not easy to read. It’s something you have to get used to, something that tests you. However, through the complex prose, the fear of an entire community going completely blind is something that screamed at you. As for Capote, In Cold Blood was something I definitely wasn’t expecting when I started reading it. Capote gets so close to the murderers that you want them to be innocent, you don’t want them to die. It was truly disturbing. I double and triple checked my locks every night.
The Book that Defined a Part of My Life
When my boyfriend and I started dating, he gave me this book to read. I returned it to him, covered in tears from the gigantic sobfest I had for the last 50 pages or so. The point is, I love this book. I’m totally biased. I will read it again and again and never get tired of it. I recommend it to everyone. It’s romantic, it’s weird, it’s delightful. Sure, it has its flaws, but I don’t care. Really, can’t even list them. I’m sure they must exist, but I don’t care. My boyfriend and I are still together, 3 years later, and whenever I think of TTW, I think of him and I think of our early relationship. This book has definitely become a symbol of what we have. Also it’s about a librarian. Duh.
My Guilty Pleasure
Yup. That’s right. A book about zombies. Probably, the best book about zombies ever written. I don’t know, it’s the only book about zombies I’ve ever read. I have read this book many times. It would also appropriately fit under the category of Books that Terrified Me. The essential plot is that there is a disease that reanimates people as zombies. From here, it deviates from what I think of as traditional zombie literature (if such a thing exists). It is told from the point of view of people across the country, post World War Z, and highlights some of the worst, best, and most interesting parts of the war. It spans the globe and all kinds of people; the world that Brooks has imagined is frighteningly realistic and I had little difficulty imagining all of the things he wrote about happening. He writes from the perspective of all walks of life, and does so amazingly well. Get this book and read it.
So there you have it. No doubt, this list will change. I realize that there are no classics on here, but I wanted to be honest, not highbrow. These are the books I recommend to everyone. These are the books I love to read. These are the books that have impacted my life so much I can blog about them years after I have read them. So if you haven’t read them, get out there and put them on your TBR list!