Sunday, April 11, 2010
Sunday Salon- Books, Take Me Away
There hasn't been a whole lot of reading going on the past few days, or even really this past week other than reading blogs and stuff. I haven't seem to be able to sit down and concentrate long enough to get into a book. I am currently reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy and listening to The Sherlock Holmes Collection on audiobook whenever I work out or take the dog for a walk. Neither one seems to be really grabbing my attention or calling to me to read the way some books do.
You know how sometimes you pick up a book and start reading and the characters are so alive and so real to you that it's almost like you are drawn to the book. Any spare moment you have you must keep reading just to find out what's going to happen next. And when you get to the end of the book you are incredibly sad because even though you now know everything about the characters and their happy, or not so happy, endings the book is over and the intense feeling of wanting to be a part of that world is gone forever. This is the feeling I am constantly chasing when I pick a new book.
I want my reading to consume me. I want the author to transport me to another world where I am experiencing all the emotions, the highs and lows, and the society that I am reading about. I don't want to just read to pass the time. I want it to be an experience that stays with me, that continues to pull at me and my thoughts, that changes me in some way. It is this experience that I am forever chasing for myself and my students.
Perhaps this is my I like historical fiction and fantasy so much because just by the very nature of the setting you are transported to a new place. I like when the author describes the everyday things of life- meals, activities, school, work, fashion- because then I can really visualize the world and start to feel as though I am a part of it all. I think books that are able to do this for a reader, transport the reader into the book, are the books that stand the test of time and the ones that teach us, change us, and re-create us.
There are have been many (MANY) books over the years that have done this for me, and they are ones I often find myself returning to time and again to re-read and re-read.
Here's my list (so far! I've only had one coffee and am still in bed on this lovely Sunday morning so more may come to mind).
Anne of Green Gables- the entire series (which I re-read pretty much every year), I agonize over Anne's predicaments everything, I cry for Matthew and I root for Gilbert
Little House on the Prairie- the entire series, I haven't read these since was a child but I loved how Laura Ingalls Wilder described all the food they ate, how they made their home, and the small daily activities in their life
Emma- I remember reading this is 2nd year of university and loving every page, I couldn't put it down
The Outlander Series- I will be forever grateful to my friend S for introducing me to Diana Gabaldon, Jamie and Claire
The Outsiders- I read it in Grade 8, and taught it for 5 years in Grade 7...it is one of the ultimate coming of age stories
The Hunger Games- this will get boys reading!!
The Harry Potter Series- Oh Hogwarts, why can't you be a real place?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy- If only I could meet a hobbit...
Othello- my favourite of all Shakespeare's plays, and yes I have read them all
The Pillars of the Earth- a more recent addition to the list, but this book captivated me for the entire 900+ pages
The Notebook- a cheesy-ish addition but I cried and cried and cried and it made me see my grandparents and other long lasting relationships in a different way
The Historian- I love me some vampires!
War Brothers- get your middle school kids to read this and then talk, talk, talk to them about how we are responsible to care for each other
The Shack- thank you Jennibean for giving me this to read
Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World- this as become a guiding light for me in my teaching and interactions with students
Okay...I think I will stop there and may be think about doing a 2nd post in the near future...the list could go on and on. I want to know about the books that changed you, taught you, helped you and think in new ways.
What would be on your list?