"A reader lives 1000 lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one."
- George R. R. Martin

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Books that I love - Part 1.

    Some books that you read are space fillers, time wasters, something to keep your brain occupied.  A lot of books are like that.  You read, you enjoy them while they are there, but once you have turned the last page you are able to move on to the next without a second thought.  
    These books are not those books.
    These are, for me, books that I return to over and over.  They resonate in me and have created a space in my psyche that pulls their images to the forefront even years after I've read them.  Normal, everyday occurrences remind me of these books and the people in them and bring me right back into the center of the story with fond memories, as though I lived their events myself.  These books move me.  

    "Sexing the Cherry" by Jeannette Winterson may be my favorite book of all time.  Winterson writes with a singular outlook on the world and it's creatures, one that captures your imagination and places you in a world where impossible things are commonplace yet drawn with awe.  All of her books are about love in all of it's aspects and "Sexing the Cherry" is no exception.  This book changed my world and how I see it.  
Even the most solid of things, and the most real, the best-loved and the well-known, are only hand-shadows on the wall. Empty space and points of light. 

    When I started to think of the books that move me for this list, "Was" by Geoff Ryman came immediately to mind, followed by an emotional reaction as strong as the day I read it.  It is really a collection of 4 stories that all revolve around "The Wizard of Oz".  There is the story of Judy Gum who grew up to become Judy Garland, the story of the star of the film (treated as though she is an entirely different person), the story of a man obsessed with the film and the story of the real Dorothy Gale.  "Was" explores the power of art, the power of hope and the melancholy of lost childhood.

   The last one (for now) that I will mention is an intricate weave of history, imagination and personalities.  "A Case of Curiosities" by Allen Kurzweil begins at a modern auction house and travels through the late 18th century following the life of Claude Page as he sets out to become the most daring inventor of his time.  His journey from enameling, watch making, pornography and invention leads to a bizarre execution and a captivating read!  A very clever book that has stayed with me for years and years.

    There are a few more books on my All Time Favorites list, but they will have to wait for another blog!

   Until next time!  I wish you good reading!

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