I once heard a camel say "it's hump daaaaayyy!!"
In honor of said camel and his favorite day, I thought I'd start a weekly question of sorts - something to give me consistency week to week as I blog. Reading is such a huge part of my daily life and often inspires me to think beyond myself.
This week, as I mentioned here, I fell in love with Jessica Park's Flat Out Love. In part, this was because of the main character. I relate so well to Julie - her desire to start college, to unabashedly love books, her excitement about college - her whole character just drew me in. On the other hand, my mom just finished This is How You Fall by Keith Dixon. Now, my mom is certainly not a 25-year-old-male-college-drop-out. Nor has she ever been. But the way Dixon's main character felt about his crook of a father resonated with my mom.
So what is it about a particular book that makes you love it? Some of my very favorite books have very little in common. Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a masterpiece of a novel -it tells the story of two young cousins in the 40's trying to make it in the comic book industry. Chabon's writing is richly detailed and so poignant in it's portrayal of Sam and Joe. Their relationship really drives the novel - I certainly can't relate to their plight, but I felt their relationship. The story was just so, I don't know, visceral.
On the flip side, what I love most about Pride and Prejudice is the running commentary on society and its flaws. Austen made a life of criticizing the society she was such a part of through her romantic stories. Though her novels are very similar to one another in tone, Austen has a heroine for everyone. I've attempted to convert my Mom to an Austen lover over the years - the humor in her novels can be laugh-out-loud funny - to no avail. Hopefully one day I can convince someone to love 19th century British literature (we read Persuasion in my book club and only M liked it - Trixie hated it and only read one chapter, while C and L didn't care).
The Saving Graces, my perpetual favorite book, is nothing like the aforementioned pieces of "literature." Patricia Gaffney's book is acutally about a women's group which began as a book club and morphed in to something greater. I love that the story is told through four different perspectives. It makes the characters so well developed, and made me feel like I knew them - every time I'm feeling glum I read this book as a pick me up, like visiting old friends. As you can see, my copy is rather destroyed from constant re-readings. (which also brings me to the topic of re-reading, which I plan to address in another post).