I think I should start to share a few of my favorite books with you. I read a lot. There are a few books though that I pick up time and again and never seem to tire of. One of them is…
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
This is probably my favorite book of all time. Now, don’t groan and say, “I saw the preview for that movie and it looks sappy and terrible”. I agree. I have not seen the movie yet, because I fear it really is sappy and terrible. That is the impression I have from all the reviews I read at least. What I have gathered is that they took all of the depth, mystery, and punk out of the book and made it just another love story. I’m sure I’ll see it eventually, but my hopes are low. But, I’m here to tell you that the book is a beautiful thing. It is the story of two people, Henry and Claire, who live their whole lives together, but in a disjointed way. Henry suffers from a disease that makes him spontaneously travel through time. Claire grows up with Henry visiting her as a child, but Henry doesn’t meet Claire in his timeline until he is 20 or so.
It isn’t all sunshine and happiness. The novel is laced with pain, longing, and loss. You feel how hard it is for both of them to be constantly ripped away from each other. You feel how lonely it is for Claire every time he leaves, not knowing when he will be able to return. It is a book of triumphs and great losses. It is a love story, a sci-fi story, and an adventure. It makes me laugh, cry, and long for more.
Everyone I have ever leant this book to has loved it.
It is the beautifully written debut novel of a writer that I am excited to follow. In fact, I am currently reading her second novel, “Her Fearful Symmetry”. So far, it is just splendid. I will write about it fully when I finish it. (I’m supposed to be reading “Kafka on the Shore” for my next book club book, but can’t put this one down yet.)
Another book I have always loved…
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
This book is one of the most banned books of all time. I love looking at the banned book lists and choosing my reading materials from there. It is interesting to see what other people find “subversive” or “dangerous”. The concept of dangerous literature is really amusing to me. Books are ideas. They cannot be dangerous in and of themselves. They are not responsible for people’s thoughts or actions after reading them. People should be able to decide things for themselves based on gathered information and their own experiences…
Well, now that my little aside is done, “Perks of Being a Wallflower”. This is a lovely little book that really portrays the joy, angst, fears, lonliness, and confusion of being a teenager. It is about a young teen named Charlie who is a bit of an outcast. He enters high school and tries to find himself. Along the way he finds friends, drugs, the truth about his past, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The book is written in a really interesting format. It is a series of letters from Charlie to an anonomous recipient.
Charlie says, “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
This is a book that will remind you what it was like to be in high school, or for me it felt more like college. But, whenever it reminds you of, one thing is for sure. It will leave you feeling infinite.