The Classics Club has moved off of Jillian’s blog (A Room of One’s Own) and moved to a blog of its very own. The ever-growing club needed the room to spread out and other moderators to help it along–the new space can be found here. One of the new activities is a monthly meme. August’s meme:
I’m no stranger to reading or hoarding a gluttonous supply of novels and reference materials. [This should come as no shock with my BA in English and an MFA in creative writing.] However, I have two distinct problems with this kind of question:
- I find my mind picks and chooses “favorites” based on my mood when asked.
- My feelings/impressions of a book are not always based on my actual memory of the plot.
For example, I remember damn little about Stendhal’s The Red and the Black. What I do remember is that this book blew my mind as a teenager! I remember feeling sad and angry and frustrated. I remember that it made me wonder why all novels weren’t written the same way. But could I offer you a plot summary? Not on your life… [Which is why I am re-reading the book as an adult.]
I read Scott O’Dell’s book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, more times than I could count in elementary school. Why? Because who didn’t want to be a tragic heroine left alone on an island to fend for themselves? Yes, I was a weird kid.
I loved the German tale of The Nibelungenlied. Awesome. Bloody. Epic.
I love Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I love Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues.
There are tons of books that I could rattle off–both for me enjoying the story or for the emotional impact it had on me at the time I read it–but this meme is about a favorite. What is most important I think is understanding what it is about a book that gets to me…
- I like a good adventure. It doesn’t even have to be a swashbuckling kind of adventure, because even the quieter domestic adventures of Austen are worthwhile. It just has to be a story filled with opportunity and misfortune, relationships, and changes of scenery.
- I like the mystical. I prefer stories with things that skirt the edges–whether that means through religion, beliefs, or reality. The unknown is a big place and I am curious.
- I like good language. Give me Poe and Twain and Sylvia Plath. And, then, give me Seuss!
- I like, above all, to feel something. If the author cannot evoke any emotion from me, the book–no matter how highly regarded by literature standards–will not register in my mind once I close the cover. Life is too short to read dull books!
Ok. So that’s my two cents without naming a favorite. 😀