Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life-changing list

This is a follow-up to my last post about what I was reading over the summer.  I read some wonderful books!  Not all of them were on my original list; my book group added a couple titles I wouldn’t normally think of reading, and I found one or two on my stack at home and another on my Kindle that I picked up.  *Best Read of the Summer*, The Book Thief, which is on my top-ten-of-all-time list. 
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The writing is exquisite, the characters are unforgettable, and the concept of having Death as the narrator is genius.  If you’ve not read this book, do yourself a favor and come check it out (or check it out at your local library.)  I was late getting on board with this title, and now I’m anxious to pick up I Am the Messenger, which I have heard from students, is also a great read.

As summer came to an end, my September issue of Real Simple magazine came in the mail.  The article that most intrigued me was called “The Life-Changing List.”  Authors from various disciplines and genres were asked which book was the one “that moved them most.” 
The 50 titles range from Alice in Wonderland to The Education of the Gardener to Without Feathers by Woody Allen.  It piqued my interest to see this mix of titles, some recommended by authors I know and love.  Now, I plan to add two more titles to my list of books to read during the year:  Dandelion Wine and The Benchley Roundup.  I really enjoyed Fahrenheit 451 in high school, and I actually met Ray Bradbury at a production of the play at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.  It never occurred to me that I might enjoy Dandelion Wine and no one had ever suggested I read it.  Author Susan Wiggs says about it, “The whole world is in this novel: fear and acceptance, joy and sorrow, the circle of life and the passing of the seasons, and the magic of everyday things.”  I picked up our library copy and determined it has seen better days.  A new copy has been ordered and I plan to be first at Prep to check it out!  Humorist Robert Benchley wrote one of my favorite quotes: “It took fifteen years for me to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous.”  His essays were published in many publications, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Life, and he inspired many writers and comedians.  I enjoy reading humorous observations about life and the human condition.  We have two Robert Benchley titles in our collection, and I plan to start with one of those

What books have moved you?  We'd love to hear from you, either in the comments section, below, or in person.  If you're too shy, you can write us a note or send an email.  We are always open to suggestions from students, parents, teachers and alumni of great books we should add to our Prep library!

Mrs. Hodge

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