The Memorable Ones

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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I've been asked on several occassions which books are my favorite - I'm sure we've all been asked that question, especially as writers. Instead of answering this in the usual manner, with a list of sorts, perhaps in some manner of organization, I thought you might be interested to know which books have changed me. Because I know that is always one of the things I want to know. ;)

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
I mentioned this breifly in my last post, but I wanted to elaborate. Johnny Tremain wasn't just your ordinary nice-book-you-might-re-read. Johnny Tremain moved me. Changed me, even. It was an all-around good book, regardless of the fact that the American Revolution is my favorite part of history.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
You knew this was going to be on the chart, didn't you? I've raved about this book before, and it's worth doing again. The characters come alive like few other books have managed to do, the storyline is grabbing, the writing made me laugh, grin, bite my lip and even cry. (Pst...any book that makes me cry will probably make it to my favorites list.) It changed how I looked at my own writing, and I really appreciate that.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A given for this list, in my opinion. I'd heard Tolkien was a tough nut to crack, but I loved this book. The whole world Tolkien creates is so real, and the atmosphere is thoroughly well-crafted. He puts my world-building to shame!

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
I tend to think of this as more of a case-study than a book, per se, but however you choose to categorize this book, just read it. As I am sure many people did, I went into this book expecting some sort of rule-list about Why Dating Is One Of The Seven Deadliest Sins and How To Catch A Man While Not Getting Behind On Your Knitting sort of thing. It's not. Harris takes you through the ins and outs of the dating world and basically drops all the evidence in your lap; and why he thinks you shouldn't date in the world's way. I had never realized that what I thought was dating was a lot more like courtship. And call it whatever you will, that's what I will aim for with my future husband.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Narnia series was beautifully crafted, so I went into this book with high expectations. Not only did Lewis use these letters between servants of the devil to create a unique storyline, he also rewrote the way I thought about sin and deception. After reading this book, I felt closer to my Maker, which can't be downplayed. This book has written itself forever on my heart.

This isn't the whole of the list - in fact, there are several others I could mention. But each has only a small part that impacted me, and to get into all of that would be quite lengthy and mostly unnecessary. These are the key books, the ones that have in whole changed me, the words that won't ever leave me.
What books have changed you?

13 comments

  1. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. Well, I got three out of five!

    The three I've read in this list have influenced me almost as much as they have influenced you. It has been a very, very long time since I read Johnny Tremain and so I cannot say much more than how much I enjoyed it and what a strong impression Hobgoblin made on me, but who can go on from The Hobbit or The Screwtape Letters and not be different? They change your view of virtue and vice respectively: virtue does not always look like the storm and the thunderbolt, sometimes it is expertly hidden in a very unassuming packaging; and vice, half-sentient and determined to do us irreparable harm, should never at any moment be discounted.

    Good books last forever because they become living people again and again with each generation that reads them.

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    1. Good for you! I would recommend I Kissed Dating Goodbye, but it doesn't quite seem relative to your position in life...;)
      I'll make a deal with you: if I read The Worm Ourboros, you've got to read To Kill A Mockingbird.

      And so clap hands in a bargain - what say you, lady?

      I wish all literature teachers had that mindset about books.

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  2. Thanks for sharing these! I should definitely read To Kill a Mockingbird again.
    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

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    1. Absolutely! It's one of my favorites, in case you didn't guess. ;)

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  3. Wonderful list! I wouldn't have thought to include I Kissed Dating Goodbye, but it also is one that has shaped me. Thanks for sharing!
    www.radiant-joy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I would love to see you do a list like this. *hint* :)

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  4. Oh I love Josh Harris. And J.R.R. Tolkien! The Hobbit was definitely easier to read than the Lord of the Rings. If you ever try those, you will understand why he's a tough nut to crack.

    I haven't read the others though. I've wanted to read the Screwtape Letters so badly though! I love all Lewis's works. He's such a good author.

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    1. Agreed. I'm nearly finished with The Fellowship of The Ring, and it's taken me significantly longer to work through. I am, however, enjoying it very much!

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  5. Oooh! I have read every single book on this list....more or less. I never got all the way through IKDG because I am already *quite* familiar with what it contains and at my age after you've read about it, it seems more beneficial to raise your head and watch the cases going about at your feet rather than staring at the ones in the book, y'know? Anyway, as I informed Jenny, you and she always seem to jerk the reins and dictate my blogging course. *melodramatic sigh* Ah me. Well. Expect a post like this before long. :)

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    1. Well. I wasn't meaning to dictate your blogging course, you know. But now you're convinced, I am glad to know you'll be joining in. As I said above, I love to know what books have changed people — it seems more effective than asking for favorites. ^_^

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  6. Johnny Tremain—yes! Wonderful book. I love it even though the Revolution has never been one of my particular interests. I've occasionally caught myself wishing, in connection with other time periods, "that there was a Johnny Tremain for this era..."

    To Kill a Mockingbird—yes! I won't elaborate just here, because I have a feeling I'm going to be tagging after you again (no pun intended) on my own blog...

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    1. The Revolution is one of my favorite historical periods, so you can image how much I like it. ;)
      Great! I can't wait to read what you have to say. :)

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