Week four: four books
This week has probably been the easiest to decided what I would pick to write about. Even though I love reading, I think my favorites are pretty easily my favorites. Though left out are some excellent Nancy Drew books, The Catcher in the Rye, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Hatchet (or most Gary Paulsen books), and The Great Gatsby to name but a few. Green blinking lights forever remind me of Daisy and Jay.
To Kill a Mockingbird: I've read this about six or seven times. Most people have read this (or at least spark noted it) for a high school English class. I read it first on my own will actually in middle school. Then I read it in my 9th grade English class...then we moved and I read it again in 10th grade...and then we moved again and I read it again in 11th grade. Yes. That actually happened. I was always fine with it. I love the book; it's my absolute favorite. And we always watched the movie with Gregory Peck after and I love the movie as well.
“Until I feared I would lose it,
I never loved to read.
One does not love breathing.”
I read it and wrote and English paper on it my freshman year at BYU as well. I've also read since just because. Maybe I'll read it over Christmas between semesters. Why do I like this book? Well how could you not really? I love everything about it —the prose; the characters and their personal development throughout the novel; the lessons about courage, standing for your convictions, having to grow up sooner than you'd hope. I've learned a lot reading this book every time as I myself have grown up over the years. If my explanation on this book seems vague I apologize, but if I try to be detailed I could write for hours about it. If I was Harper Lee I would've quit while I was ahead too.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is,
instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.
It's when you know you're licked before you begin,
but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
The Harry Potter series: I've blogged about my dear fictional friends Hermione, Harry, and Ron before. And I got a liiittttllleee carried away. It's a tad long with why I love it and with pictures. Oh well, HP is the biggest series...like ever. I can't even come close to estimate the number of times I've read each book. I grew up with Hermione, Harry, and Ron. It's one of the biggest things in my memory of my childhood. I read the first book in 3rd grade I think and read the final book when I was a high school senior. I was so sad the series was over that I read that last chapter of the 7th book twice in a row. I couldn't believe it was over.
“One person couldn't feel all that, they'd explode!" said Ron.
"Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have," said Hermione.”
Harry and company taught me many lessons about friendship and doing the right thing. And they've kept me company many times over the years. I haven't read the books now in a few years, but they all sit lined up on my bookshelf and I'll take them down again someday and relive my childhood. Thank J.K. Rowling for giving me one of the best things in my childhood.
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
Animal Farm: Yes. I love this book. Again, I read this on my own and then a few more times in different high school classes —English and History. I really like this book and everything it is about (including the movie which I've also seen a handful of times, and *spoiler alert* I cry every single time I have to watch poor Boxer taken away to the slaughter house).
“All animals are equal,
but some animals are more equal than others.”
Granted, the first time I read it I was in middle school and didn't fully grasp the political importance of this book that George Orwell was writing about the Russian Revolution, but over the years and rereading I think I pretty fully understand the book and am glad I've read it so many times and learned about it from several different teachers growing up. I really think everyone needs to read this book at least once in their life.
"Let's face it:
our lives are miserable,
The copy of Animal Farm I have and have thumbed through over the years is an old, battered copy with the name Bonnie Smith on the inside cover. Yup, this book has made it through nearly 20 moves tagging along with my mom from when she was in high school. I've since taken it and put it on my bookshelf. It's the oldest book I have on there I think, obviously it's older than I am.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man,
and from man to pig,
and from pig to man again;
but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
The Hunger Games trilogy: Obviously. I mean, how could I not love these. I read them twice in less than 8 months. I was a midnight-watcher when the movie came out (I was not dressed up though, I don't do that). The characters in these novels are so well developed, I love it. They do not just exist between the pages of the book, they do not just exist when something is happening to them. They extend before The Hunger Games and past the last page of Mockingjay.
"I can't fight the sun.
I can only watch helplessly as it drags me into a day I've been dreading for months."
Suzanne Collins create an interesting world with real characters and real emotions. I can't wait for the second and third movies to come out. I thought the first was a pretty good adaptation. ESpecially considering that the majority of The Hunger Games takes place in present tense from the point of view, memories, and thoughts of only Katniss. Which is also why I like the books so much. It is written so well (and edited so well, I feel I must add as an editing minor).
“You’re not leaving me here alone,” I say.
Because if he dies,
I’ll never go home,
I’ll spend the rest of my life in this arena,
trying to think my way out.”
“tt is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”