Sitting here watching the Oscars and blogging and eating an apple. Huda tagged me for this meme. I love books. Love love love them (incase the length of this post didn't give you a clue about that!) I didnt exactly stick to the meme so if you want to do it the "right" way you can check hers out. This actually took a long time to do... if you do it please let me know, would love to read it!
Favorite Children's Books. Growing up reading took me to different worlds and back. Some I read as a child, some to children.
The Secret Garden. This book was magic and hope wrapped in one. I would look out my window and close my eyes pretending to see the looming walls inside which the most beautiful secret garden lay waiting to be discovered. At Michigan State I saw the secret garden recreated. I hadn't thought about the book in years but as I walked through the garden past the bench overlooking the fountain I was 11 again at last in the garden of my dreams.
Up a Road Slowly. I read it. Finished it. Read it again. Repeat. It follows a girl coming of age. I remember there was one part in the book when she recovered from a broken heart: there are numerous poems about love, the agony of broken hearts but where are the poems of hearts that heal? That is the most beautiful feeling in the world.
The Giving Tree. If you're a parent read this to your child. This book is one of those books that means one thing as a child, and another as an adult. As a child it made me smile, as an adult it moved me to tears. Must read to all kids!
Lafcadio the Lion who shot back. My 2nd grade teacher read this book to us, as a teacher I too read it to my students. One of the funniest children's books that could inspire your kid to love reading. It may seem silly on the surface but there are so many themes if you read it with your child.
Lemony Snickets, Series of Unfortunate Events. I found this series as an adult and its hilarious. The writer has very tongue in cheek humor and you just can't put it down!
Captain Underpants. So it was reading time and I'm grading papers and suddenly I hear giggling. Suspecting trouble I walked over to the source of the giggles and it was two children poring over a Captain Underpants book. The next few reading sessions I too had my very own copy and sat reading with them. This stuff is original, funny and brilliant. Yes, it's very silly, yes it has no deeper meaning but isn't it important to love reading? Isn't it important to appreciate creativity? This series is great. And his picture books are addictive for children (and me) as well!
Anything and Everything Roald Dahl. James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc. I discovered him as an adult but his books inspire me. I love reading and watching their eyes light up. He is so creative and his writing seems effortless. Tip to parents, you can read this to your little kids and then watch the movies based on the books.
Favorite/Meaningful Adult Books
Waiting. When I worked at Borders I found this book on the discard shelf. Ha Jin's writing is concise but you can see clearly what the images he wishes to convey. It's a story based in China of a man in an arranged marriage to a woman he does not love. He wants to marry his mistress but divorce is not so easy in China. The story follows his life over 18 years. The story touched me because I know a lot of people in arranged marriages and beyond the lives of the characters it gives you a glimpse of life in China in this era.
About a Boy. I discovered this book as I tried to study for the LSAT at Barnes and Nobles. The movie is no comparison to the book. Great plot, and hilarious. I think it must be very hard to write, much less write funny and he succeeds in both areas tremendously. This book is one for just a good time.
Alchemist. I read this book while at Borders. I told Richard he should read it. He told Mike. Mike told Amy... within a week almost every employee had purchased a copy and sent some out to friends. This book by Brazilian writer Paul Coelho is a life changing sort of book. It's based on a poem by Rumi and is more a parable than a novel. There are so many parts from the book that just grab you that I think I highlighted and wrote in the corners of every page.I recommend that if you are searching for your way to purchase this book.
Veronika Decides to Die. Also by Paul Coelho and also fabulous life changing sort of book. Veronika, well, she decides to die, she wakes up in a mental institution after taking a fatal dose of pills and finds out that though she is not yet dead, she has just a few more days to live. I read this story and it stays with me to this day. It's not the best written book in the world but its meaning and perceptions on our society and conformity make you think.
Love Thy Neighbor A Story of War. Wow. This book was my introduction to the horror that occured in Bosnia. Peter Maass a reporter went to Bosnia and shared his experiences. It's a powerful book and images that he described stay with me to this day: (upon leaving a prison camp- an excerpt from the link): You are leaving the condemned, the half-dead, and the fact that you spoke to them probably puts them into greater peril than they already were. You had a good breakfast that morning, a couple of eggs, some toast, lots of jam. He had half a slice of stale bread, if he was lucky. You have an American passport that allows you to walk into the camp and walk out unmolested. He has no passport, only two eyes that watch you perform this miracle of getting out alive. You have a home somewhere that has not been dynamited. You have a girlfriend who has not been raped. You have a father who has not been killed in front of your eyes.
The Late George Apley. I read this book in highschool English. Every student in the class bored to tears with this book and me? moved to tears. It's based in Boston in the 1800's when social life was very much like the social life of desis today. Following tradition? Fearing the gossip of the aunties? Marriage? The similarities between our society and this is chilling. I read his story and I saw what I could become. And I vowed to learn the lessons that George Apley did not.
White Teeth. Zadie Smith's writing blows me away. I watched the miniseries flying in from England and I was hooked so ofcourse had to read the book. I could not put this book down. And this was not so good since the book is like 500 pages! Proof that she's good is she wrote a book Autograph Man which is not my style at all but I gulped it up down never-the-less.
Arranged Marriage. A beautiful collection of short stories chronichling the lives of Indian women. Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpretor of Maladies is great too but this is an under appreciated pearl. The stories are of some immigrating, some born and raised in the US, some still in India. It gives us insight to the their lives and you will leave with some stories imprinted forever in your heart.
What was the last book you read
Pilot's Wife. I saw this on Huda's bookshelf and if Huda likes a book, chances are I will too. I was right. This is a fun book and a page turner. Just plain fun. What I loved about it was that it had an ending a conclusion. So many books I read today dont' have conclusions, they leave you hanging really. This book had one and I liked that.
Five books you've been meaning to read
umm try about 21, my wishlist contains my ever growing list of books I hope to someday house upon my bookshelf. Read any of them? If it doesnt show up you can search for it via aishacs18 at hotmail.com :)