I have to admit, when it comes to being on top of the latest novels and always having a recommendation for an avid reader, I was the worst reading teacher ever. Don’t get me wrong; I love reading. I love that someone decided one day to sit down and write a book, and months or years or even centuries later, we have the opportunity to enjoy this spark of genius that once just popped into their heads.
Someone out there must be thinking (because I’ve gotten this a lot), “If you really aren’t the biggest fan of reading, why were you an English major?” I’m a lover of words; that’s the best way to describe it. I even expressed it in such a way during my job interview. I love words. I love the fact that words can hold so much emotion, whether positive or negative. One word can make you or break you. The varied organizations of a group of words can convey completely different meanings, and the emphasis behind each word can express an emotion that is so powerful it can’t even be labeled. Writing is an art form, and it is one that my life has led me to appreciate with utmost respect.
We live and breathe words. (…) It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds; I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt i was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted,” Cassandra Clare, “Clockwork Prince.”
That being prefaced, there is something to be said about the stories that stay with you. Maybe some are the best novels you have ever read and others mounds of ideas that you feel aren’t worthy to be printed. Months ago, a trend of Facebook asked users to identify the ten novels that have stayed with them for one reason or another. After a considerable amount of thought, I wanted to figure out which stories (not just novels) would make my ten. My tentative ten is as follows:
- Steven Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Marjorie Hart, Summer at Tiffany’s
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
- William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”
- Frank Wedekind, “Spring Awakening”
- Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak
- Louis Sachar, Holes
- J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit
- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
- Elie Wiesel, Night
So my challenge for you, writers, readers, and adventure seekers, is to determine what is important to you when you read. What words stick with you? How does language touch you? If ambitious, challenge yourself to create your top ten – it’s harder than it looks!
Ms. Satisfied reader