Monday, November 26, 2012

How About Just a List of Books

I'm at work. It's a slow day so I've been singing bits of favorite songs and thinking about books I love but never include on Lists of Books I Love. You know how sometimes someone says to you "What're your top five favorite books?" And maybe you have some go to favorites, or maybe you list the last five books you read. Well, I've mentioned it before, but I just finished reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, and if you've read it too then you know there's a lively discussion of The Great Gatsby in the early chapters. I've read Gatsby several times, out of great love and devotion for the work, but I'll be damned if I fail to mention it every time favorite books come up. Another book that comes to mind is Spartina by John Casey. I had strong memories of scenes in that novel throughout my reading of RLiT, especially during the Gatsby discussion. The setting of Spartina has much to do with this I'm sure, as much of the action takes place near an old summer home not unlike Gatsby's place. But the issue of morality in Gatsby brought Spartina to mind too, as the main character has a scandalous affair. Honestly it made me angry to read. Add to this list Ethan Frome. Assigned in high school, and duly read, I didn't realize what a great book it was until I reread it two summers ago. I also love The Light in the Forest, My Side of the Mountain, The Moon is Down, and Tracks. Within the last two years I've read The Secret Garden, The Chocolate War, and The Outsiders for the first time. All stand out stories, worthy of their longevity. I can go on and on, and I will. But this became way more than a list and I'm still at work, after all.

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