Sunday, December 8, 2013

So, I saw this going around...

"In the status line list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and don't think too hard-they don't have to be "right" or "great works" just ones that have touched you."

The problem is, as I came up with my list, my desire to explain my picks filled the status section with too many characters. So, I'm blogging it here and adding explanations.

1) Greek Gods and Goddesses (I don't remember the author's name).

 I found this one in 3rd grade, I think. It was a slim volume, consisting of 24 stories, the 12 Olympians and 12 tales of figures in myths. It was black with white lettering and a stylized picture in thin blue lines on the cover. Admittedly, it was geared towards juvenile readers, but it awakened my interest in Greek mythology, something I've been studying ever since. (When I finish the book I'm reading now, we'll be returning to this.)

2) Adolph Hitler (Again, I don't remember the author.)

Found this one in 4th grade, I think. Having never heard of World War II or Nazis, or the Holocaust, it was a bit shocking to plunge into such a biography. I kind of chuckle, since the tone was one of "Hitler was born, and for that he deserves flaming bamboo shoots under his toenails"... (While I'll not be defending Hitler, I will say that he did actually do a few good things before going totally insane. I'll also point out that he had a lot of help in instituting his policys of evil. And yes, he deserved the bamboo shoots. But not just for being born.) This book makes this list since it got me interested in World War II. This book also got me discussing my own family's role in said war. It's a very interesting topic to me, and one I love researching.

3) It by Stephen King

Read this one the first time in 7th grade. While it isn't scary to me, nor did I find it scary at the time, it was a huge undertaking for me. It's also one I understand better as an adult than I did as a kid.

4) Lightning by Dean R. Koontz

Read this one in 8th Grade. Again with the World War II connection. Plus my Reading teacher loved Dean R. Koontz, and I loved her. We had some great bonding moments over discussions on books in this vein.

5) Imajica by Clive Barker

I can't begin to describe how much this book influenced me. Multiple worlds, bunches of theology, a non binary gendered character, and one of the sweetest gay couples in literature.

6) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

This is the only book on this list I haven't read multiple times, and indeed, one that I really hated. So why is it on here? Because, even as much as I disagree with Rand on most things, and disagree with her reasoning on the conclusions she came to that I do agree with, and as poorly written and deathly dull as the book is, it also forces you to think. "It's not right" is not an argument. It required me to figure out why I hated it.

7) Great Zeus and All His Children by Donald Richardson

This was my Classics 101 text book, actually. Much more in depth than what I'd read previously. Again, we'll be returning to it after I finish the current book.

8) Men With the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger

Interestingly enough, if you ever watch Bent, it borrows heavily from the account here. Well, except the ending. It's a depressing read, talking about the author's experience as a gay man from Austria convicted of being gay after Germany invaded Austria. While it's not Night by Elie Weisel, it shares some common themes and a lot less of the losing faith that colors Weisel.

9) The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike

Yeah, it's Young Adult. But it's a fairly solid meditation on death and coming to terms with mortality.

10) Midnight Express by Billy Hayes

Don't ask me why, but I loved this book. Yeah, the author was a bit of an ass, but his account of Turkish Prison was facinating. Even if they did edit some of the more interesting things out for the movie.