I have posted some 5 Things… lists before & when wracking my brain at what to write about tonight, I popped on over to Moments that Define Life for inspiration, & decided to go with listing some books that mean a lot to me. Perhaps it will make me want to dust off some I have yet to read on one of my massive bookshelves!:)
1) The Great Gatsby
It’s a classic, maybe cliché? to list this roaring 20s novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I simply love this book too much to care about clichés. It’s a timeless tale despite the settings. Young businessman, Nick Carraway, moves in next door to mysterious, perhaps shady millionaire, Jay Gatsby. Before Nick knows it, he is swept up into the lives of Gatsby & Daisy, Nicks cousin, who is now married to Tom Buchanan, despite her having had a liaison with Jay & harbors feelings for him. The secondary maybe-romance between Nick & Jordan Baker creates more drama, too.
The Great Gatsby reminds me of my Summer working a strenuous job at a theatre box office; trying not to let a trying co-worker get on my nerves. I began reading it more as a ‘prop’ you could say, to look occupied & not interact with this woman. Yet, it turned into one of my favorite books. I am looking forward to the flashy film coming in December!
2) The Power of Myth
I love Bill Mohers weekly program on (the maybe defunct after the election?!) PBS. I vividly recall being fascinated when I was very young by his series with Joseph Campbell, watching them with my Dad, creating the interviews which became the now infamous book, The Power of Myth. Campbell believes we all have ‘body maps’, you could say, that make us who we are; reasons we are drawn to places, things, people, romances. He continually gets back to one very simple message: Follow your bliss. Whatever makes your eyes light up at the mention of whatever it is you love, do that, & you will at last have the life you desire.
3) Shop Girl
Enter the somewhat plain life of Mirabelle Buttersfield. A young Vermont woman in Los Angeles longing to make connections, becoming overwhelmed at the near-misses, working in the glove department at Neiman-Marcus. “What she needs is someone to put a spotlight on her. To say, I am here. I am worthy.” When Mirabelle is asked out by older businessman, Ray Porter, she thinks she has at last found someone…but what about that goof ball, Jeremy, she met at the laundromat? Shop Girl is really about not knowing who may end up changing your life or having impact on your decisions. Never in my life has a character in a book spoken to me so deeply. Especially when I first read the novel, since I, too, was a ‘Shop Girl’; working in a small department store myself.
Written by multi-talented Steve Martin, he later turned it into a not-too-bad film, also.
4) She’s Come Undone
When I began reading this coming of age story of Dolores by Wally Lamb, I was skeptical. Yes, it is somewhat of a chick-read, a Tori Amos album in book form, you could say. But Lamb draws you so in from the get-go, beginning this epic novel on a mundane event for 4-year-old Dolores, the arrival of her family’s first television set, it just takes off & does not stop from that day. We are with Dolores into her 30s & I found myself struggling to put this down til I finished it. What really is hard to grasp is that a man wrote this; he gets in the mind of woman so well, it is truly un-canny. I would recommend this book for anyone in the writing field, or wanting to be a writer.
5) The Importance of being Earnest
I am hoping this is not cheating…because, alas, this hysterical farce by Oscar Wilde is technically a play. It just reads so well, though! From the moment Jack Worthing enters the parlor of dear friend, Algernon, to propose to his cousin, Gwendolyn, chaos & commotion sets in for all 3 acts! They begin in the city, where Jack is known as Ernest, since Gwendolyn will only marry a man by such name. Only to go to the country….where Algy is headed to go ‘Bunbury-ing’, translation, to cause a scrape & visit with his ailing chum, Bunbury….who, mind you, does not exist. Yet while there, he meets dear young & naive Cicely, whom is under the care of Jack & falls in-love with Algernon, whom she has decided is named Ernest. What happens when both girls think they are engaged to the same man? And, it is revealed Bunbury does not exist? And, what if there is even MORE to this plot than meets the eye?! It truly is one of the most clever comedies written, in my opinion.
So, there are 5 picks of mine…I actually could keep going…and, would like to include one more…a ‘Bonus Round’, you could say….
6) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie