Spo the dear one, has done a whole series about books that changed his life. I mentioned in my comments that my parents had an odd relationship with books. Books cost money, and took up space, so they didn't buy them. My mother had a couple of boxes of books that had come from her parents, that I don't recall her ever reading, but she wouldn't part with. They read the Detroit News newspaper from cover to cover every day, but books were a different story.
When I was a teenager, my family started spending winters in Florida, and I discovered my first bookstore. Heaven! A few years later when I was living in Orlando I started reading a lot, a couple of major bookstores moved in, I built massive bookcases in the living room of the second Laurel Home,* and books become a major part of my life.
Thinking about books. I remember reading a series of novels by Jack London as a young teenager, everyone remembers the "Call of the Wild", there is another one in that series about a wildlife photographer that starts with a shopping venture in a real camera shop. I don't remember the name of it, but left an impression, I loved it, it was the best. I still love cameras, I still love a walk in the woods.
In high school I remember two assigned books. The Great Gatsby, I remember slogging through it, and really not understanding it; and later Walden. Walden changed my life. It really focuses on living for what is important and disregarding the rest. The philosophy and lessons from the book have been a recurring theme in my life. Strip away the things that are more work than they are worth. Live life - enjoy it along the way. A focus on experiences over material things. Thoreau was comfortable with being alone, I think the two of us would have enjoyed knowing one another, as long as we didn't spend too much time together.
In college I read "Cross Creek" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, she is much more famous for "The Yearling." I remember it connecting me to life in rural Florida, to the rhythm of the seasons in the semi-tropics. I reread it this past year, I was shocked at the racism in the book. It would never be published today. Rereading helped me to understand how nasty the racism was in the south, just 80 years ago.
Another assigned book from college was Zorba the Greek. It was part of a first year course in interdisciplinary humanities. Zorba was all about living for the moment, taking in the adventure of life, blooming where you are planted, enjoying life, and learning to dance. Of all of the books I read in undergrad, it is the one I have reread, and will reread again. The original is in Greek, there are several translations. In the best one, Zorba is asked if he is married and he replies, "the wife, the kids, the whole catastrophe!" In later translations, the last phrase is not included.
In recent years I have started keeping track of books I have read. Most of them on Kindle. When we sold the other house, we downsized and donated hundreds of books.
What books changed your life?
* I worked for a company called Laurel Homes for 7 years, and built myself three homes while I worked there. The first Laurel Home I lived in a little over a year. It was not large enough and I sold it at a profit and built the second Laurel Home. I lived there until J and I moved on for new adventures. The third Laurel Home I never lived in. I rented it for a few years, and then my ex received it as part of separation agreement. Laurel Homes, was named after the founder's favorite cow.
I can't honestly say any books. I like to read, but being visual movies had far more impact on me. When I read, I seem to be out quite quick.ReplyDelete
What movie most influenced you might be a good question.Delete
Cross Creek was recently recommended to me and I tried but I could not get into it at all and gave up. I too read Call of the Wild when I was young and it was brilliant but not any other of his books. The Australian equivalent was Call of the Dingo. I don't know that any book has changed my life.ReplyDelete
Cross creek was more of a collection of essays, than a novel, it is a narrative with no plot. I like that if it is well done. She also published a cookbook from in the same era, one of her former housekeepers sued her for stealing the idea for it, and lost.Delete
I'm like maddie; I can't pick out one book in particular. I like history, travel, bio/autobio books the best.ReplyDelete
I read a great travel book recently, a woman of a certain age, who took a long dreamed about, and long delayed trip to France for a month. Very well written.Delete
I never stopped reading from the time I learned but, oddly, I can't remember any book assignments from school except for A Separate Peace and several Shakespeare plays in junior high. I read On Walden Pond on my own while in college, and I finally read The Great Gatsby and Call of the Wild in recent years.ReplyDelete
I wish I had started reading earlier in life.Delete
Neither of my parents were steady readers but when I was a little kid, my grandfather lived in an apartment attached to our house. He had a bookcase filled with books and I can remember sitting cross-legged in front of that case and thumbing through those books. It really created a love of books in me. When I was in high school, I spent a lot of my free time in the library. I can't really think of one book that changed my life but I can remember books the moved me. Great Expectations was a favorite and a book called Black Like Me opened my eyes to the evils of racism. And, I loved my grandfathers collection of O'Henry stories.ReplyDelete
Reading opens our eyes and minds.Delete
Books inspire me to read other books. I read Ice by Ed McBain and that inspired me to go back to his first 87th precinct novel and read them all in order. So satisfying. Call of the Wild inspired me to never read another Jack London book.ReplyDelete
I have read a few books like thatDelete
Thank you for the shout-out and the 'dear one'. It made my day.ReplyDelete