Books that stay with you…

June 7, 2009 § 15 Comments

This idea comes from Care and it suits my “kickoff” return to books. I’ve been too long off the book thing, having been corporately involved and hung up with design and layout issues (very magazine-y) but  books are calling to me from everywhere – our bookshelves, Left Bank Books in the Central West End, the Chesterfield B&N, my Mom’s bookshelves (she’s quite the reader) ,and recently, desperate during lunch hour, even the tiny paperback section at Walgreens.

The books sing like sirens, they chime like bells (see prior blog entry!) and they stack themselves at every turn. I avidly read book blogs. I make lists (and lose them and find them again). It’s summer. I’m “booking!”

I imagine we all have that wild bit of  summer in us, akin to what we had as early teens  when there were a few chores, a lot of bike riding and beach time, no homework, and a library card that was the key to unbelievable travel and time to immerse ourselves in those places.

“How many titles come flooding into your mind when you consider books you’ve read that  you just can’t forget?” Care asks. What are the books that stay with you? She also set this “rule,” and it’s a good one:  You can list books that stay with you but you must know the author, too.

The Group –  Mary McCarthy
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Sex and the City – Candace Bushnell
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Silas Marner –  George Eliot
Skinny Legs and All – Tom Robbins
The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald
Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
I Feel Bad About My Neck – Nora Ephron
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
Bright Lights, Big City  – Jay McInerney
The Shipping News – Annie Proulx
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
Harry Potter – JK Rowling
Zen and the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
Bridget Jones Diary – Helen Fielding
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Winesburg, Ohio – Sherwood Anderson
An American Childhood – Annie Dillard

The nice thing about these “lists” going around? Inspires us to read ones we haven’t read that others find memorable for whatever reason.
What about you? Any books for the staying power list? 


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§ 15 Responses to Books that stay with you…

  • nova says:

    This is wonderful. There are some on your list I haven’t read yet…

    …definitely inspiring!

  • Absolutely! I think I’ll join the bandwagon tomorrow, and you can see my responses. I love your list, by the way!

  • ds says:

    Neat list! Some I’ve read, others definitely on The List. Glad you plan a ‘booking’ summer!

  • Toni says:

    I agree.. I love to read the lists of books.. and yes.. Summertime for me is a time to devour books… not sure why but that is the way that it is. 😉

  • litlove says:

    What a great list – several on there that I’d like to read, and some I haven’t heard of. Some of my real stickers would be: Colette – Cheri, Julian Barnes – Flaubert’s Parrot, Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace, Salley Vickers – The Other Side of You. And I could go on!

  • Bree says:

    What’s funny about these lists is some of the books on them stay with me too but only because I couldnt stand the book. There should be a list about those kind of books too. I could not force myself to finish Beloved nor could I stand the movie version. However, I liked the excepts I had to read of Winesburg so much I bought the book (but haven’t read it yet). I keep forgetting about Bird by Bird. I should put that on my wish list as every time I see it, I want to read it. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Diane says:

    I LOVED Silas Marner too; read it 3 times. Your post about the “bare arms” and power shopping made me chuckle too (glad you found the sweater).

  • Py zahn says:

    My reading is in such a slump…but I do have old time favorites: Les Miserables – Victor Hugo; Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry; Dakota – Kathleen Norris; Patron Saint of Liars – Ann Patchett; The Red Tent – Anita Diamont; Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier; and the entire Travis McGee series by John MacDonald.

  • jeanie says:

    I like this a LOT. Summer is my heavy-duty reading time, too. I think I may do a post on this one (and link back to you, of course!!! My stickers: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries, Edward Rutherford’s histories, Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs mysteries, many wonderful biographies… Hmmm.

  • anno says:

    Great list! I share your love for Stone Diaries and The Age of Innocence, and I keep thinking about reading Skinny Legs and All. Inspires me to think of my own list…

  • laylou says:

    Well since I don’t always know the authors I suppose I can’t play in this game. But I will go home and look them up =)

  • Jennie nash says:

    Hi back at you! Nice to meet you, too! And YES — Bel Canto is a must read. Must, must, must. And if you ever actually do, you’ll have to let me know what your think. Your blog is fun! I’ll be back….

  • oh says:

    Nova – Good for you on your book and it sounds like you’ve won yourself some time to do some reading – here’s to summer in NYC!!!

    Jen – Heading over to “your place” now to see if you’ve put up a list already…

    DS – It looks like lots of bloggers are on board with books – is it a summer thing? oh yeah!

    Toni – reading a booklist is almost like hearing a description of the person who wrote it, kinda.

    Thank you, Litlove – I wrote down the ones you mentioned…oh, this is going to be some wonderful list in process!

    Bree – Funny thing about BELOVED. I just didn’t “get it” for awhile, wasn’t sure what I was reading but loved the words and the strangeness of it…though it’s not exactly a favorite and it’s disturbing, too, it does stick. As for Winesburg, well, it’s a classic and (sort of) about a writer so you’ll likely like it. ANd it’s short.

    Diane – Another Silas Marner fan! Did you have to read it in high school? Actually, I “taught” it to my freshmen one year at a little country school. I was suprised they loved it, too. It taught me a lot about literature at the time.

    Py – You named several I haven’t read so they are going on the list I write as I read these comments. And you’ve read the Travis McGee books, too!!!!

    Jeanie – Taking your word for it on Elizabeth George who I have not read but will since you mention it. Mysteries, eh? Those go well with summer, too.

    Anno – I’ll be looking for your list cuz I’m sure there will be some I need to catch up on. Skinny Legs…is a bit surreal yet I finished and liked it. You never know; sometimes a good book has to do with mood.

    Laylou – I’ll bet you can name one or two childhood favorites and their authors, right? Come and borrow some books anytime, too (though i believe you and IRish probably have stacks of them already!!!)

    Thanks, Jennie, I will be looking for BEL CANTO (which is a great title even though I haven’t a clue what it’s about!)

  • Mel says:

    Very interesting list-so far this year from your list I have read this year “Age of Innocence” which is just a beautifully crafted book and “The Great Gatsby”. The last twenty or so pages of “The Great Gatsby” are wonderful. The only think that annoyed me in the book was Gatsby’s constant use of the expression “Old Chap”. Maybe because this expression now conveys something different to us than it did when the book was published. I recently bought a new Penguin copy of “Tender is The Night” for a dollar and I hope to read that this year.

  • oh says:

    Hi, Mel! I’d forgotten about the “old chap” in the book. Poor Jay. Always wishing to be east-coase bred and “prepped” rather than north midwest. I wonder what you’ll think of TENDER IS THE NIGHT…

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