Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Eight Books that Make Me Feel Lots of Things

I have emotions. Surprise! I'm not a computer! These emotions especially like to come out when I'm reading.

1. Everything is Illuminated - Foer - You know that feeling you get when you see a war documentary and innocent people are just being slaughtered and all of your insides turn to goo and you don't really want to cry, but you don't really feel right the rest of the day? That's the feeling I always get from Everything is Illuminated. Don't get me wrong, I truly love this book. I'm always surprised by how strong my emotions are over certain situations in it.

2.Hard Times - Dickens - Dickens evokes a strong negative reaction for me. I have yet to actually finish any of his books but Hard Times is the only one that, when I have actually come across it in a store, that I have thrown to the floor and stomped away. I can never get into his writing style and I get so frustrated because when the story is discussed everything sounds so interesting.

3. The Book Thief - Zusak  - Love it or hate it The Book Thief is a book about perilous circumstances and that's the type of book that leaves me exploding with feelings. I get sad when loved characters die, I'm happy when there are brief bouts of happiness and I'm all sorts of pensive when it's over.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling - There are so many things to say about Deathly Hallows. Looking back I still get angry at Dumbledore, and I still remember how scared I was for Harry. Really, this should be called "my list of books that create complicated feelings" because there isn't a blanket emotion for what this book makes me feel. The best word I can come up with is proud. I'm proud of the Order, and of Harry and of all the lovely characters who died. I'm proud of myself for being a part of something that is so much bigger than myself and even it's own fan base and I'm proud of a series that has reintroduced reading to millions.

6. The Lost Symbol - Brown - Where Deathly Hallow's left me with a sea of emotions, Dan Brown manages to leave me with just one. Anger. I liked The Da Vinci Code and Angel's and Demons enough. They were entertaining and at least gave off the appearance that Brown had spent more than 15 minutes haphazardly writing. The Lost Symbol, to me, reads like a sketchy film outline, it lacks description and subtlety, all the character development was handled in such a ham fisted way that I just couldn't care about anyone. Mr. Brown, if you just want your stories made into movies just sell the idea, don't write a 500 page outline.

7. The History of Love - Krauss - Back to being a happy Sarah! For me The History of Love is hope in literary form. Sure thing's don't always work out for Alma and Leo but hope and faith are what really matter here, and those are the feelings I keep with me long after I've turned the last page.

8. Brave New World - Huxley - Fear? Pensiveness? I read Brave New World last fall and all I could think the entire time was "well, this seems familiar."  Now I just shudder when I think about where our world is heading"