Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Top Ten Tuesday
It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday! The Broke and Bookish: I love you for this meme! Each week I have a tremendously good time thinking about and compiling this list, and then I have an equally tremendously good time reading all the other lists.
What I love about making a list is that it forces me to focus and think about books in a very particular way. One thing that I have realized in participating in this meme is that a few books have truly moved me, stayed with me, and made a deep impression on me. The same few books pop into my mind over and over as I think about each list. It should be clear by now that Their Eyes Were Watching God made an indelible impression on me.
A brief interlude: Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in thirty days! Are you paying attention NaNoWriMo participants? It was written in a white hot blaze of love (so the story goes) shortly after Hurston's break-up with a much younger man. Even though she knew the relationship couldn't last, Hurston wanted to capture the intense love she had experienced.
Another book that keeps showing up is Crime and Punishment. I've already written at length about my love for Russian literature, and how it began with Dostoyevsky--but what is it about Crime and Punishment? This recursive return to Dostoyevsky's novel makes me feel like giving myself a challenge: what if I read nothing but Russian literature for a whole month? Wouldn't that be....cool? depressing? magnificent? If even one person encourages me in this then I will take it on...for December. Go ahead, dare me.
Okay, so I've kind of lost my train of thought. Back to the list. Here are the Top Ten Books that made me cry. If you are a parent, you will probably understand #1. Yes, I used to sob my way through this little picture book every time. You will notice that there are several childhood books on my list. I used to be much more sentimental back then!
1. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw. This is the most relentlessly sentimental and yet truly moving picture book in the world! I read it to my daughters all the time: they loved it! Even though it involved me singing....
2. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
3. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
5. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
7. Rock Island Line by David Rhodes
8. Driftless by David Rhodes
9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
10. I can only think of nine. Someone else will probably remind me of the one that should have been here!
If you are wondering just where in Crime and Punishment the tears began to fall, it was when the sick, and impoverished Katerina Ivanovna is forcing her children to sing and dance in the street for money. But really I think it had just been building up...
Oh, and if you still haven't read Rock Island Line by David Rhodes (you will immediately go on to Driftless), may I just say that I will haunt you if you don't?
So, Gentle Readers, has a book ever made you cry? Has it happened lately? And should I read nothing but Russians in December? If so, it would be rather nice to have some company!