8 Books I Would Not Save

Since I’ve been ruminating over which 8 books I’d save (the favorites come to mind quickly), I’ve remembered some I would throw over the deck first, if it were either the books or someone’s life. This is just my personal preference, they’re all quality stories, well-written,  (except for #4) with huge followings. Each book listed here is so popular, I really had to wonder at the time why I didn’t “get it.” Older and wiser, I think we all are entitled to preference.

Book 1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Not a page-turner for me, I was unable to make it to the all-important halfway mark! A GUY I liked in college loved this book and I couldn’t connect with it. Could have helped the small talk.

Book 2. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I just couldn’t slug through to the end (but I LOVE Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). I felt so confused at the time. How could I defy Oprah this way? I’m over that.

Book 3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Gratuitous violence amid otherwise decent plot development. I was not compelled to finish the series, which is annoying.

Book 4. Twilight by someone, I’m not going to take the time to look it up. I read enough to say I can’t believe the world needed this when it has the magnificent Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

Book 5. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I understood it, I just didn’t like it. It strikes me now that people aren’t still talking about it. Wouldn’t that be the mark of a really excellent book, to be popular years later, after its initial hoopla?

Book 6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I turned all 528 pages, just so I could talk dragon with kids who might need that. No one has ever needed that. I love that a kid wrote it, however.

Book 7. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It just fell flat for me, like they were wax people, which was probably the mood he was attempting to strike. I even tried the movie (gasp!) and couldn’t get through that. I feel numb. I could watch Leonardo DiCaprio, himself watching tv, and think he was brilliant portraying that role.

Book 8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. This one pains me the most. Stephen King loves it, and I understand why. The writing is so beautiful and it pulls you in, but so much so that you forget what he was talking about in the first place. I couldn’t get through it, and I’ve heard it has a disappointing ending.

You know, I really love books. Thank goodness for variety. What would this world be if we all liked the same things? Is there any one book everyone would agree is excellent? It’s doubtful. I respect that all of these books were a labor of love and their publication is a feat for the author, to be applauded. Not everyone likes my writing, but some do. I understand that, but I sure feel like a hypocrite putting down any accomplished writer’s work!

I wish I were in a book club. Does anyone know of a good one on WordPress, or elsewhere online?


8 More Books I’d Save

I’ve thought of a loophole to allow me to save 8 more books, if that’s all I could save (in a hypothetical situation which would require that). I’m going to count my first list as my son’s choices. (This is invoking carry-on guidelines, in which each person, regardless of their size, gets one, and since we are two people and I have to carry everything, I get two) Here is my 2nd list:

8 (More) Books I’d Save (My More Grown-Up List)

1. Time and Again by Jack Finney. I have a thing for time travel and old buildings, set off, I believe, by Jack Finney. He also wrote Invasion of the Body Snatchers but this is nothing like that.

2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I am mesmerized by the descriptions of old New York buildings and lifestyle. Reading it you feel transported.

3. Paradise by Toni Morrison. I love what critics of this book did not, the way Morrison goes in and out of time and scenes, past and present.

4. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In and out of time and space, ethereal, every word is necessary and beautiful. Absolutely the best book I’ve ever read. Therapy for verbal thinkers.

5. Insomnia by Stephen King. A good read!

6. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. His writing is creepy-fantastic, and he lives near me, so…

7.Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou. I was enthralled when I read her autobiographical series.

8. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This book will open your eyes, incredible writing.

What book would you save?

The 8 Books I Would Save (Maya Angelou Please Forgive Me)

This really is an intriguing idea…if you could save only 8 books, which 8 would you choose? I’m picking up the idea from this blog, please check it out. When you’re done, maybe you’ll chime in with your choices. With all due respect to the millions of books that would not make it, here are my eight:

The 8 Books I’d Save

Book 1: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It’s the only fiction book I’ve ever read 3 times.

Book 2: Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It’s the most fun book, ever.

Book 3: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I haven’t read it, and I think that’s overdue.

Book 4: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Kids need it.

Book 5: Odyssey by Homer.

Book 6: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Girls need it. It would somehow carry the spirit of American writer Edith Wharton who would, in turn, carry the spirits of English writers Jane Austen and Emily Bronte through as well.

Book 7: The Pursuit of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Maybe not, he could write it again.

Book 8: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. History and adventure. It would carry the spirit of American Authors Poe, Faulkner and Frost.

My apologies to Shakespeare and Stephen King. You were both “bumped” by Odyssey. My deepest, most extravagant apologies to one of my favorite authors, Toni Morrison. I had to think of the kids. The world needs all of you. Please share your choices, even if it’s only one or two. I’d love to hear your thoughts.