Hello and welcome to Day 2 of (100) Days of Summer (ugh I'm the worst seriously apologies SO PRETENTIOUS). It was such fun hearing from all of you about shipping preferences, so now I'm going to grill you some more. Let's get to it.
So I caught a bit of A Room With A View
(the one with Helena Bonham-Carter) a few days ago, and it got me thinking. I've loved that movie forever, and I saw it long before I read the book, but the book is still a huge deal for me. I consider it to be a perfect novel. It's one of those books that just lives in my head at all times. There's one particular scene that's so flawless that I actually have a line from it that runs through my head every so often as one of the prime examples of just exquisite writing. So I'm watching this movie and thinking about this book and getting all feels-y, and it occurs to me that I have an incredibly intelligent flist, and we don't talk about books much, even though I'm pretty sure you're all much more well-read than I. So let's talk!
This is a loose meme, because book questions are far too expansive. I would never ask anyone to name their 5 favourite books or anything, because that's impossible. But basically, this:
Tell me about some books that have had a profound effect on you in some way or another. Doesn't have to be life-changing or even all-inclusive. You will leave things out, because who can name every book that means something to them. But right now, off the top of your head, tell me about the books you reread the most often, the books you remember best, the books that make you go "Oh, that book. THAT BOOK THO." Be as brief or as lengthy as you wish.
I'll start. THIS IS THE LEAST THOROUGH LIST EVER. I'm seriously just naming the first few books that pop into my head. I will surely forget some super important ones. And then when you all remind me, we can flail together.A Room With A View
As I said, it's a perfect novel. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favor and do it right now. I am very much a classic books girl, due mostly to my upbringing from my English teacher mother. But even if you're not so into the older books, this book is just flawless. It's beautifully written, tight and concise but just lovely. And stunningly romantic. I am NOT a romantic person, by any means, and yet this book is pretty much the perfect love story. And it's one of those fantastic books that was written a century ago and yet still feels new and current and relevant. We might not be in the society Forster depicts, but people are still people, and any novel that truly captures the terrible turmoil of trying to figure out your life and who you are always feels fresh. The funny thing is, Forster actually wanted to end this book differently, but begrudgingly kept the original ending, and it's just baffling to me that he would ever want to change it, because it's perfect from start to finish. Writers, man.Ella Enchanted
I suppose this is technically a kids book, but that hasn't stopped me from rereading it pretty much every year since ever. It doesn't feel
like a kids book, which is the best kind of kids book. It's charming and entertaining and exciting and I love it more every time I read it. It's got action and adventure and romance and life lessons, all delivered with wit and snark and humor. Ella is wonderful, despite all odds. I have no love for first person, and I certainly have no love for the plucky heroines of kids novels who end up being more irritating than inspirational, but Ella is pretty hard not to love. And the whole story ranges through different lands, briefly takes a spin as an epistolary novel, and proves itself to be the rare kind of 'updated fairy tale' that's actually
an improvement on the original. Pay no attention to the dreadful film that hijacked the title. That movie took the basic concept and ran totally wild with it, and from the half hour or so I saw of it, misused it terribly. It's only tangentially related to the book, so don't let it deter you. The novel itself is short and sweet and will take you a day to read. It's worth it.Harry Potter
What even need be said. These books changed my life. The end.Wuthering Heights
Ughhh, this book. I fucking love this book. I went into this book thinking it was going to be this great sweeping love story like everyone had always told me it was, and good lord, it was nothing
like that. It is SO MUCH BETTER. Catherine and Heathcliff are a fucking disaster, and the best part is, they're supposed to be. They are not supposed to be a love story. They are two deeply, unhealthily codependent people, and they're both awful, and they ruin everything they touch. Heathcliff is irredeemable, Cathy is immature and irresponsible and destructive, and everyone around them gets tainted by their inability to cope with their own issues. And every bit of it is amazing. I've never understood why people want to celebrate Cathy and Heathcliff as a great love story, because the reality is so much more wonderful. This is a multigenerational story in which the latter generation atones for the older's sins, and it takes everyone so many tries to get it right. So in the end, when someone finally does get it right, it's that much more beautiful. I love this book for how much it surprised me by its dysfunction and atypical misery the first time I read it, but I've read it several times since, and I keep loving it for how gorgeously and honestly it depicts each and every desperate, flailing character. This is a book of characters, and they're all fascinating. The multi-tiered narration structure is also consistently amazing, and it adds a layer of nuance and intrigue into everything, because you never know quite how much you can trust what you read. Basically, this is a stunning novel and an eternal favourite of mine. Emily Bronte is my Bronte of choice.
Alright, let's cap it at that. I know I'm omitting some huge players here, but I don't want to overwhelm. These are just a few of the books that spring to my mind in the Favourite Always category.
Jump on in. (I'm tempted to make a 'water's warm' comment to continue the summer theme, but I'm trying to keep the grossness to a minimum, so I'll spare you. LET'S JUST PLAY, OK?)