Sunday, September 19, 2010
Books I Read and Re-Read and a Contest
For the most part, I do not re-read books. I read 'em, and move on. I know that sounds pretty careless or thoughtless or even shallow. But every book is an adventure, and as Mae West once said, "Between two evils, I always pick the one I've never tried before."
Besides, there are so many wonderful books and so little time to read them! And as life goes on, what appealed to me at one time doesn't necessarily mean squat now.
All that aside, there are a few books I re-read. Here's my list:
1. Jane Eyre -- This book saved my life. Literally. I was growing up in a dysfunctional home with abusive parents, and I truly thought, "Is there any way out?" Since the subtitle of Jane Eyre is "An Autobiography," I took it as fact. I was very young when I read it! What I learned was that a plain woman could find great love and could have a career. My favorite line is "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?" I think it speaks to all of us who have ever felt overlooked.
2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--See above. The story helped me survive. It taught me that I was not alone. It gave me hope at a time when I didn't know if living was worth the effort. I know that sounds overly dramatic, but it's true. When you are young, you don't know anything but your family situation. These books promised me there was a different life that could be mine if I could make it to adulthood.
3. Anything by Pat Conroy. Mr. Conroy writes in such a manner that I despair of ever calling myself an author. His command of words, his vocabulary, his gift for description all send chills of envy through me. Someday I hope to meet him, and when I do, I want to ask if he has trained himself to think in such a rich manner, or if he writes a first draft and then goes back and enriches his work. His Prince of Tides inspired me to name Kiki LOWENSTEIN after the therapist who saved his life.
4. Bouncing Back: I've Survived Everything...and I Mean Everything...and You Can, Too! by Joan Rivers. She survived her husband's suicide, her daughter's estrangement, her bad investments, her career tanking, and she lived to tell the tail. Having been a motivational speaker for fifteen years, I can truthfully say I've read many of the best motivational books of our times, and met many of their authors. But none of them is as honest or compelling as Joan's story. Even today when I'm handed a disappointment, I think back to this book and her good advice. It's that compelling.
Maybe your spirits need a boost or you need to bounce back. Let me help you. Comment on this post and I'll choose one lucky person to win a copy of Bouncing Back.