Mar. 8th, 2014

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

I read this many, many years ago and found it disturbing. What I principally remember, aside from Lenny killing everything and the ending, is Curly with his glove fulla Vaseline. I'd so love to know if that was true. So this is certainly a book that's stayed with me, but it didn't change my life as far as I'm aware. I can see how the book leaves no option except the one chosen for Lenny, but then the parameters were deliberately drawn that way. So it didn't give me a lifelong enthusiasm for what we term euthanasia. Nope.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

This book makes me laugh. Or, rather, the crap people say about it makes me laugh. A bad book whose success is explicable in interesting ways. That's it.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

A book that gripped me while I was reading it but which hasn't left much trace in memory, sadly. A powerful work nonetheless.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Yet another book about which everything that could be said has been said. Three or four times over, probably. I put off reading it for years because it was my mother's favourite book; in some mysterious way I felt it 'belonged' to her. I've now read it twice. My excuse for the second read is that I had the most awful flu, and LOTR helped take my mind off it. Also, I was pretty much pinned to the sofa and there wasn't much else I could do apart from read. Frodo's speech at the end always makes me cry. Possibly not for the reasons you think.

The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Not as good as the radio series. Which did change my life, because I listen to it again and again and again and again. And again. And yet again. Yet I've read the book once and have no interest in reading it again. Eh.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

Good little book. Not life-changing. Can't remember much about it now. Iconic first line.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

This book change my life? Well, if becoming the lone voice of 'Actually I don't think much of this book' is life-changing, then yeah. I don't exactly live my life in fear of Potter fans, but I am wary of enraging them. Honestly, I can't see why they don't understand that THEY are the Muggles she's writing about. *shrugs* *gives up*

(Obviously it was life-changing for some because it was the only book they'd ever read. And ever would read.)

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak.

Not a bad book. Didn't live up to the promise of its title. But a sensitive treatment of a difficult subject.

I think allowing Germans to attend WWI memorials was the right choice. I feel very uncomfortable when military from WWII are interviewed in programmes on channels like Yesterday. I don't think I'm ready yet to see them standing by the Cenotaph.

I'm probably no less, though no more, entrenched on that subject than before. So, life not changed.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

Not sure if this book changed my life, but it certainly had a profound effect on me. If put to it, I couldn't explain *how* it might have changed my life, or directed my life, but it lives with me, it haunts me, I seek a deeper understanding of it even now, years after I read it for the first time. I often think about the conversation between Yossarian and Nurse Whoever-It-Was about pain and neon signs.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

This is a book I've put to the back of my mind in many ways. I find Orwell's writing dull, truth be told, although the storyline is horrific enough. Don't do it to me, do it to Julia. It's heartbreaking. Don't want to think about it. Won't think about it. Judge for yourself whether my life was changed.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

I was too old for this book, and didn't enjoy it all that much. Not the target audience. But it did teach me a lesson, because I found it very difficult to see the black people 'in charge' of the white people, so to speak. It required an elasticity of which my brain isn't capable, much to my chagrin. So life changed? Definitely. Learnt something about myself I don't like but can't ignore.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

A silly book. Silly, silly book. I can't stand the mousy narrator, what's-his-face, Mrs Danvers or Rebecca. Not a decent human being between the lot of them.

Let it burn.


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