Friday, December 9, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday Hop #14

Happy Follow Friday!!

This weekly feature is hosted by
Rachel at Parajunkee's View 
Alison at Alison Can Read,
 which you really must go and check out!!

You can find the rules at the links above.
Join in the fun and make new blogging friends!!

This week's featured blogs are:


This week's question is:

In keeping with the Spirit of Giving
this season,
what book do you think
EVERYONE should read
and if you could,
you would buy it
for all of your family and friends?

What a great, thought-provoking question!!  it's the type of question I most enjoy answering, because I can reach within and share those things I treasure, things I have learned through those greatest treasures -- books!! 

I would love to provide a comprehensive list of all the books that have deeply affected me, books that have indelibly marked me as a person; in short, books that have changed my life -- perhaps not in overly dramatic ways, but in the sense that they have expanded my mind and engaged my emotions, given me new horizons to look toward, and simply enriched my existence immeasurably.  We're supposed to pick one, though...Hmm...

Well, there is, in fact, one book that comes to mind right away, but I really can't limit myself to one, because hot on the heels of that first book, there follows another one, and then another....

The four books I'm including here all speak to the universal human experience, although, at first glance, that may not seem to be the case.  They deal with such age-old themes as the clash of different personalities in romantic relationships, the conflict between love and one's conscience, coming of age, the conflict between rigid orthodoxy and the creative imagination, the spirituality of art, the need to find meaning within life's constant paradoxes, the corrosive nature of prejudice, and the inevitable shock of innocence encountering evil for the first time...

These are truly unforgettable books.  These are books that I would love to give to everyone I meet, not just friends and family, because once you read them, you understand what it truly means to be human.

Charlotte Bronte
Hardcover, 596 pages
Everyman's Library
October 15, 1992
(first published 1847)
Genre: Romance, Literary Fiction

This novel is a tour de force of passion and intrigue,
a very beautiful romance
that is also full of depth, since it
explores the mysteries of
the human heart,
as well as such themes
as moral courage, true independence of spirit,
and psychological resiliency.

It's also a feminist manifesto,
one that was very much ahead of its time
when it was first published.

I will always be fascinated by this
very compelling tale,
relishing it again and again in years to come.

Everyone should read it at least once
in their lifetime!

Chaim Potok
Hardcover, 369 pages
Alfred A. Knopf
March 12, 1972
Genre: Literary Fiction, Art, Religion

This is an incredibly beautiful, luminous novel,
in which the creation of art
is shown to be a sacred, even mystical
activity, one that should not
be barred by religion,
but instead engaged in precisely because of
its inherently spiritual dimension.

I read this book years ago, as
a college art student, and it has retained
a very special place in my heart.
In spite of its focus on the world of
traditional Judaism, this novel
is universal in scope,
as well as a deeply moving one.

Betty Smith
Hardcover, 512 pages
Harper Collins
November 1, 2001
(first published 1943)
Genre: Literary Fiction

This is another incredibly beautiful novel,
as deeply moving as any of the other books
I've chosen.
It is a story of life and its unavoidable
disappointments and tragedies.
It is a tale of the wonder, joy, beauty and sadness of
human existence.

Harper Lee
Mass Market Paperback, 281 pages
Warner Books
December 11, 1982
(first published 1960)
Genre: Literary Fiction

Here is yet another truly beautiful novel,
one that deals with several themes,
chief among them being the
nature of prejudice and its insidious influence,
which totally corrupts and
distorts human relationships.

It is also a coming-of-age story,
told through the eyes of someone
who has not yet learned 'how
the world works',
someone who will, through
the narrated events,
discover the cruelty of discrimination,
as well as the strength of
moral character.

It is another unforgettable book!!

What memorable books
would you all love to give
to your friends and family
this holiday season?


  1. Totally agree with To Kill a Mockingbird. Such an awesome classic. =] New Follower.
    Here is My FF

  2. Hi, Michael!

    I'm glad you agree that this book is, indeed, "an awesome classic", as you put it. It certainly is! I really should make a point of going back to it, and enjoying it again.

    Thank you so much for the comment and the follow!! I'm going over to your blog now!! : )

  3. Such classics! There is nothing better than some good 'ole classics! Happy FF!
    - Roxy

  4. Heey
    Thanks for stopping by at my blog. I have always wanted to read 'My Name Is Asher Lev' and now you gave me the final push to get it!
    Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  5. Hi, Roxy!

    Oh, I LOVE classics!!! However, I don't like each and every book in that category. But the ones I've featured here are among my top faves!!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! : )

  6. Hi, Juli!

    Oh, this book is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! I think I should re-read it -- it's long overdue!! Potok is one of my favorite authors, although this is the only one of his books I've read, I'm sorry to say... I should do something about that! His writing is just so wonderful, his characters so alive...and he deals with such important themes!! His books are not superficial AT ALL. They deal with the important things -- matters of the mind and spirit. They are real TREASURES.

    There's a sequel to "My Name Is Asher Lev". It's titled "The Gift of Asher Lev". I have to admit I haven't read it....

    So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to re-read the first book, and then read the second one right after that!!

    Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting!

    You have a wonderful weekend, too!! : )

  7. Classics make for wonderful gift giving. Both Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird are great choices.
    New GFC follower for FF.
    My Follow Friday

  8. Library Snake:

    Hey, thanks for the compliment!! Classics are always essential reading, because they touch our essence, or core, as human beings.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! : )

  9. Hi, Steph!

    Yes, indeed! I don't think one can ever go wrong with a classic! Socks and tacky Christmas sweaters are another thing entirely! Lol.

    You didn't mention "My Name Is Asher Lev", or "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Let me recommend them to you. I assure you that you'll enjoy them immensely!! They're truly WONDERFUL!!!!

    Thank you so much for commenting and following!!! : )

  10. Jne Eyre is one book that I have been wanting to read for a while now... I really have to pick it up somewhere. :)

  11. Hi, Niina!

    Well, pick it up as soon as you can!!! This is a must read!!! Seriously. You will LOVE this book. It's an INCREDIBLE masterpiece.

    Thanks for the comment!! : )

  12. I love To Kill a Mockingbird, I've read it so many times. I keep meaning to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but I always seem to get sidetracked. Maybe I'll be able to get to it in 2012.

    Aaron (Dreaming About Other Worlds).

  13. Hi, Aaron!

    Oh, this is such a wonderful novel!! Have you seen the movie? I think Gregory Peck won an Oscar for it.

    You really should try to read "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" this coming year. You won't regret it!

    I greatly appreciate your comment!! : )

  14. What great books! I have read all but one of these and loved them all. I guess I will have to read the one I missed- since I agree with the others. I would also add The Pillars of the Earth.

    Thanks for sharing!


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