Some books I've learned from
- 1) Grendel -John Gardner
- 2) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
- 3) Lives of Girls & Women - Alice Munro
- 4) Green Grass, Running Water - Thomas King
- 5) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
- 6) Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
- 7) The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
- 8) The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
It's a little heavy on the children's books, but only because I recently took a class in Children's lit.
1) Grendel hugely affected me when I read it in Grade 12, and I'm still blown away whenever I reread it. There's too much too list here about what parts have made me think, but one of my favourite lines is: "Thus I fled, ridiculous hairy creature, torn apart by poetry". And "If the ideas of art were beautiful, that was art's fault, not the Shaper's".
2) HLH - People will create their gods wherever they choose to find them, desperate to be understood. Excellent characters in this one.
3) LofG&W - Canadian novel, more of a collection of short stories. Interesting ideas about male vs. female intelligence, and a genuine-feeling description of the physicality of growing up.
4) GGRW - hilarious novel that uses humour to undermine many cultural stereotypes. King appropriates from "white" culture to great effect. Use of the trickster figure common in most Native myths and tales (here it's coyote, one of the funniest literary figures in recent memory).
5) HHG to theG - pushes the limits of what we imagine the endless variety of the universe to be. Laugh my ass off every time I read it.
6) AofGG - very linguistic and tender. A very personal read for me.
7) WW - They love toad even though he's a dick. I think it's wonderful that children learn what friendships can endure. An excellent lesson for adults, too.
8) The Secret Garden - get outside. It really does build character.