Post #2 for NaBloPoMo!
Admittedly, I don’t remember most of the books I’ve spent years away from, or if I do think about them it’s either because I’ve recently re-read them or I hated them. But I was able to come up with three books I continue to think about.
The first is my favorite book, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I’ve read it many times, most recently about six months before this blog started, hence I haven’t posted a review of it yet. Something that constantly sticks with me is the incredible narrative voice Golden creates for Chiyo/Sayuri, and the beautiful imagery she uses to describe her life. The highly artistic nature of the language, if found anywhere else, may be borderline overkill. But in the hands of an observant, clever, creative narrator the language paints a picture of an intriguing and vibrant subculture that I have been fascinated with since high school.
The second is a book I have reviewed on this blog, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. The thing that impressed me most about it, and that sticks with me, is how Keyes was able to manipulate the reader’s relationship with the protagonist, in spite of his fluctuating mental state. This book is now the standard I hold for developing empathy within an audience, and I long to establish such powerful relationships with my own readers. You can read my full review here.
The last one I came up with was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a classic none of us are likely to forget soon. This story comes to mind whenever I think of drama and suspense. It is a prime example of conflict at its best, while also being a compelling love story. Granted, the characters leave something to be desired, with the exception of the ever-perfect Mercutio, but the electric relationships among them are exciting and something we can all learn a lesson from. Who doesn’t love a pair of star-crossed lovers, a belligerent cousin, and feuding clans?
Now that I’m thinking about it, there is one more I forgot to mention in my comment on the original post, and I’m rather disappointed I forgot. Many years back, I read My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru, an exciting story of a group of British terrorists based on historical events. Towards the end of the book, there’s a passage where the viewpoint character slowly realizes he’s been drugged, and it is the strongest example of stream of consciousness I’ve ever read. To this day, I’m still affected by it, even though I’ve long since forgotten what the actual words said. I’ll have to read it again soon and post a review, provided I can find it.