This is the first Blogfest I’ve ever participated in – thanks to Rebecca Kiel for putting it together. And in Honor of Valentine’s Day, this blogfest is all about books we love…therefore your Saturday Page assignment is to tell us what books you love in the comments section. How easy-peasy is that?
Jenny’s Favorite Books and Why – In No Particular Order: (I feel like I’m writing a high school essay)
1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
Like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, this was Margaret Mitchell’s sole contribution to the world of literature and what a contribution! This book is sweeping. It’ll take you more than one day to read (and somehow I like that about my books). One of the greatest literary creations, Scarlett O’Hara, is found within its pages. And there’s so many issues that come with it: race relations, gender relations, war, poverty, and the loss/rebuilding of a whole society. Even if you hate this book, it is a conversation starter every time.
When you add in the movie, there’s the addition of Vivien Leigh (I kind of worship her), Clark Gable, Olivia deHavilland (who I also kind of worship), Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel (first African American to win an Oscar), and Butterfly McQueen.
2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
While you can read any of these books in one day, you can’t read the whole series in one day.
Again, this is a sweeping story – a bildingsroman if you wanna get all technical – about the growth and development of Harry. I also love the epic themes of courage, friendship, good vs. evil, and self sacrifice (which is what all the big epics are really about, right? Even Gone With the Wind is about whether or not Scarlett will ever be self-sacrificial…and one could actually argue one way or another about that).
3. The Stand by Stephen King
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Jenny, you really like the blockbuster bestsellers. Everyone likes these books.’
To that I say, ‘Well, yeah, but these are blockbusters for very similar reasons.’
Once more, The Stand is a sweeping novel. Again, it’s about the fight between good and evil, the stakes are the entire world. This book doesn’t have the strength of the characters of Scarlett, Rhett, Harry, Hermione, or Ron – you can tell because if I say Stu, Larry, and Fran at random it doesn’t have the same impact as any of the Mitchell/Rowling names. But King does Darkness really really really well. And the heart of the book, again, is self-sacrifice and friendship.
Books like these don’t come along too often. 1930s for GWTW, 1970’s for The Stand, late 1990s for Harry Potter. (One could certainly make a convincing argument for Lord of the Rings to slot into the 1950s section…but I find the histories of that series more monotonous than these three books.) I think that makes them more special.
Well, that’s my list – what’s yours?
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.