This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
So here are my fifteen books that will always stick with me, more or less in the order in which they entered my life:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte Emily Climbs, L.M .Montgomery Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
Macbeth, William Shakespeare
The Chosen, Chaim Potok
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
Greensleeves, Eloise Jarvis McGraw American Gods, Neil Gaiman The Invention of Love, Tom Stoppard
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
Showings, Julian of Norwich The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Salman Rushdie
These are all books that left me breathless. Is that what we were after?
I am very, very fond of dysfunctional family memoirs. Or crazy people memoirs are also fine too. Both types of memoirs make me feel grateful for my own lovely family, which is not at all dysfunctional and handles crazy extremely well. So I enjoyed this, and it was also an interesting insight into the ways of the toffs. (Cause I’m all lower-middle-class American South girl.) When I started reading it, I thought that Liza Campbell didn’t compare well to people like, I don’t know, Catherine Gildiner who wrote Too Close to the Falls – but as I went on, her writing style grew on me.
Her father was the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor, and he was much with The Crazy. He became convinced his mother-in-law was a witch, a real witch, and he put scissors all over the place in Cawdor Castle as counter-hexes, to protect himself. (This is a minor incident in the book – it was just one of those moments of Crazy that made me pause and say a little thank-you prayer to the Lord for my mental health.) Oh, and I also learned that apparently in France the second twin out is considered to be the older twin. Because of being conceived first is the notion. And all about the proper etiquette if you shoot someone when you’re out hunting. (I won’t make a Dick Cheney joke about that.)
Like most of these memoirs about The Crazy, this was interesting and sometimes funny and also really, really sad and a little creepy. I obligingly passed it on to my mother, and I’m sure my little sister – also a fan of books about Crazy – will be in line to read it too, since I kept distracting her from Sunshine yesterday night by reading her bits of A Charmed Life.