Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you lovethem above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?
I tend to favor books that have a voice that I like to “listen to”. I love “Cal” in Middlesex as well as “Suyuri” in Memoirs of a Geisha. The story telling that these two characters seem to be capable of draws me in and keeps me reading with hopes that the story will never end. The authors ability to create a character and a story with such a strong voice and influence is truly magical in my eyes. I think that the times in which I read a book is important too. I read Memoirs of a Geisha when we found out we were moving to Okinawa three years ago. I had put off reading this book for over three years for no good reason and now the time had arrived where I wanted to learn more about Japan (though the book is a work of fiction). I couldn’t put it down and loved every syllable I formed in my head while reading it. In the spring of 2007 I had an opportunity to visit Kyoto with a spouse’s club. I went back to re-read some passages in Memoirs of a Geisha to help prepare for it. Once there, I went to Gion, where the geisha originated from and still perform to this day. If this book hadn’t been as memorable as it was for me I don’t know if I would have enjoyed my visit to Kyoto as much and even visited again this past February with the hubby.
Not many books impress themselves on my brain as well as Memoirs of a Geisha, Middlesex and the book I am reading now. Where The Red Fern Grows is a book I was required to read in the fourth grade and am now re-reading for the first time since then. As I read I remember what’s coming next and the fourth grade happened twenty-four years ago. I can remember the passages almost to the t and am amazed. I also haven’t been able to read it without crying at least once a reading session and hugging my dog as if I was a little girl again, realizing that he wasn’t going to live forever. Books are very very powerful!