Every Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!
There are books that entertain, books that inform, books that enthrall – books that speak to our rational side, connect with logic, reflect on our intellect and mirror our emotions. And then there are books that seem to speak directly to the soul – life changing books that make you question your core beliefs or maybe connect with a side of yourself you didn’t know you had. Either way, they stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
This week I want to talk about inspiration and the books that connect and stay with us.
Now if I ask you to name your favorite book, most of you would be pulling your hair out, wondering how you could name just one. So lets not go there. What I want to look at are the books that leave a lasting impression on us. Sometimes these books fall in our favorite category and sometimes they don’t.
This weeks question: Name a book (and author please) that has left a lasting impression on you. For the purposes of this discussion, I would like to stick with the more positive impressions. And then write a small snippet of what it was about this book that has stayed with you. Was it the characters? The struggle? The way the author wrote?
After writing about my book choice, I can see how writing a quick response might become difficult. If you would like to write a longer response, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will collect all of our answers and put together a collection of powerful books that have stayed with us. I plan on posting this around Saturday. I hope you participate. I would love to see what books have left an impression.
Mine is easy-
This book tells the story of a young girl convinced that her blackness makes her ugly and worthless. If only she had blue eyes, she thinks, her life would be different.
One of the ideas behind this book is how we see the world and how the world sees us. The little girl in this book (Pecola) thinks that if she has an attribute of whiteness, blue eyes, then she will be worthy, loved, deserving..
One of the scenes in this book is when her and her friends, are drinking out of Shirley Temple cups with Shirley Temple’s image on them. All of these images (from the medial and whatnot) surround her- Images of whiteness, white girls, beautiful white girls, cute white girls. And the ways in which they are actually adored, treasured and idolized. These white girls are idealized in a world that doesn’t treasure or idealize Pecola. So as she’s literally drinking in Shirley Temple, she thinks she’s going to absorb her in some way, but in actuality, she will never become her because Pecola is not seen. She’s invisible.
At the time and maybe even still today, this story highlights how our world, our media, is saturated with images of white women, white skinny women who are kind of put on a pedestal of beauty. And then beyond that, this book also sheds light on the cycles of violence and abuse.
This book is a hard read because of the injustice, emotions, rape, and cruelty. The ending is sad and I remember at one point telling my professor how sad this book made me and how I didn’t want to finish it. She told me something around, “Sometimes we have to face the sad and ugly to understand the world around us.”