Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Books I Think You Should Have on Your Shelf! these books are absolutely AMAZING. I know when people usually read lists like these it has literature that has changed America or caused great controversy, but my books have simply earned my undying respect and love and that's something each author should be proud of! :)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings-Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is on of my favorite authors. I went through a phase one summer where all I wanted to read was African-American literature and this was the first book I started with. Angelou's story about her life is so poetically written that it brings you to tears. The trials and tribulations she endured throughout her life are horrible. From being molested by a young age and not speaking for an entire year, to being shipped away to live with her grandmother to getting pregnant...Angelou's book makes for a life-changing and awe inspiring book. She tells you everything about her life in such a raw yet exquisite form, and this is only ONE of the reasons this book should be on your shelf. Unforgettable.

The Guardian-Nicholas Sparks

Now, you don't have to be a Nicholas Sparks fan to enjoy this. Sparks has a reputation for his romance novels and universal themes about love and forgiveness, but "The Guardian" takes a step away from his usual books. This thriller (yes THRILLER) keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Julie's husband has died and left her with a dog in remembrance of him. Her husband's best friend Mike who's always been there for Julie, begins to develop feelings for her while Julie begins dating this new charming man named Richard. However, one of them has ulterior motives....this is my FAVORITE books out of all of Sparks' books and if you read it you'll understand why...

Their Eyes Were Watching God-Zora Neale Hurston

Oh Zora...I also read this book during the summer that I was heavily involved in reading African-American literature and let me tell you...after Maya Angelou, THIS is writing at its finest. Hurston, who uses phonetic spellings of Carribeans and Africans, makes this story grotesquely beautiful. Really, when the entire book is written like "Well ah jus think yer Ma ain't gon' tuh lak wat ah jus said," it includes you in the story of Janie and TeaCake that much more because you have to strip what YOU think of spelling and submerge yourself in the sentences. Janie returns to her home of Eatonville, FL after a long absence only to marry Jody, your typical chauvinistic pig. She endure abuse both emotional and physical and finally after 20 years she leaves. She then marries TeaCake a wonderful young man who teaches her what it's truly liked to be loved despite the gossip in her small town. Hurston drew me in and kept me there with this book and I'm sure she'll do the same with you too.

Girl With a Pearl Earring-Tracy Chevalier

Based on the painting by Johannes Vermeer, Tracy Chevalier creates a rich story off of the girl in the painting. Grete, comes from a poor family and begins to work for the acclaimed painter. As they both learn from each other (and he wants her in more ways than one) he eventually decides to use her in his painting, much to the dismay of her boyfriend, his family and everyone else. A risque move and painting, the consequences that follow aren't pretty but that's what makes this book gritty and realistic. Chevalier's book is the definition of being taken away on a journey that's scary yet enjoyable.

The Awakening-Kate Chopin

I had to read this book my senior year of high school and do a critical analysis on it. While I made a D on the paper, the book had a profound affect on me. Filled with desire and lust and temptation, Kate Chopin displays what it is that a REAL woman wanted during this time and how her society viewed her because of her wants. Edna has been is married to Leonce and has two children but she's always left wanting more. While her husband is away in New York, Edna meets Robert through a friend, true feelings come out, but they can't go any further because of what is "expected" of the both of them. Edna is begging Robert to just give it all away, but like a true Louisiana gentlemen in the 1800's he disgresses. Edna, crushed by this, resorts to her last painfully but beautifully written, Chopin portrays the difference between women then and women today and the choices we make or what we have to sacrifice.

All of these books have changed my life and will change your life too, if you let them! Read them!!! You won't regret it!

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