Photo by Casey Fleser
Everyone has their list of books that nurture and inspire them, but this list gets to the literary heart of every artist, not to mention that nine of them have been made into great films!
Life of Pi is a book that everyone should read in their young age. Raising complex and religious questions, the novel is centered around a philosophical youth named Pi who finds himself adrift the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat . . . with a Bengal tiger (Yikes!). Yann Martel weaves a story full of delicate and beautiful sentences that it almost sounds like prose. The novel is a masterpiece because after the readers feel the emotions and endure the moments of heartache, that they suddenly realize that the book is not what they thought it was to begin with.
Best Quote from the Book: “Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…”
Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief is narrated by Death who tells the story of Liesel Meminger and her family surviving the hardships of World War II. The book is tremendously powerful and Zusak captures his reader’s attention as he portrays what life was like for the German youths during the war. Characters suffer cruel fates but also are great examples of the power of personal sacrifice, heroism and courage. More so, what makes The Book Thief stand out is that even though the book is dubbed as “Young Adult” it has the literary pretensions written for adults as well. Indeed the novel does have those “good-triumphs-over-evil” type moralizing aspects within the pages, but Zusak pulls it off by removing the self-conscious “literary” aspect that is found in plenty of adult books.
Best Quote from the Book: “I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” Read More