Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Do you remember these books?
My life here in America is so different from my previous life in Germany.

Those days are beginning to fade slowly from my memory, almost as though I had never gone to Europe in the first place. Every day the memories fades more and more.

Like a dream.

Now we're dealing with a new reality in New York. It's taking some time to adjust.

I wonder if my traveling days have come to an end and it's time to settle down.

I feel under the weather today, I think I'm coming down with the flu. I'm going to take a motrin and rest before making dinner. My mood is pretty low.

I don't have much to write today, so here's an older entry from Germany, June 13th, 2004


Eric has an ear infection, Yesterday afternoon he had to go to the Deutsch doctor who prescribed him anti-biotics and some heavy duty pain medication. Last night, Eric was lying in bed with glazed eyes and his jaw was starting to hurt, so he couldn't speak. I lay beside him and read to him until he fell asleep. I love reading to him, the last two books we read together were "the Davinci code" and "Emma".

I was thinking yesterday of all the books I've read in my life. There are so many, that I can't even begin to imagine the actual number. I'm a fast reader, which is a blessing and a curse. I've read every book in the English section of the German Library.. (It's a fairly small section, mostly classics) and English books at the stores are insanely expensive. So often times, I don't have anything to read. I enjoy reading all of your diaries..

Out of all the books I read in my past, it's interesting how certain titles stand out from the rest. Often times they aren't the best literature, Pulitzer Prize, or deeply profound books but I felt something when I read them..or it affected my life in some way. I just simply enjoyed the book or it changed my perspective.

So I thought I'd list the top ones that come to my mind, from the moment I first learned to read, to Today.. I doubt I'm the only person who has memories with these books.

"Go Dog Go" by P.D. Eastman - This book was the first book I ever read, I can't remember how old I was but I remember my mother bringing it home after work and reading it to me. After that, We would read it together, and she would tell me the words I couldn't sound out. It started out with the simple word "dog", and ended with an elaborate party in a tree with all the dog characters. I spent countless days sitting in the livingroom rocking chair with the sunlight coming in from the skylight, and reading it aloud to myself..over and over and over again. I still remember the thrill I had in my stomach when I was able to read it entirely from cover to back all on my own. I loved this book and carried it with me everywhere.

The Ramona series by Beverly Clearly - I started reading this series in Kindergarten and loved it until 3rd grade. I just instantly related with the character of Ramona, She was always getting in trouble and constantly seen as a pest. I remember vague scenes with her grabbing some girls luscious blond curls and yanking them. There was something in this series that I connected with. Something about her frustration about not being taken seriously and sadness of not belonging.

"Sweet Valley Twin series" by Francine Pascal - Does anyone remember those California twins with the shoulder-length "sun-streaked" blond hair and "blue-green" eyes? They were a perfect size 6 and had a year-long tan? They lived in that ranch-style house with the new american ideal of the democratic working family. They had a handsome liberal father and a beautiful graphic designer mom. It was a brilliant construction..twin heroines. The writer was free to have not ONE, but TWO versions of the ideal teenage girlhood. Elizabeth was intelligent and wrote for the school paper and Jessica was the "popular cheerleader". Jessica was the true hero of the series, she was spontaneous, impulsive and to be frank, a complete bitch. But somehow despite all the shit she pulled the reader still managed to forgive her and love her in the end. I had all the books from 1-97,I also used to spend hours admiring the cover illustrations, my dream was to some day paint the book covers. But alas..they've been long forgotten now and overshadowed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

"Are you there God, It's me Margaret" By Judy Blume - This book blew me away when I read it and left quite an impression on me. This was the first time I had read a teen novel that had sex talk, periods and "playboy" references. I actually blushed when I read it the first time at age 9. It dealt with all the issues of being an adolescent girl with such bittersweet honesty and reality. I can't remember much, except for Margaret wanting her breasts to grow faster and doing "Bust exercises..". This book comforted me, It was simply amazingly written. I think this novel should be a rites of passage book for every girl.

"Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery - I can't hear the phrase "kindred spirit" without thinking of this book. I read it when I was 10 years old and fell in complete love with the orphan, Anne Shirley. She was me, dramatic, pathetic, somehow constantly getting into trouble and always falling into "The depths of despair". I read it again a few months ago, and it still had the same magic as the first time. I can understand how it's remained a classic for a hundred years.

"Flowers in the attic" by V.C. Andrews. - okay, when you think about this book what is the first thing you remember? That sexual scene between the brother and sister up in the attic. That shocked the hell out of me...The whole book did. We would pass it around in school when I was 11, until it was torn and dog-eared in the corners. The whole book was captivating, horrific, left you with a chill running down your back and felt forbidden.

"Go Ask Alice" by anonymous - This book introduced me to the seductive, addictive world of drugs and the effects. The entire book just overwhelmed me, There was so much in it. I couldn't even fully grasp it all at age 12. The frightening thing was how easily I could relate to this girl, feel as though I knew her and to read the lurid details, sometimes fascinating and sometimes terrifying.. I haven't read this book in over 10 years, but I remember the end was heartbreaking and I actually cried. I always had it in my bookbag.

"Forever" by Judy Blume - It's short, you can read it in a few hours and it is hands down the best description of the first sexual experience I have ever read. Period. All I can say, is thank you Judy blume for preparing me for the bittersweet realities of love relationships at a young age.

"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte - This book took my breath away. I was captivated and emotionally involved from the beginning of the book, with the first paragraph description of "The perfect misanthropists heaven " . It's a passionate story of Universals: Love, hate, and revenge. I think a part of me wanted to be Catherine, I wanted to run on the moors.. I wanted Healthcliff, despite all his rage..something about him captivated me. I've written countless papers in highschool on this novel, including a page by page synopsis..I've read it a hundred times. It's my favorite book.

"Watchers" by Dean R Koontz - This novel is compelling, amazing and I read it many times in my teen years. I remember the story line had to do with this intelligent dog, this couple and this horrid beast. It had everything a good novel needed, it succeeds on so many levels and was powerful. This book made me cry, actually sob when the beast was in the cave..and..well just read it. .It's one of those books I would never have picked up on my own at the store, but I'm so glad my friend convinced me to read it. It's been 8 years now, I should read it again. I don't know if it's the greatest book ever written, but it hit me emotionally.

"Insomnia" by Stephen King - Alot of people didn't like this book they found it lengthy and boring. But I connected with this book, I read it only once and when I was 16 years old. I remember little about the plot, other than the fact that the man can't sleep because of nightmares.. For some odd reason, After we read that book, my friend and I stayed up for 3 days straight together with the hope of seeing "Auras". I have to read the book again to figure out why..but I remember being absolutely absorbed. So much, that I feel the need to mention it on my list.

"Butterflies are free" by Leonard Gershe - If you can get your hands on it. (It's currently out of print, I can't even find it on E-Bay) you should read it. I bought it at a Garage sale, I read it when I was 18, and loved it. I related strongly with the character of Jill, It's just beautiful, funny, sad..and it's all about love.

Okay, I have to wrap up this list, otherwise I'll be typing all night...

"Love and Will" by Rollo May - I read this when I was 21, and I filled the entire book with notes and highlight markings. There's alot in it and you might have to read it over and over again. But it's just simply amazing, in a way it changed my life perspective.

"Madame Bovary" by Gustav Flaubert - This was the last book I can remember that really hit me in the gut and caused me to cry at the end. The hardest I've ever cried before, it was just so heartbreaking.. But I can't put myself through that book again, it tore me apart.

There are many I didn't have space to list, but these are the ones that immediately popped into my mind.

The new Michael Moore movie isn't playing in any theaters in my town, although one independent English theater is trying to get a hold of it and people are already making reservations. Must be patient.

I have to go "cook" dinner, Eric is napping on the sofa besides me..He seems to be doing better...
posted by Clarity25 at 10:38 AM |