Can I just say that I totally highlighted the crap out of 1984 by George Orwell and wrote long papers about the parallels in our society and his dystopian one? Yep, that was me.
I also scattered exclamation points all over my copies of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Dharma Bums, because, I mean, it’s like he really got it and I was all about running away to San Francisco to hike a mountain and join a movement that had ended 20 years before I was born. (After track practice of course.)
Of course I loved those books and many others, as books like those come to define a time and a place when your body and your mind’s cognitive development haven’t quite met up. But…
My two favorite books were a little bit more unexpected, and even with their faults and absolute zero to do with my own life, helped shape who I am today. They were books about love, about becoming a woman, and about truth in all its varied nuances that people may or may not actually consider truth.
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros is, at the surface, about a family’s journey back and forth between their new home in Chicago and the ancestral home in Mexico City every summer. At the center, it’s a book about family and the youngest daughter’s eventual understanding of the art of storytelling, truth, and how people live day to day.
The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende is a collection of stories told from one lover to another in an Arabian Nights style. The stories cover the expanse of Allende’s favored subjects–from strong women, to love and compassion. In them, she creates a new way to see the magic in the every day world.
In anticipation of a week-long event I’m planning out that will pair the “classic” high school books with some new, perhaps more relevant choices for students, I’d like to get to know your favorite books from high school.
Which books changed you in high school? Which books made you who you are today? Which books do you re-read every few years to see how they’ve changed?