Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's the most powerful book you've ever read?

So I'm thinking about Oprah's pick, The Road and its dark theme. I don't shy away from the book simply because it is described as "dispiriting." I simply have no interest in reading about the struggle of father and son escaping an apocalyptic doom. I saw The Road in Target today on the BestPicks shelf. May it sell a zillion copies.

I asked myself what's the darkest book I've ever read and LOVED. Hands down, "Night" by Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel. I read it long before Oprah recommended it. It was required reading at my prep school. Even as a blissfully naive "are these Vidal Sasoon jeans tight enough?" football captain dating, when's the next party high schooler I knew that Night was no ordinary book.

So, what book impacted you the most?


Stephen Parrish said...

The Education of Little Tree, by Forest Carter. It throttled me when I first read it in the late 1970s, and I told everyone it would be a bestseller. Fifteen years later, in the early 1990s, it was.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

Blackbird, Jennifer Lauck

Oh..wait....did you say to name just one?


Patry Francis said...

Les Miserables--because I loved Jean Valjean.

The Wandering Author said...

The darkest book I actually value? I'd have to agree with your choice. Night is darker than anything I've ever bothered to finish reading, but well worth reading, anyway.

The book that's most influenced me? I'd have to say Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. No other book has had the impact of her diary; getting to know such a wonderful, insightful person, realising she was a real person, and yet learning that in the end hate killed her body if not her spirit. All the hatred directed against her and her family among so many others, all the poison since, and nothing could destroy her spirit! Her gentle, quiet voice won out in the end over Hitler's endless, maniacal rants, and survives, to speak the truth to the world.

Ashley loves Leo said...

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. She helped shape my political beliefs early on.

Kim, did you see the stuff in the news about mercury in florescent bulbs? I just posted the article on my blog. I hope you post something very "Kim-like" on it so I can enjoy! It's all about me afterall...ha ha

Demon Hunter said...

The book that impacted me most is the Bible.

The darkest book, "The Exorcist."

irene said...

Hey! I read Night, too! It was a random pick from the public library when I was in high school. It was haunting....the images I still carry in my mind are so vivid. I don't think enough people have read it.

We've only recently picked up on reading again, reading for joy that is. After college and reading text books all the time we took a break. Then kiddos came and everything we read was about kids and then about Autism (we have 3 angels, my middle son (6yo) has mod. autism). So anyway one day we just decided "ENOUGH" let's just read something FUN! Enter Harry Potter!

After finally caving to HP (I was trying to only read the book AFTER the movie came out so I could throughly enjoy both-but after Goblet I needed MORE!), we went to Barnes & Noble to find some "grown up" reads. We found The Kite Runner. It was riveting and yes, dark. We loved it!

I've only read one book just b/c it was on the Oprah list, The Lovely Bones, it was sorta dark but kinda weird. I didn't like it but a lot of folks did.

officially de-lurked

LadyBronco said...

The darkest book I have ever read and loved was "The Stand" by Stephen King.

The character of Mother Abigail made the book, as far as I am concerned.

Stacy said...

Have You Forgotten, by Kristeen Zamoyska Panek, my friend and hero.
Her story: Polish countess, age 14 kicked out of palace by Nazis, worked for underground railroad helping Jews escape. Captured, tortured, escaped and survived. Lives down the street from me in a little cottage with her dog.
Amazing book.

loveconquersall said...

The darkest book that I have ever loved...

I would have to say "The Shawl" by Cynthia Ozick A beautiful little book that articulates the inhumanity of life and the strength of a woman. Masterfully intertwined with a bit of humor.

It's one of those books that I feel is a genuine contribution to the a piece of the authors heart woven inbetween the pages. Vulnerable and raw.

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