Friday, April 24, 2009

451 Fridays

451 Fridays is based on an idea from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. In his novel, a group of people (Bradbury calls them Book People) are trying to keep the ideas found in books alive. Instead of actually saving the books, the Book People each "become" a book - memorizing it, word for word, and passing it down to the next generation.

451 Fridays asks what books you feel passionate about. What book do you think is so important that you would be willing to take on the challenge of "becoming"?

Today, I have the great good pleasure of welcoming Jenners to 451 Fridays. Jenners blogs at Find Your Next Book Here, and also at Life with a Little One and More - if you are not reading this lady, you should be! Her post detailing helpful cleaning hints for lazy housekeepers made me snort my V8 Fusion. Thanks for stopping by, Jenners!

Which 5 books do you believe are important enough to be saved, and why?

1 - The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: I don't care WHAT people say or if they are viewed as children's books. The Harry Potter series is a masterful piece of storytelling that creates a wonderful, strange world that is created with such care, humor and love. The classic struggle between good and evil is present -- as well as death, romance, friendship and magic. J.K. Rowling has an amazing imagination and created such memorable characters, situations and settings. And the progression of each book -- each time hitting new highs and scarier lows -- was perfect. How could I not save these modern classics of pure storytelling? (OK -- I totally know I am cheating by saying the whole series but my post would be over now, wouldn't it? And be missing two books!)

2 - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I thought this book was so imaginative, playful, sad, romantic and cerebral all at once -- how could I not save it? I thought the author did an amazing job of handling the time travel aspects without confusing the reader. And although you could view this as a fantasy or science fiction book, the romance between Henry and Claire is so true and well-handled that you care deeply about them and what their fate will be. I was crying at the end, and, to me, the hallmark of a great book is one that can move you to tears -- whether they be tears of sadness or tears of joy. And for me, the ending was really a combination of both sadness and joy. Brilliant novel -- best I've read in years.

3 - The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: This was a book that I loved as a child, and now I am reading it to my child and I still love it. The line drawings are simple yet say so much. The story is simple but is so moving that, when I read it to my son for the first time, it moved me to tears. If there was ever a book that captured how to love and give freely, this book is it. Certainly worth saving.

4 - The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: This was another book that very important to me as a child and as an adult. Again, I think it speaks to both young and old and says so much about life and love. As a child, I was captivated by the drawings and the fancifulness of the Little Prince's adventures and his quest to save his rose. As an adult, I am struck by the depth of the book. I remember rereading this book in college and finding such solace and reminders on how to get through difficult times. And I hope I am never so grown up that I see a hat instead of an elephant inside of a boa constrictor!

5 - Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: I read this book before I was fully able to understand it because my father told me to read it. I think I read it for the first time when I was about 12. Even at that age -- when so much of it went over my head -- I appreciated what Heller was doing. And how many books can truly spawn a phrase that carries on to this day? When I was 12, I loved the humor and the ridiculousness of Heller's book -- the story of Major Major Major Major was comedic gold. As I'm older now, I see that there was so much more that Heller was saying.

Of those 5, which book would you choose to "become"?

The Little Prince.

Do you have any quotes from that book you would like to share?

And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.

"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose -- " said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince responded, so that he would be sure to remember.

Jenners, thanks so much for taking the time to share YOUR list of books which must be saved. Next week, Kristen from WeBeReading will be sharing her choices. Would you like to see your list featured in an upcoming 451 Friday? Send me an email and we'll chat!


Teddyree said...

Thanks for the intro to Jenners, I checked out the post for lazy housekeepers and it was a total crack up!!

bermudaonion said...

I love this feature! It's so much fun to see what books everyone's picking.

Serena said...

I love Jenners blogs and her selections...thanks for sharing them with us!

Jenners said...

Thank you for this opportunity, Elizabeth! It has been so fun to read them and be a part of it! I had written this so long ago (well, OK maybe a month or two but that is FOREVER in blog time) that I had actually forgotten what I had picked! It was kind of like reading a post by someone else -- weird. Anyway, thanks too for linking to my other blog -- I have such fun over there ... I hadn't realized you had visited! : )

TJ said...

The Little Prince! Such an excellent choice. :3

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

Jenners, absolutely wonderful choices! The Giving Tree and The Little Prince are two of my all-time favorites. I have The Time Traveler's Wife waiting to be read -- a bit more impatiently waiting now. :)

Beth F said...

Super list (do I say that *every* week?). I love seeing what people pick. Great book to be, Jenners!

Alyce said...

I love the Harry Potter series too! Both The Time Traveller's Wife and The Little Prince are on my list of books to read in the next year or two. I'm glad to see you recommend them so highly! I don't think I've ever made it through the giving tree without crying. Same thing with the "I Love You Forever" children's book.

Allison said...

Great feature and post!! I loved "The Time Travelers Wife" and think its one of the best in a while Ive read..AND...I loved reading "The Little Prince" in high school...I imagined right with him..loved that story and pictures...they did a movie of it too..

Elizabeth said...

teddyree - she's hysterical!

bermuda - it has been so much fun! I'm glad my mom thought of it. =)

serena - Jenners picked some great books!

Jenners - I don't read non-book blogs very often, but I do read yours. You had a great list!

TJ - I agree! I always think everyone else picks such good books.

Ruth - there have been a couple of Shel Silverstein books picked, now - he's a great author.

Beth - I say that every week, too!

Alyce - those books always get me teary, too.

Allison - thanks! It's a lot of fun.

A Hazra said...

I love this feature too. Each week I see something that I put towards my TBR. I love Jenners selection, especially The Little Prince. Reminds me, I've got to read it again.

jehara said...

there are some great books on this list! i love the giving tree. that book always makes me cry. it's so beautiful yet so sad.
jkr is brilliant and i was delighted to see the little prince make the list too! i would probably become the little prince too, but in french. it is so so beautiful.

Rebecca :) said...

Jenners! Obviously I am behind on my blog reading! Great list of books. I have not read The Little Prince yet but it is sitting on my bookshelf right over there patiently waiting for me. I will pick it up soon because you have re-kindled the interest in it for me!