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 not ONE, but TWO 451 lists for you - I'm thrilled to welcome Padfoot and Prongs, from the fabulous blog Good Books Inc. These two lovely ladies blog together, each sharing book reviews and other fun things. They are also designing a line of T-shirts based on famous books, and I can't WAIT to buy one! Welcome, Padfoot and Prongs!
Hey there folks! Padfoot and Prongs here from Good Books Inc, hope that you are having a wonderful literary Friday. We just wanted to thank Elizabeth for this opportunity; we are both excited and proud to participate in one of our favorite weeklies. This week we thought we would be a bit of rebels and come up with 2 lists for you! Hope you enjoy.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand- Well, what do expect...I had to since I gave it the title of "Best Book EVER." Not only is it a wonderful written novel, but it is also a material object that contains all the secrets to how I live my life. Clocking in at 1000+ pages, I cannot imagine life without this book, and if I had to choose one book to save, this would be it.
Her work was all she had or wanted. But there were times, like tonight, when she felt that sudden peculiar emptiness which was not emptiness but silence, not despair but immobility, as if nothing inside her was destroyed, but everything stood still. Then she felt the wish to find a moments joy outside, the wish to be held as a passive specter by some work or some sight of greatness. Not to make it she thought, but to accept, not to begin but to respond, not to create but to admire. "I need it to let me go on."
Paradise Lost by John Milton- When I first read Paradise Lost, I was taking a class strictly on John Milton, and well ,I hated it. The complexity of his words and poetry left my head aching. However once I got into Milton's writing more, I realized that this is one of the most beautifully written piece of work I've ever read. The complexity and anguish of Satan really makes the story. Without this book, life might not be quite as beautiful.
"What though the field be lost? All is not lost; the unconquerable will/ and study of revenge, immortal hate/ and courage never to submit or yield."
I Am America and So Can You! by Stephen Colbert- Seems like an odd choice, eh? Well you are wrong! This contains some of the most hilarious written word known to man. As always, Stephen Colbert brings his epic use of sarcasm to all new heights. I have read this book several times, and I am pretty sure I could read it for the rest of my life.
"A messy home sends a coded message to children: 'I'm not loveable. Otherwise, Mom would dust.'"
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein- this was one of my first "big" novels when I was a child. Ever since then it has had a profound effect on my reading habits; after the first reading, I was hooked, and made me want to read more and more
Gollum got into his little boat and shot off from the island. He paddled it with his large feet dangling over the side, but never a ripple did he make.
The Iliad by Homer- I have always been crazy about Greek mythology, so to me, The Iliad is one of the most important stories in the history of literature. The outrageous, childlike behavior of the Gods always keeps me coming back for more.
"Rage: Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon--
The Greek Warlord--and godlike Achilles."
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Well I figured the kids would need something to read. Not only is this book an amazing children’s work, but it is also a story that adults should really read from time to time, to remember what it is like to be young.
“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.”
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Well not to be cliché but this is one book that I would jump into any fire to save. Not only is the writing beautiful and smart, but it is powerful enough to spark great blog ideas such as this. Plus Ray Bradbury sent me a birthday card once and I will love him forever.
“Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile delinquents."
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – I know what you are thinking… every one in the future will think we are a bunch of nympho-loving pedophiles. While I hope this would not be the case, I choose this book because I think it is just pure poetry.
Lolita, light of my life fire of my loins my sin my soul. (I already have the entire first page memorized).
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – Not only one of the most life altering books ever committed to paper, hopefully the kind of ideas found in this book would help to prevent the possibility of ‘book burning’ in the future. Padfoot is better than me, I choose the non-1000 pager.
“I take the only desire one can really permit oneself. Freedom. To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”
Different Seasons- Stephen King – Kind of cheating here since this is technically a collection of short stories. However Shawshank Redemption and The Body are my 2 favorite short stories of all time… EVER. If you have only seen the movies then you are truly missing out on some of the best writing out there.
"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 - Jesus, did anybody?”
As for the book we would become, (still rebels, we chose outside our respective lists) both Padfoot and Prongs were in complete agreement on their choice. We would become Harry Potter and The Sorceror’s Stone by J. K. Rowling in a heartbeat. For starters we already have half the book memorized. Plus, we would like to always remember that there is magic in literature, both in print and the possibilities that the books present. The Harry Potter series could not be a better example of the pure magic that can be gained from reading a good book. Happy Friday all.
Thank you both, so much, for taking time to share with us YOUR lists of books which must be saved. I'm always looking for new participants - send me an email if you are interested!