Friday, December 11, 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'm so excited to welcome Robyn to 451 Fridays! Robyn has TWO related blogs - I'm So Not a Blogger, and The Book Club Blog. She shares The Book Club Blog with her sister, which I think would be so much fun (hint, hint, Carolynn). They are a fairly new blog, so please go give them some love! Also, she is from South Africa, which is just about as far away from me in Iowa as I can think of - I love making friends from all around the world! Welcome, Robyn!

In no particular order, these are the 5 books I would save:

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Jitterbug Perfume is full of wonderful insights and a host of wonderful characters, including the animal god, Pan. It shows how belief is a strange and fantastic thing and if there is no belief then things become faded and forgotten. It is the story between a man and a women, searching for truth and eternal life, and also, perfume. It is a love story and a story about beetroots. It has everything that a book needs in order to get you thinking and wondering at the beauty of life, at the complexities of the human spirit and adventure of the soul.

Rasero - Francisco Rebolledo

This novel is fantastic, it is set in the 18th century and the characters include Voltaire, Madame Pompadour, Roussea and Mozart. This book contains a heady mix of magic realism as well as politics, science and art of the times. It contains what none of us today could even begin to imagine and contrasts it with our world. The main character, Rasero is orgasmically clairvoyant, given at the moment of carnal release to apocalyptic visions in which he beholds what we recognize as the horrors of our own century: the Holocaust, the atomic bomb, the Vietnam War. And seeing as though I am saving a book, the past in this book is written so beautifully that one can almost vividly be there,within the pages. History at its best;-)

Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson

Calvin and Hobbes encompasses such humour, sadness, true to life thoughts it makes my heart sing. It is a comic strip which never fails to lift my spirits and def would save any of his books, but have to say that 'Its a magical world' would be my favourite to keep.

The Family from One End Street - Eve Garnett

This is one of my all time favourite books and I often reread it. It is about a working class family living in the 1930's in a town called Otwell. It is very simply written, the father is a dustman and the mother is a washerwoman with 7 children so life is hard, but they are happy. It depicts their day to day life with the personalities of each character shining through. It truly is a magical children's book and the adventures of the characters are believable and amusing. It also shows a community which I dont think is quite alive in this day and age.

Perfume - Patrick Suskind

I know this is probably a bit of an odd book to save, but I found it a very compelling book to read. In a way I felt for the main character because he had no smell, he had no aroma and this was brought across as being almost as bad as having no soul, which ultimately one wonders about as you read it. I found that it was written extremely well and when they made it into a movie, I was quite keen to see how they would depict the sense of smell through sight. I have to say that it wasn't done too badly at all, but would still favour the book over the movie.

The book that I would choose to become is Jitterbug Perfume.
I think the world would be a poorer place without Tom Robbins in it. Without his humourous wisdom and uncanny ability to state the world as it is. It provides food for thought and love and laughter and the way that he constructs his sentences are brilliant.

‘The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious’

‘The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being. Still, lovers quarrel. Frequently, they quarrel simply to recharge the air between them, to sharpen the aliveness of their relationship. To precipitate such a quarrel, the sweaty kimono of sexual jealousy is usually dragged out of the hamper, although almost any excuse will do. Only rarely is the spat rooted in the beet-deep soil of serious issue, but when it is, a special sadness attends it, for the mind is slower to heal than the heart, and such quarrels can doom a union, even one that has prospered for a very long time.’

Robyn, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us YOUR list of books which must be saved!

Do you have a list you'd like to share? I'd love to have you participate - please let me know!

Did you know I'm starting a 451 Challenge? Take a look and join us - we have lots of good books to read!

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