Katie had this on her blog as part of a survey. I really liked this one question, so here they are--five books that mean something to me!
"The Giver" by Lois Lowry.
This book is one of those books that I didn't read until college (thanks Liz, for introducing it to me) but I really believe everyone should read once in their life. It's a Newberry Award Winner and a simply amazing book. Somehow Lowry manages to combine deep fears and amazing beauty all at the same time. Sure, a lot of school children will 'have' to read it this year, but it's totally worth reading as an adult.
"Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" by Gregory Maguire.
Maguire's unique and ambitious discussion of the true nature of beauty had me captivated on a beach in Costa Rica. More than just the eye of the beholder, Maguire demonstrates how beauty is formed first on the inside of a person. Magical, powerful, and lyrical, "Confessions" is an honest look at just how wrapped up our culture is with beauty and just how senseless that obsession is.
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.
Anyone who loves literature and is passionate about the written word should read this book at least once. Bradbury's created world - where books are made for burning - has always reminded me of the downward spiral our society has taken. Literature is not read. Fewer and fewer people actually take the time to read a book. TV has replaced imagination. But what happens when one man learns that a world unlike any he has ever experienced is right there waiting for him? Beautifully written and scary at the same time!
"The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning.
Looking for authentic faith from a person who's been to the bottom and back? "The ragamuffin gospel" is one part story, one part faith lesson, and one hundred percent true to life. Manning doesn't attempt to explain the mystery of God; he just encourages his reader to embrace it. This book changed my faith and moved me from my juvenile legalistic view of Christ and Christians into a true relationship with both.
"Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes.
One man. One quest. One dream. Don Quixote, the unlikely hero of this story, is a well-intentioned but somewhat crazy man who dares to believe the world is full of mystery still. This book made me laugh, cry, and be angry all at once. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this story (see it under the picture on the right). What harm is there in dreaming when the dream is more beautiful than the reality?