The Books of Life

Halloween 2014 036I have decided to share with you my absolute books things in the whole wide world. These are the sentimental, special ones, that are definitely not just fads. They helped to shape my character as I was growing up, they each mean something very important to me, and I couldn’t live without them. If I could paint a picture of myself with words from these literary masterpieces, then I guess this is what it would look like;

“The Lord of the Rings”

This book – along with all of Tolkien’s other masterpieces – sums up life. Seriously. I can be sat there reading and suddenly burst into tears, because something he has written, however simple, just means so much. For example;

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

Gah, I’m crying now just writing this post! This quote has got to be my absolute favourite of all time because it can mean just about anything. It could be about any of the wars in the world, the terrorist bombings, global warming, a storm, and maybe even just a really bad day. But the thing is, that it’s so true. Everything about it is so so so perfect.

When I was little, my mum used to talk to me about Middle Earth, whilst my uncle would create his own stories about the people living there. I soon became old enough to read The Hobbit, and I later read Lord of the Rings. Since then, I have probably read the trilogy about ten times… and I could probably tell you exactly when things happen and in which order. Feel free to call me a nerd; I’m proud of it.Halloween 2014 042

“The Sky is Everywhere”

So I read this book third year at high school and for some reason – unknown to me too – I became a little bit obsessed with it. I’m not sure whether it’s because of the format of the writing; pages of normal story split up by handwritten notes and poems thrown away by the main character. It might also be the message that the book holds; that grieving is good, but soon you need to carry on living your life.

Along with those serious messages, there’s a whole lot of humour and romance tangled into the plot. As I say, I’m really not sure why, but I do know that I absolutely love it and you should definitely, definitely read it.

“Harry Potter”

And next is the legend himself. I couldn’t not include my dear friend Harry because it just wouldn’t be right without him. Harry Potter made my childhood. It was the centre of most of the dressing up games I partook in as a child – whether I was playing Hermione Granger or just a princess who attended Hogwarts. JK Rowling has a way with words, you can’t deny that. And the way she has woven such a faultless and perfect story is just (excuse the pun) magical.

I could never single out a favourite character, but it is extremely easy to pick my least favourite. Umbridge. How can you not hate the woman? She reminds me so much of a teacher I used to have at high school and she’s just horrible. If anyone is the Devil’s Spawn, it’s Dolores Umbridge.

JK Rowling has been criticized for copying Tolkien, and I used to believe this. But over the past couple of months I have re-read both and come to conclusions that they are both works of art, and they are different. Yep, I love Harry Potter.

“Where Rainbows End”

This has got to be one of the best heartbreaking, feel-good, beautiful, funny books I have ever read. As I want to move to Dublin when I’m older, having a book set there is just perfect. The jokes are even funnier when you imagine them in the Irish accent.

I know that this book has recently been made into the film, Love, Rosie, and I’m not sorry to say that I will not be watching it. My sister went to see it and she says it’s very different from the book and INEXCUSABLY not set in Ireland!

However, I’m not going to talk about the film. This book is the story of life. It’s about how a pair of people so in love can go all the way through their lives without coming together in harmony. It’s about raising a child at a young age, seeing the beauty of a life, having your heart broken many times over. And yes, it makes you cry. And yes, it makes you laugh. And yes, it times I wanted to punch both of the characters. But I also wanted to kiss them.

Ahern is a wonderful, wonderful writer, and I like all of the books she has written (I would have them all in this list if I could) but Where Rainbows End has got to be the best one of all. Truly, it is brilliant.

“I Capture the Castle”

This probably seems an odd title to have in this modern list. It’s true; I don’t actually read many of the old classics, because the language is outdated. However, from the moment I picked up this book I literally couldn’t put it down. This is another one of those that stays with you for a long time.

It is about a girl growing up in an old castle with a father who has gone slightly crazy. At the beginning, they have very little money, but as the story progresses, they become steadily richer. You start to see what effect money can have on your life, but also how people can be lulled into a false sense of love by money.

It’s a coming of age book, and I honestly wouldn’t just disregard it because it is old. Sometimes the most beautiful pieces can be as old as the hills.

“The Perks of being a Wallflower”

The final book on my list is the book that I feel really changed me as a person. I had hit a low. I’m not going to go into the details, but I was really at the point where my confidence was so low that I just didn’t want to talk to people. I would keep myself to myself and try to avoid eye contact. But then, whilst on holiday with the family, I came across this book in the airport. I’m not really sure why I bought it, but I did, and from that moment on I changed a little.

You see, it’s about a boy who has been through hell and back. He’s quiet and doesn’t have any friends. But then suddenly he’s in high school and he wants to start to ‘participate’. The book is about his journey. He slowly comes out of his shell more and more, until he is really able to speak to people. He sees things in a way that other people are just too ignorant to notice. He has a way with words, and he can sum up situations perfectly. Woven in with this is a story of love, and friendship, and family, and downright disturbingly saddening material. But it is so wonderful, I can’t quite put it into words.

After I had read the book, I just kind of sat there. Tears were streaming down my face and I couldn’t speak to anyone, but I had changed. I had decided that I was no longer going to be the wallflower. I was going to involve myself in life and not just stand on the sidelines anymore.

And so I changed.

.: Emily :.