Fat Books & Thin Women


30 Day Book Meme, Day 5
August 5, 2011, 12:48 pm
Filed under: 30 Day Book Meme | Tags: , , ,

A book that makes you happy:

I’ve been laying around trying to come up with an answer for this one, and it ain’t working. If we’re talking happiness like, a book’s stylistic virtues make me happy, I can write out a list for you; but I think what this question is going for is the idea of the happiness I felt when I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (for whatever reason, this was the first of the series I read) and wanted to run around telling every person I met what I had just discovered. Answering a third day with Harry Potter as my answer seems like a cop-out, so I’m not going to do it – that would be more the result of me thinking about the series for a couple days than it actually, honest-to-God, being the most happy-making book I’ve read.

When I try to think up “grown-up” books that make me happy, the results are mixed. Nabokov’s Ada makes me happy. It’s not unadulterated happiness, though, but more an “I’m so sad I’m happy” thing, and mostly due to the gorgeous writing in the book. When I think of lighter books, Bridget Jones’ Diary makes me happy, but in a cringeing way since I spend half the book trying not to notice all the pratfalls (real or metaphorical) Bridget is making.Every time I read a book by Charles Portis I feel this intense happiness resulting from his ability to make jokes without ever appearing to make jokes. The very idea of Tamora Pierce’s books make me happy, because she goes so against the grain in terms of young adult fantasy literature, in featuring strong female heroes in each of her books, the sort of women and girls who might hang out with and date and marry men, but who never need men to rescue them.

The question I have, then, is what sort of happiness are we talking about when we talk about a book making us “happy”? Is it what we felt as kids the first time we read Matilda or a Tamora Pierce or Harry Potter book, or is it a sort of aesthetic pleasure we feel as adult readers? Can you think of a book that’s made you as happy, as an adult, as a book you read as a kid? How have the pleasures of reading changed for us as we’ve aged?

30 Day Book Meme:
Day 01 – The best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than three times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

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