e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

30 Day Book Challenge – day 11 on love and gratitude

grapes of wrath art


9 lives coverThe proper title of today’s challenge is A Book that made me Fall in Love with Reading, but I find this unanswerable – I can’t remember such a book – so I’m doing A Book that made me Grateful I can Read.

There are, of course, many books that have had that effect. One of the most recent was John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. It is such a powerful story with strong, memorable characters and an interesting historical background.

Another recent one was Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, which I love for its beautiful prose and original idea.

On the non-fiction front (I read a lot of non-fiction) the one I’m reading now, William Dalrymple’s Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, looks like it’s destined to be a favourite. It contains interviews with nine people who have taken a spiritual path. Their stories are fascinating and very varied: monks, nuns, devadasi, dancers possessed by gods and  others seek the spiritual in strikingly different ways.

I am constantly grateful I can read. Through reading I can visit worlds I would never travel to – the far past, the far away, the imaginary, even the possible future; I can hear the voices of people I could never hear – the long dead, the unborn, animals, or the mythological.

Film, radio and TV bear the same gifts, but they require equipment or special places and do so at their producers’ rate. Reading I do at my pace, in my time and with as many back-tracks as I like.

Cover art Goodreads, Waterstones, Goodreads.


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2 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge – day 11 on love and gratitude

  1. A book I loved rereading was Treasure Island and I may even read it again to find out why I loved it so much. The other book I always think of when someone asks what influenced me was The Tree that Sat Down which must be terribly dated but I would love to read that to my granddaughter when she is older. I also enjoyed The Life of Pi recently but sometimes despair of finding new books which are memorable.


    • I had not heard of the ‘Tree that Sat Down’ so I googled it and found a lot of information. It sounds like a book any little girl would really enjoy. I also discovered it’s by Beverley Nichols – I used to love his columns in magazines when I was much younger. Thank you for reminding me of him.
      I read ‘Treasure Island’ when I was a child, but I can hardly remember it. It’s on my list of ‘to reread sometime’, but who knows when sometime will be.


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