30 Day Book Challenge – day 11 on love and gratitude
The 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.