Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 4 - my favorite book

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book

Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

My favorite book, hands down, is Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. I read it for the first time in 2008, when I was called for jury duty. I can remember sitting in the jury room, gasping aloud when one of my favorite characters died. I looked around at all of the strange faces, wishing one of them would ask me if I was reading Main Street... "oh, that's one of my favorite books!" they'd proclaim, and invite me to gush about the main character, Carol Kennicott and share in my heartbreak over the passage I'd just read.

Alas, nobody did that. During my lunch break, I telephoned my mom at work and kept her on the line for my entire break, emotionally describing what I had read in the jury room. From the length of our conversation and from the obvious importance I was giving the subject, one would think I had called her to sob over a break-up, or the death of a loved one! I was very attached to the story and the characters, and way more engrossed than I'd ever been in a book before.

And no book has ever stuck with me like this one; I feel as if the act of reading it was a life experience, something that happened to me that I'll never forget. The funny thing is that Sinclair Lewis isn't actually my favorite author -- that honor belongs to Kurt Vonnegut -- but I feel like Main Street belongs to me in a way that none of Vonnegut's books do.

I think that one needs a certain attitude about provincialism and modernism in order to really 'get' this book. But if you are like me -- from a small, slightly backwards town that doesn't understand you and that you don't understand... with a yearning for something bigger and more important -- this book could be just as powerful for you as it was for me.