Recommend A… Book That Made You Emotional

We’ve decided to participate in another weekly meme. We could not resist. We LOVE giving book recommendations. So here goes…

Recommend A… is hosted by Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Shanyn will post a new prompt each week, and we’ll post a book recommendation that follows the prompt. Head over to her blog to check out other blogger’s picks!

This week’s topic is books that made you emotional. And when it comes to books that have made me emotional, I had to dig into my past. I still have strong reactions to books that I read today, but I’m more experienced with the ways of the world now… honestly, I’m more cynical. I often pick up books because I am already passionate about a topic. But I don’t have the same unadulterated emotional reactions to books that I had growing up.

The emotion I’m choosing for today’s post is anger. Strange? Let me explain. It’s as a kid that you first see injustice and feel angry. And I think anger is one of the best possible reactions to reading a book you can have.

A book that quickly came to mind was the classic To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, first published in 1960, which most everyone has read and loved and which quite frankly needs no recommendation from me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I still chose it for two reasons:

First, it is well worth revisiting, especially for those who have not read the book as adults. More to the point, I think it’s good to be reminded of your first strong emotional reactions to books like this one – you first reactions to injustice, in whatever forms they took. Sometimes it’s good to remember that anger can be not only a powerful response but also an appropriate one.

Second, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share an article by Malcolm Gladwell that appeared in the New Yorker three years ago that criticized the glorification of Atticus Finch as a classic (literary) civil rights hero. It raised incredibly interesting points about the role of an advocate and a radical, which led to huge debates among my friends. It’s funny how defensive people (including myself!) get the minute anyone deigns to cast aspersions on Atticus Finch! The article provided a good reminder that childhood classics are not just worth revisiting – they are also worth re-evaluating. Like Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird stands the test of time for me, as a father figure especially. But the article definitely put his role into greater perspective. And I love that others are willing to disagree! So this is the recommendation of a book and an article. If you are anything like me, reading the two together will make you angry, then defensive and confused, and maybe just thoughtful in the end!