Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Favorite Book

Day 13 of the April Blog Challenge from Green Moms Network:

Today's writing topic is "My Favorite Book or What I Read."  I recently posted a book review of Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, which is my all-time favorite book.  I originally read it when I was in 9th grade.  Our teacher told us to choose a book that would challenge us from a list he provided.  We would be required to write a short paper on whatever literary work we chose.

I was always an avid reader, but Vanity Fair was very long, and I thought that it would challenge me.  I was right.  It took me forever to read, and the night before our papers were due, I stayed up almost the entire night finishing the book and then writing my paper.  My mom came in around 4 a.m. and told me just to skim the rest of the book, but I refused because I felt I should finish it.

And finish it I eventually did, just in time to peck out a quick paper on the computer, print it out, and fall into bed for about an hour before I had to get up and rush off to school.  When the other students in the class and I got our papers back a couple weeks later, we compared grades in the way that high schoolers tend to do.  Every single person in the class had an A.  Someone turned to the teacher, remarking on the grades, and asked, "Did you even read these?"  His response:  "I skimmed them."

After that experience, I harbored a good bit of resentment towards Mr. Thackeray's masterpiece, and I did not touch it again for another six to seven years when it showed up on a reading list in a college English course.  This time around, having the benefit of more maturity and improved reading skills, I fell in love.  The book has such a satirical charm to it that just makes me want to go back in time and hang out with William Makepeace Thackeray, maybe get a beer or something and just make fun of the world with him.

Even though Thackeray pokes some pretty wicked fun at his contemporaries, a group made up of authors whose works I have also thoroughly enjoyed, he does it in such a brilliant and charming manner that I feel as though not one of them could really be angry with him (although if memory serves, some of them did manage to be in spite of it all).  There is just something so delightful in reading it.  To me, it represents the Victorian age equivalent of a modern-day Not Another Teen Movie, but, of course, with much less crude content.   

It is the kind of book that is so much fun to read, I have to read it again every couple of years even though I know exactly what is going to happen in every scene.  It is an absolute delight to read.  If you have never read it, do it now.  If you have read it, read it again.

1 comment:

  1. Vanity Fair is genius - I agree, it's a worthwhile read!