I think that every once in a while there’s a book that each of us reads where we’re absolutely moved by not only the quality of the writing, but also the story, the characters and possibly even the deeper meaning in the story. I have a theory that everyone has at least one book they will remember all their lives – maybe even more than one, right? I think that reading a book that so connects with us is a lot like your sense of smell – you know, where a smell is imprinted on your brain? (If you’re a young adult and you’re reading this, you might not know what I’m talking about – then again you might have a great memory!) I’m in my mid-forties now, so I think that when you approach mid-life, you’re constantly bombarded with sensory information that acts to remind you of the fact that you ain’t getting any younger. A whiff of something can send you back in time better than any old Tardis and I think a book can do that too.
For me, I’m transported back in time by a book by John Saul – When the Wind Blows. It was published in 1981 so I’d have been fourteen when I read it for the first time. His books always had kids in them. Bad things always happened to kids and ALWAYS in a small town with a dark and terrible secret. It was a winning formula and more than thirty books later, he’s still pumping out great reads. I’ve read all of his stuff, but this book in particular still sticks with me. I’m probably romanticizing and/or lamenting the fact that I’m growing older, but I do fondly remember reading in Confederation Park in Calgary on a hot July afternoon in the shade of a huge poplar tree. (I’ve actually drawn on this memory for a scene in POLTERGEEKS. If you get the book in October you’ll probably recognize it.)
What books have resonated with you? Or if there is a book you’re currently reading that just blows you away, what’s it called and what is it about?