Books that stick with you, long after you’d like to forget them…
I’m sick today. No, nothing serious. In fact, it’s more annoying than anything else, but it has me stuck in bed for a while. And this is good. Yes, really. I’m a little behind in, well, everything, because I’ve spent the last six weeks running like a headless chicken and I’m certain this is the Almighty’s way of telling to just SIT THE FREAK DOWN for a while.
Hmm…. Is this post tempting the wrath of the divine? *Looks for the flash of lightning and listens for the roll of thunder.* AHHH! No, wait, that’s just someone running a belt sander nearby.
Anyways, when I have these days, I usually find myself thinking of completely random, nonsensical things. And this morning, as I was engaged in this practice, I suddenly remembered, “A Day No Pigs Would Die.”
Believe me, this is a book I did NOT enjoy reading. It was assigned to my middle school literature class, and I think we universally panned it. It is, however, seen by some as an accurate portrayal of Shaker life in depression and post-depression era America, and a literary classic coming-of-age story. But definitely, not by me. This despite the fact that I was the one who often liked the books we were assigned. Dude, I read “A Tale of Two Cities” in, like, three days.
So, this begs the question: Why the hell can’t I forgot this book? What is it about that book that, despite my strong distaste for it, it still stays with me after twenty years? And I think I have an answer.
I hated the book because it told the truth. Growing up isn’t easy, it isn’t fun, and it is rare that the one comes away without scares. This book wasn’t escapism; it was an integral lesson in my understanding the realities of the world.
So, my question for you today is: Do you have a book like this? Have you ever read something that made your teeth gnash every time you reached for it and you despised the author and all his progeny for having the gall to even live- yet, take from it more than you gave?