There are many kinds of literary challenges. Usually I hate these questions, since they are a variety of a question I get asked at every wedding. People demand that I name the three most important books that they should read. I never know what to tell them. Only three? It’s impossible.
The most recent literary challenge floating around the interwebs asked: what 10 books have stayed with you through the years? However, I like this challenge because it asks you to list the books that stay with you as a reader. My books? Caucasia, Crossing to Safety, World War Z, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Bean Trees, The Farming of Bones, The Inferno, Hope Leslie, Bleak House, When I Was Puerto Rican.
These books stayed with me for a variety of reasons. Some were the characters, who seemed like people I know or would want to know. Others had setting that were lushly beautiful or terrifyingly bleak. Sometimes it was the theme that stayed with me, whether it was reassuring or haunting. One was because a character spontaneously combusted. I’ll leave it to you to find which one.
What are the 10 books that stayed with you? Here’s your literary challenge – bring a list with you to the first day of your literature class!