Monday, January 4, 2010

Words Move Me Winner

Last week, I shared with you a new site that I just love called Words Move Me: Connecting readers around the literary moments they love. Make sure you visit this site and register so you can share some of your favorite literary moments with other book lovers!

As part of promoting this site, Sony gave me the opportunity to giveaway a Sony Reader Pocket Edition (valued at $199.99) to one very lucky Booking Mama reader. To enter, I asked for you to leave a comment telling me about a book you read when you were growing up that has stayed with you and why it was memorable. My plan was to select the five "best" answers and then randomly select the grand prize winner. Little did I know how incredibly difficult it would be to pick just five comments.

I was blown away by all of your responses, and I could definitely relate to many of your feelings. The responses were just amazing -- some made me laugh and some even made me cry. Many of your comments brought back wonderful memories about books that I read and loved as a child. Quite a few of your comments made me write down books that I definitely need to read and even re-read. I have to say that narrowing the list down to five was next to impossible for me.

So without further ado, here they are:

Margay said...

For me, the book that stayed with me was The Diary of Anne Frank. When I read it, I was the same age as Anne was in the book and I just could not believe that someone who was my age was going through such unbelievable experiences. It made me feel as if I hadn't really lived yet - and made me realize that there was so much more to life than the four corners of my small world. I was so touched by that book that I read it about four times in a row (over a two week period), hoping and praying for a different outcome for Anne. And once it finally sunk in that it wasn't going to change, I put the book away and could not look at it again. It was too tragic.

Jen (Devourer of Books) said...

East of Eden by John Steinbeck, no question. I've read it almost once a year since high school because it is such a moving book. One thing I love about it is the language. East of Eden carries me along as no other book does. I have said (and even posted on the internet for everyone to see) that when I read it, it feels like I am dancing, sweeping around the room carried by the words as you would be by music.

If I had to pick a favorite part of that book, it would be the discussion the characters have of the story of Cain and Abel, where they go back to the original Hebrew or Aramaic word, timshel and discover that what is being said is 'thou mayest' conquer over sin. It is such a simultaneously humbling and empowering moment, and even just thinking about the beauty of the scene gives me shivers up and down my spine.

Lindsey said...

This is a wonderful giveaway! I've been dying for an e-reader, Kindle, or something like that. :-)

I read so much as a kid, and have so many favorites. One that has stuck with me and influenced me the most is the Anne of Green Gables series - all of them, though Anne of the Island is my favorite (Philippa is such a hilarious character!). Anne taught me to be a dreamer, and whenever I get too involved in the stresses of life, I try to think like Anne did. :-) There are so many things you can take from her and look at life in a fresh, new way. So many wisdoms... L.M. Montgomery must have been an amazing woman.

I think I need to frame my favorite quotes and put them on my wall. lol Here's one:

"There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting."

Cynthia said...

When I was a teen, I read To Kill a Mockingbird because I had seen the movie a number of times. The book was amazing - written through the eyes of an innocent young girl, you're taken to a town in the south where prejudice is just part of life.

It's not just Tom Robinson's story that moved me. I was moved by all of the small stories in this sleepy town particularly the one about Boo Radley -- a man who would be handicapped by today's standards, but back then was labeled a madman.

Scout's outspokenness and blind faith is something I still cling to. She didn't care about a man's color or where he came from. It was what a person did with his life that mattered, be it a small thing like giving a toy to a child or a large thing like saving a person's life.

Years later, I became a teacher. I worked in a town where the people were well-educated and God fearing and still I heard them speak out against a Korean boy who didn't understand English and another refer to a classmate by the "n" word. More than 50 years after Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and still people were judging based on the color of another person's skin.

It saddened me but it also made me want to keep on working to make a difference.

That's what words have done for me.

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I spent a lot of time thinking about which book to choose, and whether or not to share something on the Internet that was so close to my heart. After reading everyone's comments, I knew that I had to choose this particular book, because it affected me in such a way that I will never forget it.

The book is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I read it when I was a junior in high school (I'm now a sophomore in college), during a very difficult time in my life. I was having a lot of issues with depression, and my best (and only good) friend was anorexic,to the point where it was threatening her health both physically and emotionally. We were growing apart, and no matter how hard I tried, I felt like I couldn't stop it. There is nothing so completely demoralizing in the world as the feeling of total, complete helplessness. I was so incredibly terrified that she would leave me, and I would truly be alone in the world...even more alone than I had felt at that time.

It's hard to admit, but I did think about suicide a few times. I had had problems with self abuse when I was 14, and while they disappeared for awhile, they resurfaced at this time in my life.

Books had always been my refuge, but I was getting to a point that not even they were helping me. That is, until I picked up Thirteen Reasons Why.

For those of you who don't know much about the book, it's about a teenage girl who commits suicide, then leaves a series of tapes behind explaining her reasons for doing so. Aside from being one of the most compelling books I've ever read, it touched me at a time in my life when nothing else could.

There's a scene at the end of the book where the main character, realizes that if he would have confessed his feelings for Hannah, or at least let her know that he wanted to be her friend, it might have been enough to keep her in the world. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking scene, and it taught me a new value to life that I hadn't seen before. Even if I never knew it, if my being kind and friendly to someone could be enough to save a life, my own was worth living. That realization did wonders for me, and throughout the next year, I was able to turn my life around with the help of my family and friends.

This is an awesome way to enter to win an E-reader. I loved reading everyone else's comments, and I've added a few books to my TBR list. I definitely plan on checking out Sony's new program. Thanks for hosting this! :)

And the winner is......


I'd like to thank everyone who submitted their thoughts and feelings about favorite childhood books. If you'd like to share more of your "literary moments," please check out the Words Move Me site.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Those were all phenomenal answers! Congrats Natalie!

bermudaonion said...

I can see why you had trouble narrowing the list down! Congratulations Natalie!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful responses.

Congrats, Natalie!

Jenners said...

Wow ... those were amazing! I can see why you would have a lot of trouble picking just 5 if these represent what you received!! Congrats to Natalie. That was touching.

Serena said...

Congrats! Great answers!

Natalie said...

Awesome! I still can't believe I won! They were all awesome answers. Thanks so much! :)