As a college student, I would have topped this list with OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham. As a twenty-something pregnant woman on bedrest, it was E. Annie Proulx's THE SHIPPING NEWS that spoke to my heart. Over the years, I have added Henry Taylor's THE FLYING CHANGE, Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and other titles to this list.
I believe that this list is different for everyone. And that sometimes it's not just the words on the page, but the moment in time at which the reader meets these words that creates deep meaning.
That said, as a thirty-something struggling with the terrifying stasis of at-home-mom existence (no worries, I am over it and kind of love it now), it was LIFE OF PI.
For me, PI is a story of the way people invent narratives so that they can bear to live with the truths of their lives. It is about the way we weave happenstances (being named Piscine), ethical conundrums (having charge of captive animals) and our actions in real or metaphorically life-threatening situations (shipwreck) into a costume that shows us to the world as someone essential good--someone we want to be even if this is not our identity at all.
For me, LIFE OF PI is not the story of a tiger.
So, the sparkly CGI of the movie trailer makes me a little bit queasy. I've been told by those who have seen the film that space has been left for my interpretation (I won't get any more specific because I hate spoilers). Still, I haven't been able to make myself watch it.
Sometimes, no matter what you're told about the movie version, you want to hold the book close to your heart and never see the pictures that dance in some other filmmaking reader's head.
LIFE OF PI isn't categorized as YA, though the bulk of the narrative features the main character as a teen. But I believe it makes a great older teen read, which is why I allowed myself to finally write this post as a Bookanista entry.
IS THERE A MOVIE VERSION OF A BOOK THAT YOU CAN'T BRING YOURSELF TO WATCH? WHY?
Here are more Bookanista goodies for you...
Nikki Katz is delighted by CHARM AND STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn
Jessica Love has cheers for CHALKLINE by Jane Mitchell
Gretchen McNeil sings out for SECOND VERSE by Jennifer WalkupShari Arnold adores ALSO KNOWN AS (AKA) by Robin Benway
Tracy Banghart delves into TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini
Christine Fonseca is held captive by ABANDON by Elana Johnson
Katy Upperman shines a light on THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith