27 September 2010

Guest Post: Jenn @ No Rest For The Wicked

No Rest For The Wicked
Today, I have the awesome Jenn from "No Rest for the Wicked"--isn't that a fabulous name?!  She's written a great post on memorable scenes/books and why they made such an impact on her.

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As with so many others, books have had a tremendous impact over the course of my life. I like to re-read books and there are a handful of books out there that have had such an influence on me that I re-read them every so often throughout the years. To me, it’s like revisiting old friends. I had a pretty lonely childhood, so for many years books were my best companions. Almost all of my closest relationships have at least one book that unites us. I can usually get a sense of how much I will like someone based on their reading choices, particularly their favorite book. Some people find that strange, but being that books are so entwined with my everyday existence references to them often slip out unintentionally; it helps when people “get” you and understand the references.

The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery probably has had the most significant influence on my adolescence and has consistently stayed with me through the years. I could identify with Anne a lot more than the female protagonists in Sweet Valley High, Cheerleaders, or other popular YA fiction of the 1980’s. Like me, Anne often felt more at home in the world of literature than she was in her own skin. This made her seem eccentric to those around her that didn’t know her well, which is why her relationship with “kindred spirit” Diana was a particularly touching one. Anne was someone who mischief courted despite her intentions otherwise. She chose education over love and family commitment over her ambition, which was vastly different from her literary contemporaries.

Decades after Anne Shirley entered my life there are still references to the books that come back to me on a regular basis. I drank currant wine at a local vineyard recently and laughed thinking of the adventures in Anne of Green Gables where Anne gets Diana drunk accidentally on Marilla’s currant wine. No one else around me understood the humor in currant wine, which made me think of my own kindred spirit far away in Seattle who would have instantly understood the reference. In fact, her knowing instantly (without being told) why anyone would want Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” read at their funeral was how I knew this gal in my philosophy class was much more than just a school friend. That was probably the greatest gift LM Montgomery gave me, as well as a way for Anne Shirley to stay even more present in my adult life.

For those unaware of the reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnlJKaz5fyc .


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