Ever since I was a little kid I have loved reading. That changed when I had to read certain books in school. The books we were required to read were not really the kind of books I enjoyed reading. Now I have graduated high school a few months ago I started reading again for my own pleasure. Today I will talk about some of the books I have read or am planning on reading during my stay in New York.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The first time I read Wild was about a year ago. I remember that I thought it was a very inspiring book and even though it was sometimes hard for me to relate to the story, I think that it made me realize I had to do something like Strayed did too. Basically, Wild is an autobiographic novel about a young woman in her mid-twenties, Strayed, who loses touch with herself after her mother dies. She decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail for three months to “walk herself back to the woman her mother raised her to be” and to process her mother’s death. In 2014 they released the movie adaption of the book starring Reese Witherspoon. I have watch that movie about three or four times and every time it moves me.
A few weeks ago I went to a bookstore in SoHo that sells used books with a friend and I stumbled upon Wild. We stayed there for a few hours, both reading a book. I read Wild and before we left I had to buy the book. I think I finished it in less than two weeks. This time it was easier for me to relate to the story, because even though my story is completely different from Strayed’s, I am also on a so-called spirit walk. I too have lost who I am in a way and I am trying to find out who I am away from everything I know. It was very encouraging and inspiring to read Wild during this time of my life. It made me think about certain things I was not aware of I needed to think about. Wild is a great book to read, especially for anyone who needs a little encouragement when you are going through a difficult time.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
After finishing Wild, I really wanted to read some classic English novels, so I picked up three classics in a tiny store in Bushwick, Brooklyn that sells second-hand books. I started reading The Catcher in the Rye first. I actually finished it this afternoon. I do not think I have ever read a book like The Catcher in the Rye. The book is about a 16-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield who gets kicked out of boarding school, because he failed every class except English. A year later he tells you about everything that happened during the three days after he gets kicked out.
Besides the fact that Caulfield narrates the story a year later, the reader does not know anything about what is going to happen to this young boy. I think that was what made me want to read on. The events that happen are not connected until you reach the end of the novel, because then you realize that all these situations he has found himself in are part of him growing up. Caulfield’s view on the world is that of a typical teenager; not understanding the world and the people who live on it, and rebelling against authority and at the same time wanting to be a part of a community. The novel confused me, until I say the bigger picture and understood that Salinger had written a story about a boy coming of age and everything that comes with that.
1984 by George Orwell
Another classic I picked up at the bookstore in Bushwick, Brooklyn is 1984. In 1984 Orwell describes what he in 1949 thinks the world is going to look like in 1984. I have not started reading this book, but I am excited to read the first sentence somewhere in the next few days. I think it is interesting to read about one man’s view of the future in 1949. Especially now it is more than 30 years after the year 1984 and we know what really happened.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read The Great Gatsby in school when I was 15 years old, but I did not really understand what the book was about and I skipped a lot of the book because of that. When we reviewed The Great Gatsby again last year to prepare for final exams, I understood better what the story was about. I also watched the movie which stars Leonardo DiCaprio more than five times since it was released in 2013. Now I understand the story a little better, I really want to read the book again without skipping anything. So, I will read The Great Gatsby after finishing 1984.
I am a slow reader, but despite that I do really enjoy reading. I think it is good that we have to read books in school, but I wish they would have chosen more classics for us to read. Well, I cannot change that, so I will just have to catch up now. I could not find To Kill a Mockingbird in the stores I went to, but I have to book at home, so I will read that when I get back to The Netherlands.
Ps. Do not forget to check out My Trending Stories! I posted a really awesome article there this weekend; Best Places to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in New York City.