One of the great things about working with readers is the variety and depth of literary passions. For Valentine’s Day, we asked employees at Better World Books what book they fell in love with, and here are a few answers from book lovers at our various locations.
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Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Danica Keefe and Liam Keefe, Customer Care
The book I am absolutely in love with is Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. I did not have this book when I was little and I can’t remember how I found out about this book. I think my mother had given it to me when I started working at Better World Books. Anyway I just love how the book is written and way the rabbits interact with each other is so cute. I love it because it is a simple but powerful message. I have a bunch of different copies of the book, the rabbit and even a piece of artwork with my favorite line from the book “I love you to the moon and back.” Whenever I see that phrase I instantly want to buy that item. Now that I have a child of my own I have been enjoying reading the book to him.
Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jennifer, Customer Care
Early American Transcendentalist literature in general, but “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson especially. Reading it always gives me a feeling of peace that almost no other written work can, because there is nothing more perfect than the natural world. I don’t read it over and over again, that would make it less special. But every time I do, it makes me feel as though I have separated myself from the daily grind, as though I have hit the “reset” button somehow.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Deanna Smith, Executive Assistant
A wonderful tale of love, devotion, friendship, endurance and faith. Contrasted with betrayal, greed, inhumanity, devastation and tragedy. With the overriding theme of vengeance throughout. What a ride! Breaks your heart and then fills it up. A great story of love, but not in the way you might think. Surprising to the end.
Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut
“So it goes…” is the empty response to an extraordinary life gone by. Lost from his love and wife, the heavenly Nazi actress Helga Noth, Howard Campbell writes his memoirs from an Israeli jail, while awaiting trial for war crimes, in post-WWII. He tells of his experiences being an American spy in Nazi Germany, while at the time, also considered one of the greatest Playwrights and voices in the Nazi Propaganda machine. Though the subject matter wasn’t my speed, it served its purpose to heighten the love he has for Helga and his passion, writing – to each, stolen by the circumstance of timing. The odyssey of his life unfolds in the reliving of Howard’s memoir. In the course of his past, we learn how he is used by the Nazis, the U.S., and ultimately, with memories of Helga by the few friends he makes while exiled in New York City.
I feel in-love with this book through Vonnegut’s ability to make you understand Howard’s feelings, his acceptance of being used by everyone who touched his life, and his regret in the allowances. In the end, the moral of the story is so artfully crafted in humor and explicitly presented in voice that, simply put, Howard realizes we are what we pretend to be – a powerful revelation for a man who felt at the time, he knew who he was… and one not lost on me as a teen, the first time I read this story.
So it goes… He is more willing to hang, not for crimes against humanity, but rather, crimes against himself. Thus, ending the charade that is Howard Campbell. (Okay, maybe not the best for a Valentine’s Day blog… but it was a great book.)
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Your turn… what book did YOU fall in love with? Let us know in the comments.