My good friend, Clix, on the EC Ning encouraged me to do this on the Scholastic Site, so I did it. It's pretty hard to narrow a lifetime of reading down to five books, but this is the list I came up with:
"I will take the Ring," he said, "though I do not know the way."
We all have a time when we will have the choice to stand up and do the right and the hard thing. Will we do it? Can we do it? And when we do it, can we choose the right people to stand beside us?
Viktor E. Frankl
"Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips."
I read this when I want to remember why I am here.
Corrie Ten Boom
"Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself."
I need these words every day of my life.
"Whenever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Whenever they's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there . . . . I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad an'--I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build--why, I'll be there.
Everyone is my brother, and I am my brother's keeper.
"For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo."
I re-read this book again immediately after I first read it, and then I got up at 5 o'clock in the morning and took a two hour walk to think about it. It disturbed me, it shook me, it made me think. Even with all the painful memories I have -- particularly the death of my infant son -- I would never want to give up my memories -- they are just too precious.