Friday, March 30, 2007

third in the series of favorite book posts

**scroll down for the first two posts.

next up in the sort of reverse chronology of my favorite books (i can only pick ten books) that made me have really strong reactions or that were somehow otherwise pivotal in my life when i read them....

siddhartha by hermann hesse

this one was big for me.
we had to read it in my senior year g.a.t.e. english. that year i transferred out of my school to one in southern california because i went to live with my dad for a month cuz i was being too mean to my mom and my grandma. [omg!!! early signs of relationship/behavioral difficulties!!!!!] anyway. my new english teacher was like: "what were you reading in your old class?"
me: siddhartha.

dude: you were reading "SIDD-HARTHA!??" (he over exaggerates the 'H' sound)

i'm like, yeah... my teacher was COOL. unlike YOU.

anyway, i ended up going back to my old school cuz it was way better afterall, i realized.

but siddhartha.

when i first started reading it, i'd had NO prior knowledge of buddhism and NONE of what i was reading made any sense to me for some reason. i would read a chapter and have to re-read it immediately. i went to the library and got cliff's notes. that helped a lot. when it really started to click for me was when i got to the part where siddhartha talks about how 'life is pain'. i was like, "wait a second... this guy was on to something here." i could relate to that shit.

i ended up falling forever in love with that book. it changed me. i used to just carry it around with me all the time as some sort of iconic object. i've always been a bit of a bibliofile, anyhow. i used to spend my lunches in the library reading-- cuz that's where i wanted to be. it just seemed like a good use of my time. i was on the lookout for something.

other great books i've read by hesse: demian, gertrude, steppenwolf. i think that's all.