Friday Book Whimsy: Book Challenge, The Last

Today I will conclude the book challenge I have been pondering for the last few weeks. Click here to see Part I and Part II.

A book that reminds you of home: It sort of depends on what I consider home. For this purpose, however, I am calling home the place where I spent my formative years — Nebraska. Therefore, the book that most reminds me of my home is My Antonia, by Willa Cather. I, of course, am nothing like the main character — Antonia Shimerda. Her family are Bohemian immigrants who lived and farmed in southeast Nebraska in the late 1800s. She befriends Jim, who is newly arrived from the east coast. The reason this reminds me of growing up in Nebraska is because the people are down-to-earth, hard-working, honest, and live simple lives. That describes my experience growing up in the Midwest.

Favorite romance book: Can you really get more romantic than Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte? I mean, the wild and enormously troubled Mr. Rochester sees the good in the poor orphan girl who has led a tragic life up until she becomes a governess to Mr. Rochester’s child. the book apparently illustrates classism, sexism, and all sorts of -isms, but I simply adore the love between the two main characters, even after he loses his eyesight. Oh, and the crazy wife in the attic.

Favorite male character: Lots of favorite male characters, but I’m going to go with Father Tim, from Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I wish that Father Tim could be my spiritual advisor and my friend.

Favorite female character: I like many female characters, but one who has stayed in my mind is Eleanor Oliphant, from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. I loved everything about Eleanor Oliphant. I love her outlook on life, I loved how she rose above her dysfunctional upbringing, and I loved her friendship with Raymond. I reviewed the book here.

Your favorite writer: Man, this is a hard one to pin down, but given my answer to the last question which follows, I think it would have to be the late Kent Haruf. When this Colorado author passed away in 2014, I literally cried, knowing that there would never be another story about fictional Holt, Colorado. I own every one of his books, and since I’m a dedicated library enthusiast, that’s saying a lot.

Your favorite book of all time: That would have to be Plainsong. The story takes place in the fictional small town of Holt, on the eastern plains of Colorado. It introduces a group of people who are only marginally connected, but who come together as though they were a family. The dialogue is as true as in any book I have ever read. The writing is lyrical and spoke to my heart. The characters are realistic and likeable, though some are broken. The McPheron brothers — two old bachlors who are ranchers — are wonderful and true.  Eventide takes over where Plainsong leaves off.

Well, what do you think of all of my choices? What are your choices?

2 thoughts on “Friday Book Whimsy: Book Challenge, The Last

  1. Book that reminds me of home: At Home In Mitford. I went with your thought about where we grew up. Small town full of characters (aka Miceks in our life). I walked everywhere I went as a child. Living our faith daily.
    Romance book: Pride & Prejudice
    Fav male character: Fr. Timothy Kavanaugh
    Fav female character: this is a hard one and m drawing a blank. I’m going to go with Alina in The Things We Cannot Say. I read that book over a year ago but still think about her often.
    Fav book of all time: At Home In Mitford but from the last several years it’s Where The Crawdads Sing.

  2. Book that reminds me of home: Animal Dreams. I enjoy Kingsolver’s writing very much and this book is set in my new home, Arizona. She does a great job of capturing the haunting beauty of the Southwest.
    Romance book: A Tale of Two Cities. No, of course it’s not a romance book, but Sydney Carton’s sacrifice for “a life he loves” is one of the most romantic acts in literature.
    Favorite male character: So many to choose from, but one of the most memorable is Count Alexander Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow. Maybe this resonates now because he is confined to a hotel room for a decade, and he still manages to life a rich life.
    Favorite female character: Miss Julia in that series, Miss Julia is bossy and thinks everything should be as she would have it. But in almost every book, she has a moment of self-reflection and recognizes her shortcomings.
    Favorite book of all time: Cry, the Beloved Country. Such nobility in so many characters.

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