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Revive a Dead Thread > Books that make your Heart Sing!

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8679 comments Mod
Hi everyone.
I created this thread to give us a place to discuss those books that make our hearts sing.

What book/books were totally taken with?
What was it about the book made you fall in love with it?
Did you identify with a character, or did it remind you of a similar personal experience?

I think this is a great topic, and I look forward to seeing your posts, and hope to be introduced to lots of new reading material too (Yep! I had an alterior motive, ha ha!)


message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol (caroldias) | 624 comments I´m too afraid of saying which book touched me and why. People would kill me, hang me in a public place LOL

But I need to confess that the one that make my heart sing is because of personal experiences plus identifying with the character. It´s the kind of book that when I finished I have a period of "hang over", a true feeling of depression. Gah, this is saaad. lol


message 3: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 8679 comments Mod
Aw... I wish you would share it with us, Carol. No one would hold it against you. Promise!


message 4: by Fiona (last edited Mar 24, 2009 12:24PM) (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) I Capture the Castle that's a surprise isn't it? I think what I loved about it was Cassandra's voice, it's so strong and real you almost feel like you're there. Dodie Smith is also a fabulous author and managed to start the book where Cassandra is a rather young, immature writer (it's written in journal format) but it quite visibly chances and matures by the end and so you feel like you have gone on a personal journey.

I love the time it is set - which is the thirties and I like that era of time.

I love the eccentricity of the family but also the life. I like how it ends too. It's a rather girly book I suppose and I'm not usually drawn to books I think will be girly. But I kept seeing this book and then I saw that Romola Garai was in the film and so I finally picked the book up...

The first line is: "I write this sitting on the kitchen sink." Which I love, it's quite random.

What else...

The Four Last Things by Andrew Taylor and the other two books of The Roth Trilogy.

Andrew Taylor is a fantastic author. He really knows how to phrase things in this way that feels like he knows what you're thinking and feeling. It's a crime novel - psychological thriller so perhaps you think a strange choice for a Heart-Book or as I call them Soul Books. But there's just something in the way this author writes that has be in love with his books. He writes as if it's natural - no pretences, no pretentious author-quirks. He writes - and I see and feel and hear everything. I'm there. It's like time travel.

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn - beautifully, written novel. I think she said she tried to use the Japanese style of writing - using silence and a certain rhythm of writing which is certainly how it reads. It's heart breaking but beautiful.

I'm not sure actually you can pin what makes a book a Soul Book from whether or not I identified with the character or it felt personal... I think it's something about the author rather - if you connect with the way they write and think.

One author who I have read recently is Nicholas Evans and he really knows how to take you into this world of human emotions, lives, nature - without really having to try. He uses language seamlessly.

I think for me what makes a Soul Book is when I open it and I'm just gone without question. I'm not even reading it - I'm awash with it.

Oh I forgot one:

All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque - about ww1, in the trench - on ther German side. Very human story I though. Nothing you wouldn't have learnt from a WW1 history class I suspect, but it will take you there rather then just spill out facts like a text book. It's so incredibly sad though, not just the story but the whole idea of war.

I love ww2 stories which tell a more personal story.


message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Oh and duh! Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - no matter how often I read this she always makes me laugh out loud. This isn't as heavy as the others but it's a releasing novel to read.

Oh oh and Dogsbody by the same - probably my first Soul Book ever when I was nine and still is. Fond memories.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) My first book love was (and still is) Anne of Green Gables. I don't understand how anyone could read it, or any of the other books in the series, and not fall in love with Anne.

I love reading books where women get to be the strongest characters...lately, I have been reading some great YA fantasy that I have really enjoyed with this theme. Graceling is my favorite of them.

The Harry Potter series will ALWAYS be special to me. They are all type of book that I can read and imagine it is a special gift just for my enjoyment, which of course is silly since everyone in the known world has either read or at least heard a great deal of HP. It is just a fantastic journey, and I will probably keep rereading them occasionally for the rest of my life.

Although I don't have much experience with sci-fi, I read Stephenie Meyer's The Host and was blown away. I did NOT expect much out of it, but I was quickly sucked in and fell in love with the characters, and even the style of writing that so many people criticize in Meyer.

I recently read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It is in the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and that type of story...but I believe N&S to be MUCH better. The characters are more well-rounded, there is much more going on in the story, and the hero, Mr. Thornton, is a MUCH more enjoyable character and hero than Mr. Darcy.

Okay...there are some Sooooul books. I tried to cover several genres :)


message 7: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3505 comments The Thorn Birds Colleen Mccullough just put my heart through the wringer. It was just so, so emotional. There is no happy ending for the main characters, but one of their children goes on to find happiness in an unexpected way and it just shows you that we all can. (find happiness)

Ride the WindLucia St. Clair Robson blew me away the first time I read it. I was only 12, so a lot of it went over my head, but I have read it over and over since, and the love, loyalty, cruelty, and shame in that book would speak to anyone.



message 8: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Ugh, I'm so forgetful. I love Harry Potter. I grew up from 13-23 on Harry Potter.


message 9: by Angie (new)

Angie | 114 comments Flipped!

Unrequited love is such agony. Oh, but Wendelin Van Drannen writes such a beautiful tale.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Ahab's Wife Or, The Star-gazer A Novel

Una was so independent at a time when that was a nearly impossible attribute in a woman.


message 11: by (G)Emma (new)

(G)Emma  (litlover) | 2396 comments Ahem, I think this is obvious.

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. I can just relate to Gemma, Felicity, Pippa and Ann. Not to mention Circe, Mrs. Nightwing, Miss Mccleethy, Kartik, Gorgon and many others.


message 12: by Mosca (last edited Mar 24, 2009 04:19PM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments For me Prodigal Summer A Novel. I loved that book and was very sorry when it was over.
I fell in love with Lusa, the young widow.

And to quote another reviewer "This book makes me homesick on an atomic level"



message 13: by (G)Emma (new)

(G)Emma  (litlover) | 2396 comments Oh Angie, I listened to that on audio book and really liked it!


message 14: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Mosca wrote: "For me Prodigal Summer A Novel. I loved that book and was very sorry when it was..."

Oh that one for me too. I could drink that book.


message 15: by Hayes (last edited Mar 24, 2009 04:46PM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Gonna have to think about that... I mean, I know which books make my heart sing, but I can't quite put the *why* into words.

I love Prodigal Summer too, Mosca; and the Harry Potter series, especially the first two; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4; 84, Charing Cross Road; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
are the books that leap to mind... It has something to do with a quirky perception of what is to be taken seriously and what is funny.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I was thinking of this thread while walking with a friend. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett was a wonderful read. A woman who loved and, in grief, was also both giving and forgiving.


message 17: by Angie (new)

Angie | 114 comments (G)Emma, who narrates the audio, do you know? I would love to listen to it. Flipped has some of the most simple but beautiful language. It genuinely made my heart sing.

Fiona, Simon Cotton is my biggest literary crush. I'm in love with a fictional character, but Edward Cullen it's not.


message 18: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sanddune)
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, because she honored her sister's lifestyle at last and came to realize she had make a fine life for herself in spite of the handicap of having Down syndrome. Superior intellect is no guarantee of happiness or the reverse.


message 19: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) Angie wrote: "(G)Emma, who narrates the audio, do you know? I would love to listen to it. Flipped has some ..."

Stephen was mine. He was just so lovely.


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol (caroldias) | 624 comments Fiona wrote: "Ugh, I'm so forgetful. I love Harry Potter. I grew up from 13-23 on Harry Potter. "

I know what you mean, I had the same feeling *_*




Elizabeth (Alaska) Sandra wrote: "
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, because she honored her sister's lifestyle at last and came to realize she had make a fine life for herself in spite of the handicap of having Down syndrom..."


Who had Down's syndrome? I don't recall there being anything about that in My Sister's Keeper.


message 22: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) most recently it was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I just loved Francie, such a little bookworm...reminded me of myself...except the whole turn of the century thing.


message 23: by (G)Emma (new)

(G)Emma  (litlover) | 2396 comments Angie, I have absolutely no idea, but there was two people, and the narration was really good.


message 24: by (G)Emma (new)

(G)Emma  (litlover) | 2396 comments Fiona wrote: "Angie wrote: "(G)Emma, who narrates the audio, do you know? I would love to listen to it. [b:Flipped|331920|Flipped|Wendelin Van Draanen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1217......"

Stephen is pretty nice, I don't exactly have a book crush on him though. But I do sort of want Cassandra to fall in love with him. Sort of.




message 25: by El (new)

El There are several I have near and dear to my heart, but off the top of my head I would say:

Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
I don't spend a lot of time reading YA books, but this is one that I have read so often it's amazing I don't have it completely memorized. Harriet is someone I was able to relate to the very first time I read the book (I think I was about eight at the first reading). She spends her time in her notebook, a habit I've never been able to break myself, and overall it's a touching coming-of-age story that honestly portrays a young girl having a hard time dealing with her environment (school and peers) and changes outside of her control (Ole Golly leaving). I turn to this book any time I need to cleanse my literary palate after reading something heavy or particularly disturbing.

City Boy, Herman Wouk
I had to read this in my sophomore year of high school and fell in love with it immediately. While it's also a coming-of-age story, it's a different point of view than Harriet's. Herbie Bookbinder is an overweight, awkward boy who just wants the right girl to talk to him. His life is also changing beyond his control, which I think is a concept most adolescents can relate to. I also like the fact that it's not that popular, that I have a hard time finding others who have read it and loved it the way I did. I must have read it at just the right time in my life. I wonder if I would have appreciated it more if I read it before or after I did.


message 26: by Eliza (last edited Mar 25, 2009 06:39PM) (new)

Eliza (Eliza_Morgan) | 151 comments I love Fiona's comment, "I could drink that book." I know exactly what you mean!!!

The book Passage by Connie Willis made my heart stop...I couldn't move for a long time after I finished that book. My brain sprung a leak, I was blown away! I Am Legend left my heart pounding, The Poisonwood Bible left my heart crying, and The Rapture of Canaan left my heart truly singing!


message 27: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) El wrote: "There are several I have near and dear to my heart, but off the top of my head I would say:

Harriet the Spy



message 28: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Eliza wrote: "I love Fiona's comment, "I could drink that book." I know exactly what you mean!!! ... The Poisonwood Bible left my heart crying,..."

Poisonwood is one of my all time faves! So sad, you're right, but so perfect.




message 29: by Mosca (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Eliza,

I agree with you about Passage by Connie Willis. I read that about a month ago. Very much a book of the heart.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Mosca wrote: "Eliza,

I agree with you about Passage by [a:Connie Willis|14032|Connie Willis|http://photo.goodreads...."


Thanks for this one, folks. Just added to my Wish List.




JG (The Introverted Reader) The Book Thief is my new favorite. Everything about the book was just perfect for me.

My earliest is Anne of Green Gables. I've lost count of how many times I've re-read this.

Fair and Tender Ladies is another. The author wrote in our Appalachian dialect, and she got it right. I feel like, in reading about Ivy, I could be reading about one of my family members.

To Kill a Mockingbird comes to mind also. This one was all about the characters. I just fell in love with them. The kids in Peace Like a River had the same effect on me, so there's one more.

For me, these books have a combination of characters I love and stories I can't put down, plus that undefinable something that speaks to me personally. If we could define it, probably more authors could pull it off. I think all we can call it is magic.


message 32: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) First, let me say that I will be adding "Passage" to Mt. TBR. I love books that stop me cold in my tracks like that.

Ok, let's see what we have here...

- "Little Women": I feel like I grew up with Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and love them all like they are my own sisters. I have read this book dozens of times, and still experience the love and loyalty between the sisters even when they aren't getting along, and the awkwardness of Laurie's proposal to Jo, etc. This book touches my heart in so many places it looks like a golf ball. My heart, that is. :)

-"The Stand" and the "Dark Tower" series: I know these books aren't your typical heartwarming stories, but they are some of my all time favorites, and again the characters of both stories are so real to me that they are like family.

-"I Know This Much Is True": (hmm... I find myself at a loss for what to say here!) I love this story for the brothers' relationship with each other, and for the path that Dominic has to walk to come to terms with his life. (There!)

-"The Book Thief": This was just beautiful, almost lyrical, and really moving. A story of survival during WWII. It haunted me for a long time after reading it. Death was just such an endearing character that you can't help but love him.


message 33: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments Gone With The Wind definately engrossed me. Yes, the book is rife with ridiculous racial epithets and no the prevailing attitude is not an excuse, but moving beyond that, the story of Scarlett O'Hara captivated me. I could see Tara, I felt Scarlett's pain when Ashley married Melanie.

The Once And Future King by T.H. White made my heart sing. I love Arthurian saga, I think T.H. White has a way of making the reader emphathize with all of the characters. You want Wart to succeed, even though he's doomed. You want Lancelot and Gwen to be happy, even though they are doomed. You hope for the characters, that things will really turn out all right. I left this book with a sigh and a flood of emotions.

I second what Becky has said about the Stand and The Dark Tower, both of those books hold a special place in my heart as well.


Elizabeth (Alaska) April wrote: "Gone With The Wind definately engrossed me. Yes, the book is rife with ridiculous racial epithets and no the prevailing attitude is not an excuse, ...I could see Tara, I felt Scarlett's pain when Ashley married Melanie"

It's been a looong while since I read Gone With The Wind, but I don't recall having any sympathy whatsoever for Scarlet. I did enjoy the book, but for plot and the story, not for the characers. Scarlet was a mean, greedy b****


Elizabeth (Alaska) Becky wrote: "-"I Know This Much Is True": (hmm... I find myself at a loss for what to say here!) I love this story for the brothers' relationship with each other, and for the path that Dominic has to walk to come to terms with his life. (There"

Becky, this was a beautiful book. We could put this one over in the thread big or little and say, definitely, this long book was worth every beautiful word. Yes, it definitely belongs in this thread, as it did, indeed, make my heart sing.




message 36: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "April wrote: "Gone With The Wind definately engrossed me. Yes, the book is rife with ridiculous racial epithets and no the prevailing attitude is not an excuse, ...I could see Tara, I felt Scarlett..."

I read it when I was 16, and well, you know how teenage girls can be, mean and greedy, very self-centered.... haha :-D


Elizabeth (Alaska) Maybe, April, it's good to keep reading those just to see if characters like Scarlet get their comeuppance.


message 38: by Marci (new)

Marci (iread49) | 215 comments Poisonwood Bible and the Miracle Life of Edgar Mint


Elizabeth (Alaska) Oh, I loved Edgar Mint. I'd forgotten about him, but yes, that book is the definition of "makes your heart sing."


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Books mentioned in this topic

I Capture the Castle (other topics)
Across the Nightingale Floor (other topics)
The Four Last Things (other topics)
All Quiet on the Western Front (other topics)
Howl's Moving Castle (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Nicholas Evans (other topics)
Connie Willis (other topics)
R.K. Narayan (other topics)
Laura Hillenbrand (other topics)