Have you ever picked up a book just for a look only to find yourself still reading a couple hours later? I have, and the feeling I get from a book like that stays with me. Maybe that’s the key to a story you can’t put down–feeling.
Often these grab-me-by-the-heart books are slim and spare, but not always. Sometimes they are written for adults, but most serve an any-age audience from elementary to ancient. Here are three books that grabbed me:
A signed copy of Michael Bishop’s Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana came in the mail one afternoon. Before I even got to the rest of my mail, I had finished reading this novel and was sitting, stunned by the emotional impact. Like a lot of good science fiction, it had real social value, but that didn’t slow it down. My copy of Apartheid… has disappeared, so I just ordered another. Twenty years later, post-Nelson Mandela, I’m curious how it will feel this time.
Red-Dirt Jessie, by my friend Anna Myers, impacted me in a different way. Normally, I don’t do tear-jerkers, but I didn’t let a few tears slow me down. I was crying for joy by the satisfying end, and every time I see a “blessed gift” I think of this book.
Like Red-Dirt Jessie, Melodie Bowsher’s My Lost and Found Life sucked me in from line one. Strange, since the protagonist wasn’t all that likeable at the beginning of the story. Her change felt so real that, by the end, I was cheering her on. Even the ending, which I should have guessed but didn’t, was exactly right.
What are some books you couldn’t put down? I’d like to know.