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Books that Haunt for Years

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DeirdreK

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What books continue to haunt you for years after you've read them?  Which characters are stuck in your head?

Recently, I keep coming back to "Not the End of the World" by Geraldine McCaughrean.  It's the story of the flood told from Noah's daughter's POV.....
#1 - May 05, 2009, 08:01 PM

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I think about The Giver often and unexpectedly.   It resonated with me.  Also The Book Thief is one that lingers in my mind.  I had a hard time getting into The Book Thief but then about 1/5 of the way in I felt caught up and couldn't put it down.   
#2 - May 05, 2009, 08:14 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
The Women's Rights Movement: Then and Now
Capstone: January, 2018

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The Chocolate War, Beyond the Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese

Slave Dancer

Nothing But the Truth

The Moves Make the Man

Jacob Have I Loved
#3 - May 05, 2009, 08:20 PM

The Bell Jar
The Book Thief
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Outsiders
Madame Bovary
The Great Gatsby


#4 - May 05, 2009, 08:24 PM
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 03:57 AM by susan lorene »

Josh48

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The Road
No Country For Old Men
George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones, book 1)

Anytime I see a living tree I think of The Road. I don't think it is possible to write a more haunting book than The Road. I highly recommend the audiobook version.
#5 - May 05, 2009, 08:42 PM

Books for Young Readers of All Ages :)
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For Whom the Bell Tolls
Atonement
To Kill a Mockingbird
#6 - May 05, 2009, 08:53 PM
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009, 02:45 PM by Tori »
CALVIN'S LAST WORD, Tilbury House 2021
LITTLE CALABASH, Island Heritage 2020
SECRETS IN TRANSLATION, Fitzroy, 2018
and 28 more..
@ipapaverison

novaren

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I love the subject line of this post.

A book that has stayed with me for years and that I keep reading again and again is The Last Life by Claire Messud. It's not just the language and the voice, it's something buried in the character of the 15-year-old narrator... who she thinks she is, what she does, what she sees, the mistakes she makes... I'm just really taken with it.

I also recently read this book about a teenage runaway Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun... and it's been haunting me ever since. It hasn't been out long enough yet to see if that will last years, but we'll see. There's one chapter in particular that I must have read dozens of times already. It's these shocking 4 pages that really stun me.

#7 - May 06, 2009, 03:06 AM

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

#8 - May 06, 2009, 05:36 AM
CHRISTMAS EVE BLIZZARD, Arbordale Publishing

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The Road. Particularly the scene in which the boy and the man flee from the terror in the basement and the man is contemplating a terrible choice he'll have to make if they are discovered. Oi. I couldn't stop thinking of my own kid in that scene.
#9 - May 06, 2009, 05:42 AM

Go Ask Alice
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Red Badge of Courage
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
#10 - May 06, 2009, 05:50 AM
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 05:55 AM by Sully »

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
#11 - May 06, 2009, 06:17 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
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sary

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The Ghosts of Stony Clove by Eileen Charbonneau -- and, yes, I know that's not what you meant by "haunts" -- but I read and re-read this book. Every time I read it, it gives me the same feeling that I get when I drive into my home town after letting a few years slip by without visiting -- so familiar and so comforting, and yet I always notice some new little detail.

Also:
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton -- I still can't step out of a dark theater without reciting the first line
Sahara Special, by Esme Raji Codell -- I guess because I'm a teacher, and this book reminds me of things I need to remember

ETA:  Oh, and Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt -- I still think about that book often
#12 - May 06, 2009, 06:26 AM
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 06:48 AM by sary »

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A book that's haunted me for many years is WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER by Lois Duncan about the murder of her daughter and her search for answers through psychics.

More recently, Susan Beth Pfeffer's LIFE AS WE KNEW IT. I think I identified more with the mom who stocked up on supplies and tried to save her kids when the moon fell out of alignment.

HUNGER GAMES stayed with me, too.
#13 - May 06, 2009, 06:34 AM
Author of SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, THE SEER, DEAD GIRL, CURIOUS CAT SPY CLUB & in 2016: CA$H KAT
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twitter.com/LindaJoySinglet

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The first book that really disturbed me was Robert Cormier's I AM THE CHEESE. I read it back in the late '80s, and it has stuck with me so well over the years that I really don't think I need to read it again.... (shivers)

Other YAs:
Lessons From a Dead Girl
How I Live Now
The Book Thief (I often think of "The Standover Man" when I see birds)
the last chapter of Paper Towns

...and though I just read it, I think I'll continue to mull over The White Darkness for a long time

Classics:
the second part of The Sound and the Fury (my all-time favorite book, though not, on the whole, a happy one)
the last paragraph of "The Dead," by James Joyce
J.D. Salinger's short stories "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "DeDaumier-Smith's Blue Period"
#14 - May 06, 2009, 06:52 AM

Great topic!

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

Stuck in Neutral

Of Mice and Men

For me, each of these have particular scenes that I can still see and feel to this day.
#15 - May 06, 2009, 06:55 AM
Lois Lowry Bio, Enslow '07
So You Want to Be a Film or TV Actor, '08
Stephenie Meyer Bio, '09
Mercy Lily, Flux 2011
www.lisaalbert.com

Books on the Holocaust based on true experience:

Diary of Anne Frank (Note: I visisted the house involved in Amsterdam many years ago; unforgettable)
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
#16 - May 06, 2009, 07:23 AM

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as well as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, especially the chapters The Forest Again (34?) and King's Cross
The Book Thief
The House of the Scorpion
Flipped
Gatty's Tale/Crossing to Paradise
Firmament
A Wrinkle in Time
Peace Like a River
#17 - May 06, 2009, 07:33 AM

MaryWitzl

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Bernard Malamud's The Fixer
Jim Fergus' One Thousand White Women

The Raj Quartet
haunts me too, Marissa.
#18 - May 06, 2009, 07:36 AM

Martha Flynn

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Say Goodnight Gracie.

I cried so hard when I read it that my mom almost took me to the emergency room.

I still have that copy, but I can't even look at it without getting upset, even though it's been more than 15 years since I read it.
#19 - May 06, 2009, 07:37 AM

The Book Thief
#20 - May 06, 2009, 07:47 AM
ESCAPING THE TIGER, Bank Street's "Best Books of the Year"
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JoS

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There are two books that really touched my heart as a child - one was The Love of Seven Dolls by Paul Gallico (very challenging, and emotional subject matter, dealing with abuse and suicide - which was modified and made all happy in the movie Lili with Leslie Caron). Amazing book though. Really powerful and it was the first book that made me bawl my eyes out. The other book I loved as a child was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Beautifully written and was the first book where I really got a sense of place.
#21 - May 06, 2009, 07:47 AM

Even though I'm now 41, three books I read in the fourth grade, when I moved up to big kids' books, still haunt my spirit with tangible pain.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. My beloved fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Huffman, read this book to us in installments after lunch every day for about three weeks. Pure magic. We filed back from lunch wordlessly, tingling in anticipation, nudging and grinning at each other, hoping no traitor would act up and blow it for us (because you always had to worry about Jody and some of the guys tussling in the hall...). Like poster children for some utopian regime, we'd put our heads down on our arms at our desks and close our eyes, being swept away into the world of adventures against wild boars and wolves, where we were proud of being the strong, capable man of the house, and how we were all unmanned by having to shoot our own dog as our last act of kindess and protection as we truly became a man. Oh, how awful! How utterly heartbreaking! The cruel, cruel, terrible unfairness.  We all stayed in from recess that day, crying our eyes out.

Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten. Every one knows Bambi from Disney, but you really must read the book (translated from German) for its rich world-building and great characterizations. It was my very first novel. My mom took my hand and led me over to the Tall Shelves. At that time, the Harrodsburg Library occupied the old sherrif's office and jail in the historic brick row houses. The dark, wide-planked floors creaked as we walked around; sun beamed through windows like solid shafts in the shadowed dimness; dust motes danced. "I think you might like this," my mom said, pulling out a Real Book with an expert finger (she later became a children's librarian). She put her head to one side as she said this, very consideringly. I felt a little awed that this much weighty reflection went into the Choosing. I remember being worried and dubious -- there wasn't a picture on the front cover! It looked like it might be a hard book and a lot of work. I doubted I was up to it. At home, I was immediately lost in the world of Bambi and the Stag and Faline. I'll never forget the story about one buck, Rono, who was taken away by Man when he was a fawn. He returned as a buck, fat and sleek, placid about dangers. When Man returned to the forest, the animals fled, but Rono, proudly wearing his collar, walked toward Him fearelessly...and, of course, was blown away. Oh, the terrible, cruel unfairness.

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Again, I was lucky enough to know this work as literature before I knew the Disney version. Come to think of it, I think I could put just about ANYTHING by Andersen here: The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Christmas Tree, The Little Match Girl. *sob* My dear mother checked out a big, fat collection of these when I was stuck in bed for a week with a particularly nasty strep throat. The world will never know if I really was conjested all that while or just crying my eyes out. Ah, the loving mermaid, sacrificing herself as her final act of love! Oh, oh, the terrible, painful heartbreak.

These authors taught me about terrible beauty, about tragedy as an artistic genre. Indeed, the only way to endure these painful stories was to learn to pull back just a little, just enough to see the stories as patterns, far enough to understand that irony lends a pleasing aesthetic rightness to a story's structure and arc -- even while our hearts bleed rawly at the level of the characters.  :cry2  Mrs. Huffman, my mom, a dog, a fawn, and a tin soldier gave me literature: the most intense and all-encompassing love outside my humans. LITERATURE!! :love What else is so powerful and mind-altering?
#22 - May 06, 2009, 07:52 AM

Melissa
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Ditto on many of the above, including The Book Thief. Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees has stayed with me for years; I fell in love with her very-real characters.
#23 - May 06, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Start Your Babysitting Business (Capstone)
Deadly Bites (Saddleback)
Hip-Hop Bios: Future (ABDO)
Twitter: @mg_higgins

I read A WRINKLE IN TIME when I was in the 3rd Grade and it freaked me out in a cool way.  I don't think any other book has done that to that extent, though THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE came close, I saw the cartoon first (which haunted me despite it's 70s production values).
#24 - May 06, 2009, 08:46 AM
The Arts-Angels, Track 1: DRAWN TO YOU
2012 from Brushstroke Books

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THE BOOK THIEF

OUT OF THE DUST
#25 - May 06, 2009, 09:14 AM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

Reader, reader, reader...
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A WRINKLE IN TIME
THE DARK IS RISING
PROTECTOR OF THE SMALL series
HARRY POTTER (books 4-7)
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE
#26 - May 06, 2009, 12:58 PM
Robin
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSR6CPJ/
Website: www.robinprehn3r.com

DawnP

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As a child:
A Day No Pigs Would Die
Where the Red Fern Grows
Jacob Have I Loved
#27 - May 06, 2009, 01:26 PM

ecb

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TAMSIN, Peter S. Beagle
LINCOLN'S DREAMS, Connie Willis
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE, Shirley Jackson
INTO THE WILD, Jon Krakauer (and I didn't even *read* it--I was just in the room as it was being read!!)

(A note on LINCOLN'S DREAMS:  My husband had read BELLWETHER and REMAKE, two of Willis's comedies, so I gave him LINCOLN'S DREAMS to read on a business trip, not even thinking about the fact that he'd only been exposed to the Lighter Side of Willis. ;)  He called me from the Denver airport, absolutely devastated, when he finished the book.)
#28 - May 06, 2009, 02:54 PM

HATCHET
Z FOR ZACHARIAH
WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS
SHILOH
TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE
#29 - May 06, 2009, 03:10 PM
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PRADA & PREJUDICE
YOU WISH
BUT I LOVE HIM
RIPPLE
IN TOO DEEP
DANGEROUS BOY

Lea

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These are recent reads, but the characters and their stories have really stayed with me.

OUT STEALING HORSES
HOW I LIVE NOW
THE BOOK THIEF
THE GIVER
#30 - May 06, 2009, 03:20 PM

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