30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6

This 30 Day Book Challenge has gone on for approximately 2.5 months now and we’re only on Day 6! I’m hoping to wrap it up before the holidays! If anyone knows of other 30 Day Book Challenge lists, go ahead and email them to me at worldbookcapital@gmail.com and I’ll post them up. It’s always nice to have variety. There’s one I found on Dodging Commas, but the author doesn’t actually answer the prompts. I have to admit, I’ve altered my Challenge to include some of these.

Day 6 – A book that reminds you of somewhere

My Antonia by Willa CatherI already used Dandelion Wine for another day in the challenge, so I had to think deeper and find another book which fit the bill. There are hundreds. I’m glad the prompt doesn’t ask for the one book that reminds me of somewhere. I’ll go with My Ántonia by Willa Cather, which also happens to be one of my favourite books. It’s so cathartic!

The place doesn’t always matter so much when you read a book because you could read it in so many locations, especially now that we have ebooks. I can read the same book in paperback at home or on holiday, on my Kindle in various cafes and on my phone during the long commute to work. Still, we remember the moments and places that altered us and created a larger realisation of the surrounding world in our lives.

I remember finishing Jane Eyre in my 7th grade History class. We were taking an exam and I had finished early, so was required to sit in my seat quietly and read. I read and read and ended up crying at my desk at the front of the room. I was so moved by the reconcilation of Jane and Mr Rochester that my little 13-year-old heart couldn’t contain itself.

Similarly, My Ántonia caused a such a cathartic reaction, that I will always associate it with my move out of the urban jungle of Houston, Texas to the dry desert landscape of a small West Texas town when I was 18.

My Antonia is the last in a trilogy of books written by Cather (including O, Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark), but it was the first Cather novel I ever read.  Published in 1918, the book follows the life of Jim Burden and his relationship with Ántonia, a young Bohemian girl who moves to the Nebraska prairie with her family. Although I’ve never been to Nebraska, I know the place: the tall windswept grass, the sound of rain dripping lazily onto hard ground and the cloudless skies that turn abruptly and rumble with the sound of storms. I grew up in Oklahoma, after all.

I paralleled my life at the time with the characters I read in My Ántonia. Rumour has it that Cather wrote in first-person so readers could easily identify with the emotions of the characters. I definitely did, from the familial and traveller aspect down to the theme of a young woman fighting to make her own life in an inhospitable world. My Ántonia certainly highlighted the role of women at the turn of the 19th century. It’s a love story at its core, but it is also so much more than that, focusing on the journey and twists and turns that change our lives and force us to abandon the plans we make when we are younger.

4 Responses to “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6”
  1. Stef says:

    Thanks for finding me! Which prompts do you mean? I have a separate post for each day – I should go back and link to the appropriate posts, but that requires more coffee than I’ve had this morning! Happy Reading =)

    • Brianna says:

      Hi Stef! I didn’t realise there were separate posts. I would love to read yours… if you don’t link to each day, maybe you should make an obvious link to a category or something? That way all your posts will be collected in one thread pertaining to the book challenge. Nice blog though! 🙂

      • Stef says:

        I will go back through and link the “answers” – leaving for work soon so it will have to wait! They’ve all been tagged with “30 Day Book Challenge”, too!

  2. Monique Arrigotti says:

    Where are the rest of the 24 days of the book challenge?

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