So if I wasn’t already, I think I can now say I’m an official nerd. At least that’s what my siblings said when they came upon me reading an almost 800 page book called Defining Moments in Books. Literally, the whole book is about other books. But if you are a nerd like me or a bookworm or whatever you want to call it, I think you would enjoy this book as much as I did.
It mentions most of the groundbreaking authors and books that shook the literary world with their genius plots, ideas and characters. The first book it starts with is the classic H.G. Wells book The Time Machine in 1895 and then proceeds to take us on a long journey all the way to 2007’s literature.
Each book gets a small section that talks about its author, its plot and the prizes the book was awarded or the controversy surrounding it so we can get a clear view of why the book is considered a classic. I learned which author first mentioned the word “robots,” I learned about the authors who changed the face of science fiction, the female authors who first sparked the feminist movement, the most controversial books that fought censors to get published, the authors that used new narrative styles that changed the way books are read, the authors who first wrote about homosexuality and lesbianism, many famous authors who committed suicide because they couldn’t handle the fame and pressures of being a famous author, and so much more.
The reason this book was such an adventure to me is because it opened my eyes to all the books out there I’ve been missing out on, along with taking me through a tour of books that made a huge impact in the world. Just to give you a taste of some of the classic books it includes, here is a small list: The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Wind in the Willows, Ten Days that Shook the World, Guys and Dolls, Miss Lonelyhearts, The Day of the Locust, The Grapes of Wrath, Fahrenheit 451, In Cold Blood, The L-Shaped Room, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Female Eunuch, A Clockwork Orange, Carrie, Neuromancer, The Remains of the Day, The Human Stain, Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Harry Potter, etc.
Being an aspiring writer who hopes to one day publish my work, I found this book to be quite helpful in knowing what stories and ideas sell and what the world wants. It was neat to read which authors won awards like the Pulitzer or the Nobel for their work. So whether you want to read this book for the pure pleasure of it or you want to read it to find out the next books you should get from the library (or kindle, or wherever people get their books from today) or even to find out what direction you should take as a writer, it is a journey you will enjoy. Don’t let the almost 800 pages discourage you. It’s a pretty quick read, and you can always just skim through to read about your favorite authors. Trust me, some of the stuff in this book will shock you about certain authors or even certain stories they wrote about that were extremely controversial in their day, not to mention ours. I was pretty shocked at some of the scandalous stuff.
Did I pique your interest yet? I hope so.
I hope you’ll give this book a chance and join me in the ranks of nerdom 😉