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Sunday, July 4, 2010


A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron

I love the idea of exhausted readers, not only because they've lived several lives, but also because they were up until the wee hours of the morning with a good book. Here are some of my favorite books that were downright exhausting.

The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (I won't give you a synopsis on this one- if you haven't read them yet there's a problem.)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Boy on boat with a tiger, dying zebra, and hyena. The ending is a killer.)
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (PLAGUE!)
Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George (Ummm.. Pretty self-explanatory.)
Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn (A gritty look at ancient Rome; a Roman gladiator and slave fall in love, but are torn apart.)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (A college student joins the circus during the Great Depression, falls in love, and trains an elephant.)

So I enjoy fighting to the death, being shipwrecked, nursing people with festering buboes, ruling Egypt (duh!), being mistress to the Roman Emperor, and working for a corrupt circus during the Great Depression.

What about you? Who do you enjoy being? What are your favorite, and yet exhausting, books?


Dawn Simon said...

I love HUNGER GAMES, CATCHING FIRE, and WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. GRACELING too! I know everyone loves the Harry Potter series, but that will always be one of my favorites. How cool to be a wizard--and such a great one! But how exhausting to keep having to battle Volde--um, he who shall not be named. (Hee!) There are sooo many awesome books out there, and you're right--I love putting myself in the shoes of the heroes!

Dawn Simon said...

Ooh! I have to name one more! LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES! It's excellent!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

This is such an interesting concept, but I need to chew on it. It might be revealing to write down our emotions as soon as we finish a book. I certainly agree that a book like Hunger Games, if read at the pace of the story, could be called exhausting. Fun post.

Jade said...

I finished BEFORE I FALL this morning and it left my emotionally drained and physically exhausted. What a book.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Dawn- I've heard good things about Graceling, but am sticking to historical fiction for the next few books. Maybe I'll branch out after school starts in August.

Tricia- Writing down emotions upon finishing a book would be a telling exercise. My favorite books are the ones that keep me thinking long after they've ended.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Jade- You snuck in there! I haven't heard of that one, but I've bought several books based on your recommendations. I'll check that one out!

Mason Canyon said...

There are so many great books it's hard to select just one or a few. I'd like to think each book fits in this category. I love the saying by Styron and the photo is priceless.

Thoughts in Progress

Aubrie said...

That's a great way to put it. Books that made me exhausted:

"Life as We Knew it" Susan Beth Pfeffer

"The Road" Cormac McCarthy

"Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas - by James Patterson (oh, so exhausting)

The Maze Runner

The Percy Jackson series

Hunger Games/Catching Fire - duh!

...to name a few! :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the photo! Hunger Games & Catching Fire were definitely up there for me. Some of my favourite authors keep me up that way with each and every book :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I love being exhausted after a good book. Hunger Games definitely qualifies.

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Caroline Tung Richmond said...

Oh, great idea for a blog post! And I love that picture of the polar bear. :o)

For me, the books I find the most exhausting are the ones that leave me emotionally spent. But in a good way. Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD immediately comes to my mind. Oh my goodness, so haunting and sad and written so beautifully! The story stayed with me for days.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I loved Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series. She had a way of pulling the reader in and not letting you go. Great stuff.

Love the polar bear pic!

Libbie H. said...

Lolita leaves me beat and glowing every time I read it, and I've read it many times. I don't wanna know what this might mean about me.

I love reading any good Joyce Carol Oates book, and hers always leave me wiped out (and usually grossed out but in total awe of her capability as an author) by the end.