professornana (professornana) wrote,

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I am finishing up some reading with my ears on my commute this week. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson is the audio playing right now. On the drive this morning, I was in tears because of a scene in the book. I have had all manner of visceral reactions and responses to this book (and you NEED to get your hands on it and read it, NOW). But this post is not about this one book. It is about books that do this, that move readers: to tears, to laughter, to anger, to RESPONSE.

We often remark when we booktalk, "if this book does not make you weep, you do not possess a heart." Hyperbole is part of my trade, right? But think about those books that have made you weep. THE WALL by Eve Bunting, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by7 Katherine Paterson, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green, and NOW ONE FOOT, NOW THE OTHER by Tomie dePaola can reduce me to tears. And every time I read them and still cry, I wonder (Can you sense the burning questions coming?).

I wonder as well how some books can make me giggle, chuckle, and even guffaw. How other books make me so angry I want to enter into the character's world and smack some people around. So, burnuing questions time:

1. How do books manage to move me at that "gut" level?
2. What is it that the author does with a turn of phrase or a scene or sometimes even a word (Manchee!) that can feel like that sock in the stomach.
3. How can I show that and share that with other readers?
4. Do I respond differently than others to the same book?
5. How does THAT happen?
Tags: emotion, reaction, response
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