Welcome back to the Ninth month of Calendar Girls! It’s a monthly blog event co-hosted by Flavia and Melaine and designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers. Calendar Girls was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl, For more information, about the Calendar Girls community click here!
September’s Theme is Best Contemporary Novel
Once I figured out what exactly “contemporary” meant in the literary world, which is basically “slice of life fiction” this was a no question answer.
I have to pick the only book that I own four different copies of; the only book I’ve read more than seven times. The book that saved my life.
This book. *deep breath*
So I was assigned this book in high school, and it’s one of two books that in the four years of high school I actually read. The other was The Outsiders, which I don’t think actually counts because I had it read to me in 8th grade. You would think that of all the great books you’re supposed to read in high school — Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, The Time Machine, etc., that a 617 page literal brick of book would not be the one that I actually read, but it was.
I don’t want to turn this post into a 2000 essay about A Prayer for Owen Meany; I’ll save that post for another day. This book walked into my life at a time when I needed it. I have read one other book that has even come close to affecting my life the way that Owen Meany has, and that book is Harry Potter.
This book takes place in a thinly veiled fictional version of Exeter New Hampshire. I grew up about 10 miles from there. I worked at the summer camp that the main characters played baseball at. I crashed my bike in front of the Exeter Inn that plays an important part in the book– and a bunch of nuns came over to makes sure I was okay. After reading this book and loving this book the way I do, I can never tell that story because everyone I know thinks I’m lying. BUT I crashed my bike front of the Inn, and a bunch of nuns were there. It happened. My brother was there. It happened when I was in 8th grade and was real.
I am not a religious person, but most of the story of Owen Meany is. It’s a very Christian book. There is a lot of talk of God and religion, and it can be a very deep book. But what I got out of it is that everyone has a purpose. That purpose can be decided by God is that’s what you believe, but everyone has purpose and reason. You are you because there is something you were put here to do.
Owen Meany entered my life when I was 17. I was junior in high school and not the person I am now by any stretch of the imagination. Then my favorite teacher handed me a 617-page book and told me that I would like it. I rolled my eyes and said yeah right, but like so many other things, he was right.
For me, there will never be another Owen Meany. There will never be a book that will be as important to me as this book is.
This is not a book for everyone. I highly recommend it, but I also like to say that it is a very Christian book and it’s also a John Irving Novel. John Irving isn’t for everyone, read the Goodreads page before you decide that you’re going to be this one up.
Do you have a favorite contemporary novel?
Next months theme is going to be Best Paranormal Novel. This should be fun!
Keep an eye of Melanie and Flava’s blogs (links at the top of the post) for more Calendar Girls fun. We’ll be having a twitter chat in a couple of weeks to discuss this month’s theme.
Until next time Internet,