Friday, April 19, 2013

26 Books that Changed My Life: #17 The Hottest State

Q: Question Your Youthful Arrogance
I thought I would spend the month of April delving into the literature that has made me the person I am today.

1] In this list you will find some of my favorite books, but you will also find books that I appreciate and books that I would recommend although they may not be my favorite.In high school  These are books that changed my way of thinking or my way of looking the world. These are books that helped solidify the core of who I am.
2] These books are in order of the theme that I came away with not alphabetical by title or author.

About this book:
"Hawke does a fine job of showing what it's like to be young and full of confusion." ~The New York Times Book Review

When William meets Sarah at a bar appropriately called the Bitter End, he is a few months short of his twenty-first birthday and about to act in his first movie. He is so used to getting what he wants that he has never been able to care too deeply for anyone. But all of that is about to change. And it is Sarah--bold and shy, seductive and skittish--who will become William's undoing and his salvation.

William's affair with Sarah will take him from a tenement on the Lower East Side to a hotel room in Paris, from a flip proposal of marriage to the extremities of outraged need and the wisdom that comes only to true survivors. Anyone who reads The Hottest State will encounter a writer who can charm, dazzle, and break the heart in a single paragraph.

"Beguiling...full of the freshness of love and the agony of loss...Hawke is a good writer who has produced a worthy first love. It pleased and moved me.: ~Mary Loudon, The London Times

Publication Date:  first published 1966

Why this book:
In college my friends and I used to have Christmas parties, the girls would bake, the guys would buy the tree and the meat (turkey and ham) and my roommates and I would clean and decorate and sign Christmas cards. We'd eat delicious foods: cream cheese mashed potatoes, cranberry orange salad and almond green beans just to same some of the highlights and we'd drink delicious punches and we'd play games, my favorite being truth or dare jenga (I'll explain the rules sometime). We'd also have a gift exchange.

Our party in 1996 was a bit different. It was at my apartment (I'd just moved out solo) and many of my friends were bringing boyfriends and girlfriends or had paired up and become boyfriends and girlfriends themselves. The new additions to our group became part of the exchange. I was leary, I was apprehensive. I hate change and new  The Hottest State was the only thing I'd put on my list because a girl in one of my classes said a] I would love it and b] it would inspire me as a writer. I asked for this book, I received a bird Christmas ornament from one of my dear friend's girlfriends--a girl I didn't particularly like and a girl that I hardly knew. I tried to act like it was cool. But, she caught on and told me to look under the ornament...there is was the book of my dreams. And, at that one moment, that now totally ex-girlfriend of a dear friend, definitely gained cool points.

Ethan Hawke is great at articulating (in his movies and in his writings) stories about real people. And, William is the anti-hero that I would never want to date. I love that in the end he is still pretty flawed and he still doesn't have all the answers. In the end he is still not a good guy, but he does have the spark, and that's all you can ask from a 21 year-old that spark of maturity, of growth. The 20 year-old in me saw his potential, the 36 year-old in me understands what that potential is all about, the 36 year-old in me understands that until that youthful arrogance subsides we aren't really adult.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...