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Thankfully Reading Weekend: Mini-Challenge #1

November 26, 2010

Jenn (from Jenn’s Bookshelves) is hosting the first mini-challenge of the Thankfully Reading Weekend!

Here’s her prompt:

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the things we have. So, for the first Thankfully Reading Weekend, write a post about the book you are most thankful for. This could be a book released this year or twenty years ago. Your post should include why you are thankful for that book.

Many of us answered this, in some form, on Thanksgiving day (my answer) but I think this is more specific.

I think, looking back, I’m am the most thankful for Herman Hesse’s Narcissus and Goldmund for reasons that escape me.


I know that’s a bit of a cop out; I just love it for itself! If I were pressed for a less abstract love letter, I’d say something about how it’s beautifully written and such an amazing blend of Eastern and Western philosophies. Hesse’s books often work on this theme, linking Existentialism and Buddhism and while they (Steppenwolf, The Glass Bead Game and others) expand on similar ideas, I think Narcissus and Golmund is, for me, his best.

I’m thankful for it because I love the concepts brought together through experience, meditation and, of course, fantastic writing. In college, Hesse’s books made me feel like I had found someone who understood me and someone who “got” it.

Hmm, well, you caught me. I guess, there are concrete reasons for listing his work!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2010 10:45 pm

    Sounds like quite the book!

  2. November 26, 2010 11:24 pm

    Haven’t read this but it looks grand!

  3. November 26, 2010 11:40 pm

    What a wonderful question for this mini-challenge! I’m seeing so many books I’ve either never heard of or haven’t made my way to yet. I’ve not read any Hesse, but it sounds like I must! Thanks for sharing.

  4. November 27, 2010 1:18 am

    I’ve never read this one. I’ve only read Siddhartha by this author. Guess I’ll have to look for this one!

    • November 27, 2010 9:06 am

      This is like the grown up version of Siddhartha. :O) It’s beautiful. If you enjoyed Siddhartha, you will really like this a lot.

  5. November 27, 2010 2:40 am

    Sounds to me like you know exactly why you’re thankful for it! Those reasons all sound good to me. 🙂

    • November 27, 2010 9:05 am

      Haha, it’s funny, I guess there was a reason i listed t, after all. I thought it was for vague reasons but I guess they’re pretty clear. Oops! :O)

  6. November 27, 2010 8:28 am

    I think Glass Bead Game was my favorite, but I read through pretty much all of Hesse when I was in college — and *not* for a class.

    • November 27, 2010 9:04 am

      I loved The Glass Bead Game! It’s funny…I have a friend who is intensely in to classical music and I gave her a copy one year. She didn’t get a lot of the irony in the story. Oh well. :O)

  7. November 27, 2010 9:48 am

    I’ve never read any of Hesse’s work – after your posts and all the comments, it sounds like I need to.

  8. November 27, 2010 2:18 pm

    I have always meant to read Hesse! Now I need to go out and get one of his books!

  9. November 27, 2010 3:57 pm

    I haven’t read Hess’s work either, but my TBR list is growing !!!

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