The first book on the list is Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. This is one of my good friend Hatcher's very favorite books, and apparently it has been so since high school.
I always like to know a little about the story before I dive into a book, so naturally I check out the back cover and inside flaps. This particular back cover is all about what an incredible writer Carson McCullers is. Even Tennessee Williams thinks so, calling her "the greatest prose writer that the South produced." Other than that, all it tells me about the story is that this is "an unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930s."
The inside cover gives me a little more than that; "At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes" something. The entire rest of the summary is cut off by the card-and-sleeve that this book had to have stamped until September of 2004, when Houston Public Library switched to the same bar code system that my middle school was using in the late nineties. The in-book synopsis ends with the word "lives," so there's another clue.
Other facts: Aside from Williams' praise, this book was also an Oprah's Book Club selection in 2004. (Sixty-four years after it was first published. You can't say Oprah's not on top of things!) It is also one of TIME magazine's 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923-2005. It was made into a movie in 1968 and a play in 2005 (debuted by the Alliance Theater in Atlanta).
Originally published: 1940
Republished: 1961, 2000 (this edition)
Published by Houghton Mifflin (1940 and 1961) and Mariner Books (2000)
Number of pages: 359
Date started: Sunday, July 19th, 2009