Day 10 – Book That Changed Your Life


30 Day Book Challenge: Book That Changed Your Life

The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare

“Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it!”

When I was about – oh, 12 or so? – my family went to Sri Lanka for a conference. I had been sick that Christmas, and on the various flights to Sri Lanka from Kazakhstan, I felt absolutely miserable. However, when I arrived in Sri Lanka, I suddenly got better and went swimming every day and just had a marvelous New Year.

And then the day after the conference – and the first day of our family vacation – I awoke to discover blood on my pillow.

My ear drum had burst.

So for the next week, while my little sister and brother got to swim in the Indian Ocean and ride elephants, I slept in the van with a wad of gauze stuffed in my ear and enough pills in me to impress Dr. House.

One day, my father took pity on me and decided to find something to distract me. Now, I’m not sure what you would do in a situation like this, but my father gave me a copy of Macbeth.

I devoured it.

But I didn’t understand a word of it.

Like Frank McCourt said in Angela’s Ashes,

“I don’t know what it means and I don’t care because it’s Shakespeare and it’s like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words.”

It remains my favorite Shakespeare play today.

Up Next: Day 11 – Book From Your Favorite Author

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2 thoughts on “Day 10 – Book That Changed Your Life

  1. That’s a neat quote from McCourt. I do like Macbeth. Not sure if it’s my favorite Shakespeare play (that might be Much Ado About Nothing, because I do like me some happy endings), but it certainly is powerful. I was fortunate to see a fantastic performance of it in Edinburgh — very creepy and haunting, quite professionally done.

    • Oh, I would love to see a performance of Macbeth! I’ve had to make due with film versions.

      Much Ado is probably my second favorite play. Yet another I’d love to see live.

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