Throwback Thursday: Ceremony

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Throwback Thursday – this is an event hosted by me! It used to take place weekly, but is now once a month on this blog. It is the time to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic! Leave a comment here and feel free to take an icon and use it on your blog! Also feel free to do this on as many Thursdays as you like. =)

This month's throwback is:

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon-Silko
Published: 1977

Synopsis from

Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution.

Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremony that defeats the most virulent of afflictions -- despair.

I just recently saw a review for this at The Little Reader and before I even read her review I remembered how absolutely wonderful this book was. And I couldn't believe I forgot about it! I had to read this book in high school; it was not one I expected to enjoy. For starters, I didn't like any books that were assigned reading in high school (even if I later learned to enjoy them as an adult). And second, despite my own cultural diversity, I often found it difficult to relate to books about other cultures of which I knew little. So I didn't expect to like it. And I was surprised to find Ceremony to be one of the only assigned reading books in high school that I really enjoyed. That I found powerful. And could realize even at that time was a well done, important read! I had this copy for a while and after I saw Little Reader's review I went to look on my shelf for my copy.

And then I remembered.

In my desperation to post books on when I first joined, I swapped this book. My beautiful copy of this book. I guess I really believed I wouldn't ever read it again. Or maybe I just thought I could buy a new copy one day. Anyway, the day has come and I really want this book again, lol! I want to read it again and see how I feel about it now.


christina said...

I picked up this book on BM a few months ago, lol, I hope it wasn't yours?!

I still haven't read it but it was recommended on a list of top books for magical realism. I'm excited about it, but must admit, it'll probably get read next year.

(Can you believe that we're nearly in the 2 month count to the new years?)

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

This does sound like a wonderful book. I'd never heard of it.

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

OMG!! This was one of my favorite books as well -- I remember a lot of magical aspects to it, right? I couldn't put the book down -- I read it for a college writing class and remembered throwing all other responsibilities out of the window and just reading that book!! I actually think that I have a copy of this book in my house somewhere!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I have never read this one but I have certainly swapped or sold books that I regret. :(

Zibilee said...

So few of the books that were assigned reading were good reads for me during high school. I think there was maybe one that I actually liked. This is actually a topic that gets me all worked up, but suffice to say, I think that the assigned reading for most young people is hideously mismanaged. Despite that, it does sounds as though this was a really interesting read for you! And I totally know what you mean about swapping out books that you wish you hadn't parted with.

Carin S. said...

I read this book 12 years ago in a very interesting book club - it met only over the summer and had a different theme every year. That year it was Westerns, which is a whole category of books I'd never even considered. I know I liked this book but sadly, I don't remember much about it. Which is one thing I love about GoodReads and now blogging! Helping my bad memory.

Summer Edward said...

Cool meme. I thought I'd try it out for the first time this week:

My blog is about Caribbean children's and YA literature. Hope you will stop by and check it out :-)

Betty said...

I just saw this book at the library book sale but didn't pick it up. Darn it! I'll have to reserve through the library. I'm currently reading a great memoir called "Borneo Tom". It about the author's adventures as an American in Asia. The author is a riot. I've put my name in it so I'll get it back when I lend it out!

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