Day 3- Your Favorite Book
I read this first in eleventh grade for my global studies class, when we were assigned a nation and had to research its culture. Thankfully, I got Russia and not like Canada or Luxembourg. The Master and Margarita is the most perfect book (and is the reason why I am minoring in Russian literature). Mikhail Bulgakov’s writing is both hilarious and frightening: a huge cat named Behemoth is never without his vodka and is a saucier precursor to Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a hot maid who’s frustrated with her status turns an annoying into a pig, pseduo- intellectual/literary types hold lavish and inane parties, and Professor Woland, who effectively turns the hypocrisy of Moscow’s elites on its head- all are unforgettable. The love story between the master, who is a poet, and the stunning and brave Margarita is not as beautiful as the one between Pontius Pilate and Yeshua, a religious dissident who can be read to be Jesus. The bevy of characters and the handful of plots never feels cluttered or tangled; each aspect is carefully but joyfully rendered. Bulgakov described the communal living style (primuses!), heavy censorship, and the KGB of the USSR in such a fun way that it made me want to live in Soviet Moscow and to feel the sad trepidation and rush of a life that is entirely out of my hands.
PS: The Master and Margarita makes great Halloween reading.
A super close runner-up would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Reading the ending of the third Harry Potter books in third grade is still one of my most vivid memories. I’ve read this book about a dozen times, and I’m sure I’ll read it a dozen times more in the next few years.