Hiroshima by John Hersey was a book that left images in my mind and heart that haunted me for a week afterward. When I think of that novel, I feel the breath leaving my body, as if my lungs no longer work.
I couldn't even rate it on good reads because I could never say whether it was a good thing to have read it or not. I could never say I recommend it. I could never say, "Read this, you'll love it." Because it terrified me. While immersed in its pages, reality felt like a dream that was too good. I could barely comprehend the polar opposite that it was. Even now, I am left with these pieces of myself that I have to figure out how to reassemble. And I know that when I am done, the picture will not be quite the same.
Each of these books has left a mark that will not come off. I respect them for that, I thank them for that. But I will never read any of these three books again. I cannot experience them again.
I think of what I will write, and I think of why, and I know. These books, this last one in particular, remind me of that.