I is for 'Ishmael'.
I fell in love with the novel 'Moby Dick' when I was eight. I was a goner from the first like 'Call me Ishmael'. As I grew up, the tale of the great white whale appeared to me with a hundred other thoughts, a ton of other mysteries. And with the knowledge of the Bible came the appreciation of the protagonist, a school teacher turned sailor, Ishmael.
Abraham and his wife Sarai (in religious history, of course) were unable to conceive. So, Sarai suggested using her Egyptian handmaid Hagar, as a surrogate. Thus, Ishmael was born. Years later, however, Sarai got pregnant and delivered a baby boy, Isaac. Driven by jealousy, she convinced her husband to drive away Hagar and Ishmael. They spent years in the desert and yet the boy was to become great. All of that would eventually lead to Moses. But I get carried away.
The plot of Moby Dick is symbolical. The cruel and madly driven captain of the ship Pequod, Captain Ahab, has only one aim in life, to kill the whale Moby Dick. Ishmael narrates the story and somewhere in the middle of the book, he becomes omnipresent and almost able to read peoples' minds.
Illustration from an early edition of Moby Dick (from Wikipedia)
Moby Dick is a thrilling tale. It is one of those books that must be read as children and reread as adults.