I’m not sure what the backstory was, but Gini Dietrich wrote a blog post for Margie Clayman on her top 10 favorite books. I commented that it was a great list (in fact, I bought the Asher Lev book as a result) and Gini said I should write my own top 10. Not one to pass up a challenge, I figured why not?
Holy moly, it is difficult to decide on my favorites. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little girl. In my house bedtime was 9 p.m. but you could stay up an extra hour if you went to your room and read. I chose reading; my sister Sandy chose to go to sleep. She didn’t discover the real joy in reading until her late 20s.
Over the years I have been a fan of Judy Blume, Danielle Steele, John Grisham, John Hart (thanks Monty Hagler), Sandra Brown and Diana Gabaldon (thanks Jenny Brooks). Of course, I read the Harry Potter series (thanks Sandy), the Hunger Games trilogy (thanks Gini), the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (thanks Indra Gardiner) and as much as I hate admitting it, that darn 50 Shades trilogy, too. But I wouldn’t call any of those books favorites. A favorite book to me means one I want to read again…and again. So with that in mind, here are some of my favorites.
To Kill a Mockingbird – I didn’t read this book until a few years ago. I have seen the movie a dozen times and figured it was time to read it. The gentle and kind way Atticus has with everyone around him is something to admire and strive for on a daily basis.
The Art of Racing in the Rain – anyone who has ever had a dog, can relate to this story. I often wonder what Viva is thinking. This book, told from the dog’s perspective, is about pure, honest and unconditional love. I dare you not to tear-up.
The Red Tent – Much more than a Bible story, this book delves into the power and strength of women.
Annie Freeman’s Traveling Funeral – Although Annie is dead, she is directing the lives of her closest friends when she asks them to come together for her traveling funeral. Funny, sad and thought-provoking. Makes you think about how you’ll be remembered when you’re gone.
Sarah’s Key – A French journalist learns about her country’s role in the Holocaust. What she discovers is her passion and compassion for others. I read this one in one sitting.
And because I was determined to get to 10, I asked my book club ladies to share some of their favorites, too.
From Mara: Very tough…… almost too many to choose from but …
The Red Tent – I like how the author took a brief mention in the bible and created a plausible, intricate story about women in so many roles and how our relationships are rich and complicated.
Wicked – think McGuire’s ability to take a fairy tale and turn it upside down with such imagination and treatment of the characters, giving them heart and showing how they develop is genius. Think the love for this book goes back to my enjoyment of the Phantom Tollbooth and Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, in an adult world, I can use some imagination.
Lord of the Flies – a classic, brutal book, this one still gives me nightmares at the thought of young boys being put into a situation where they are forced to tap into their nature to survive. Children turned into savages – yikes (movies like Children of the Corn have always creeped me out!)
Of course, I love To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this story has stuck with me since I read it in high school.
From Christine: Anne Of Green Gables - Book from my childhood that was written about Prince Edward Island which is in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. My mom is from New Brunswick and we used to visit there each summer – this book was the first in a series and quite reminiscent of Mark Twain. Good memories.
The Da Vinci Code – I didn’t take all of the historical facts and conspiracy theories to heart. I just thoroughly enjoyed this book and how it was written. Chapter by chapter, it was a page-turner and I couldn’t put it down.
The Shack– Wow, I am surprised that I am listing this book. This was a difficult read but it is a book of forgiveness for me. The subject matter was tough and it literally forced me to work through some very dark, heavy issues in my own mind.
From Linda: Bible- the greatest book ever written. All answers are here.
Gift from the Sea - feels like therapy for a wounded soul
Shell Seekers - completely immersed into another family.
Old Man and the Sea - hard to comprehend the thought it took to write such a simple book with so much meaning.
The Great Gatsby - same problems now as then. I “know” many of the characters.
The Stand - universal theme - good vs. evil.
So what do you think? What are some of your favorites?