Top Ten Books

A friend of mine, I don’t even remember who (it might have been Lynn Bohler) pinged me on Facebook to complete the following challenge:

Rules: In your status line, list 10 novels that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be “right” or “great” books, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10+ friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. 

I had absolutely no trouble coming up with the ten books.  The reality was that I had troubles limiting it to ten.  And as I read friends’ lists, I kept thinking, “That one should be on my list!  And that one too.”  But I also noticed something funny (odd, not ha ha).  Most people included only books that they liked.  I included at least one book that I despised.  Here’s my list and a bit on how or why I chose each book.

1. Little House on the Prairie.  This was probably the first series I read and I devoured these books.  I’ve only visited two author’s homes.  I still love that, while her books are fiction, her books are realistic and based on her own life experience.

2. Misty of Chincoteague.  I could have picked any of Marguerite Henry’s books.  I read them all.  She is the only author I ever wrote and she responded.  As an adult, I know it was someone on her staff but as a child — wow.  I am hers for life.

3. Black Beauty.  Yep, another horse book.  I still get goofy teary (and really crabby) if a horse character gets hurt in a movie.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale.  Powerful and moving.  My favorite Atwood novel.

5. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  I read Twain as a child and his was the first author’s home that I visited.  The only one that I dragged Jared to see (and he had a blast!).  I loved that he wrote about places I knew.  Along with Laura Ingalls Wilder he taught me that good stories didn’t have to come from far off lands.

6. The Dragonrider’s of Pern.  But good stories could come from far off lands and my favorites were written by Anne McCaffrey.  Although I read many of her books, my favorites all took place on Pern. I loved that there was such diversity among her characters and it was no big deal. They were just there, doing their thing.  You know, just like real people.

7. The Hobbit.  I have successfully read only three Tolkien books and my favorite (because it is obviously the best) is this one.  I loved the epic sweep of his stories.

8. The Origin of Species.  I didn’t read this one as a child and have to admit that I am reading it now.  But this is one of those books that you have to read to know what is in it.  It has been amazing to see what Darwin (one of my scientific heroes) said and didn’t say.  Yep.  I’m geeky enough to have scientific heroes.  

9. On Walden Pond.  Hated this book.  It was more tedious even than Darwin’s writing.  But again, you should read it.  Slog through it and when someone talks about Thoreau you will know if they read the book or only read about the book. Seriously.  But I will never ever read it again.

10. The Blue Sword.  Robin McKinley will always remain one of my favorite fantasy authors.   Yes, I’ve read a host of her books but perhaps because this was the first, it remains my favorite.  A girl hero with a sword.  What isn’t to love?

Hope you manage to work in some amazing holiday reading!


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