The challenge (first found on Facebook): To list 10 books 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” works, just the ones that have touched you.
These are my 10, including the reason why they have stuck with me for so long. What are one or two of your significant life-books? Please share in the comments below.
1. The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs – This was the first chapter book I remember borrowing from the public library. I quickly read ALL the John Bellairs books I could find after this first one.
2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – Anne was the first character I absolutely fell in love with. I still read “the Anne books” every few years and fall in love with her all over again.
3. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood – This is a book every female over the age of 16 should read. Powerful, frightening, a cautionary tale. You will never be the same.
4. School Girls by Peggy Orenstein – I first read this when I was 19, long before I had daughters, but even then it made an impact. This is a book every parent and teacher should read–every adolescent girl and boy too, actually!
5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – It was these books that have had perhaps the most influence on my spiritual path… Although I’m Pagan, so perhaps not what C.S. Lewis had in mind.
6. Bullfinch’s Mythology – The only book I would need if ever stranded on a desert island.
7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – The first book I remember having read TO me when I was a kid. It’s still the end-all be-all of read-aloud adventure stories for me.
8. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, second edition – 95% of my favorite poetry all in one place. This book is my tattered, falling apart security blanket. I take it with me everywhere.
9. Possession by A.S. Byatt – Proof positive that a book can be academic and intelligent and still suck you in completely.
10. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I’ve never been able to choose which Jane Austen novel is my favorite, but this one contains one of the very best paragraphs ever written by human hand:
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it… Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. For you alone, I think and plan.”