So, I thoroughly plan to elaborate on each of these books, but I thought my blog readers might be interested in a listing of my top 16 favorite books. I have met illiterate people, and I feel so sorry for them. It makes me sad that the only world open to them is the one before them. When I read I can escape to the 18oo’s, enter Middle Earth, marry a high school sweetheart or any other adventure I want to take. I read at least 2 books a month and most of the time more (depends on the length of the book and the month).
My book selections usually fall into categories. First of all, there’s the classics. As all my blog readers will remember I love Elizabeth Gaskell. Her books are all amazing. They make me want to be better- to live a fuller life. I also love Dickens, Elliott, Austen and more. I love how the classics were written like a movie- full of minute details to soak up.
The next set of favorites are political science/sociology books. Again you will remember I love books analyzing society such as The Great Good Place, Bowling Alone and Urban Tribes. I loved studying political science at BYU because of the way it made me think. Instead of just looking at something like a Starbucks, I am encouraged by these books to think about the impact, effects and social trends involved. I know some people think these books are boring, but I just love them. For instance, when I first read Urban Tribes by Ethan Watters it made me feel connected to the world in a new way- like there was a whole new group of singles out there who knew exactly how I feel. I felt validated in a way I hadn’t in years. I read it with a highlighter and a notebook and just LOVED it.
Another category is memoirs. I have always been fascinated by interesting stories about unique people. These memoirs can run the gambit from lighter fare like Cheaper by the Dozen and Mama’s Bank Account, and more intense stories such as The Hiding Place and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. These books make me want to be a better, more interesting person- to conquer challenges and write down my humorous experiences.
Moving on, I also love children’s books- particularly ones I read growing up. Reading wasn’t always easy for me. I was a later reader (which is funny because now I am a ferocious reader and can read books much quicker than most of my friends) and although I was never diagnosed I think I had a little bit of dyslexia. It was always hard for me to focus, take tests, follow directions and explain what I felt inside. I always felt I knew the material better than anyone else but the grades would never show. This was true all the way through college. It’s funny because you would think someone with such difficulties would hate reading but for some reason I plowed on through, almost forcing myself to enjoy it. A couple of books that spoke to me when I was young were Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Woman, Girl of Limberlost, Caddie Woodland, Narnia, Roald Dahl stories and more. Later on I loved Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
The last category is totally random. There are some books that I just like. Any good books are Ok by me. I am up for any type of book, time period, and writing style. I especially love the experience of reading a book with others and talking it out. There have been a few times when I read a book and kind of liked it but after talking it over with others I liked it much more. Their vision made me see the book in new ways- made me understand it in a more completely. I love it!
Finally I will give you my top 16 favorite books:
1. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
4. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank and Lilian Gilbreth
5. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
6. Urban Tribes by Ethan Waters
7. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriett Jacobs
8. Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes
9. Red China Blues by Jan Wong
10. Delicacy and Strength of Lace by Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright
11. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
12. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
13. Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop
14. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
16. Howards End by EM Forester
So, there you have it. My favorite books. Some others I love are Wives and Daughters and Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, My Antonia by Willa Cather, On Gold Mountain by Lisa See, Harry Potter, Screwtape Letters and Narnia books by CS Lewis, Lord of the Rings, Little Women, A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. So many good ones. I just read a new book called Lying Awake by Mark Salzman that I LOVED! I could go on and on.