I’ve had two people ask me in the last twenty-four hours for some of my favorite books. This is hard, people. How can you pick a favorite book?
But, here’s a try for maybe some of my top 10 books. Let me know if I’ve left anything absolutely vital off:
1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I LOVE this book. The first 50 pages or so are a little slow (not boring, just not lickity-split reading). And then, it really gets fabulous. I remember finishing this book in the car on a Disneyland trip with my family and just being more and more excited as the plot unraveled. It’s a good book, folks.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This book is a classic and for good reason. My AP English teacher in high school had a little girl named Scout, which made me love her (also her fabulous teaching made me love her). I reread this book in London last year and fell in love with it all over again.
3. Beauty by Robin McKinley. I haven’t been overwhelmed by most of her other writing, but this book is amazing. It’s one of the first “fairy tale re-tellings” I read and it’s the reason I love that kind of book so much still. Read it and be amazed.
4. October Sky by Homer Hickman. This book is unbelievably inspiring. I read it in high school a few pages at a time and it was one of those books that just made me want to be a better person. I love the movie, but the book is a thousand times better.
5. Emily of New Moon series by L. M. Montgomery. I have reread this series a dozen times. The writing in these just speaks to me – there are certain passages that I can almost recite from memory because they are just that good. I think they’re better than the Anne series.
6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I can’t help loving this book. I just read a review of a book about Rhett Butler the other day and the reviewer said something about how, although the book is good, the charm of Rhett Butler is that he’s a mystery and that trying to explain him makes him less Rhett. Anyway, I wore the cover off this book, literally.
7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This book is marvelous. You just should have read it. If you haven’t, remedy that now.
8. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. The only thing I’ve liked by her, but this book is so good, it makes up for the rest of her writing.
9. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg. I like everything about this book – the quirky feel, the mulitple viewpoints, the writing, the plot, how it cleverly fits together, the cover.
10. Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I read this for a sports history class I took, but I loved it as if I’d picked it out on my own. Just a marvelous memoir. Fun, funny, and touching. Even if you don’t care about sports.
BONUS 11! It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong. I’m not so impressed by Lance Armstrong these days, but I will never stop loving this book. It is so powerful, so fascinating, and so motivating. I could choose many many pages out of this book to quote endlessly, but you should just read it and find them for yourself.
Other authors I almost always love:
– Orson Scott Card (especially Ender’s Game and the Women of Genesis books)
– Shannon Hale
– Dave Barry (especially his columns collections)
– Ann Rinaldi
What books do you mention when people ask you about your favorite books?