I haven’t been tagged in this meme, but I’ve enjoyed some of the ruckus that has emerged from it. Huffington Post has a funny article on it here. Picking 10 favorite books is hard. My tastes have changed. As a teen I couldn’t get enough of Beatrice Small and her bodice rippers. Now, I never read romance. OK, one did slip past and make it to my reading table. While, I was teaching I only read middle readers and YA fantasy. I still love a good children’s book. I spent a summer a few years ago rereading all of Beverly Cleary’s books on Ramona. Then there was years where I didn’t read a book unless it was a mystery. Somebody had to die. This doesn’t even touch the historical novels and nonfiction books I’ve read.
So how does one narrow down a lifetime of reading to 10 books? Good questions, but I shall give it a try. (In no certain order.)
- Ramona, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. I was not much of a reader as a child. It was too slow and I had too much to do. But I loved Ramona. I loved her because, I saw myself in her. I was mischievous and found trouble, despite my best intentions. Ramona taught me the importance and value of an imagination.
- The collected works of Emily Dickinson. I must have read and reread that volume dozens of times. The simple, sweet verses brought me through middle and high school. I was shocked by the idea of her being a recluse.
- Complete Tales and Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. The same English teacher that exposed me to Dickinson, introduced me to Poe. Poe showed me a work that was both dark and beautiful. A voice full of pain and longing. I loved his twisted tales and wondered how one man could write such macabre stories. In college, I learned never to read Poe during the day and watch X-Files at night.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. (I’m including LOTR with this) In my post yesterday, I mentioned I discovered Tolkien in college. I fell in love with epic fantasy. I never knew that a writer could create a world complete with different species and languages. And the language Tolkien used was beautiful. I wanted to crawl into the book and live there forever.
- Sarum by Edward Rutherford. I traveled the entire history of Salisbury, England in one book. That book was one reason I went to England after college. I wanted to visit sites that were highlighted in the book.
- Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling. (I’m including the entire series, even book 3 my least favorite) Harry Potter gave me a hero, that wasn’t meant to be a hero. He was a misfit, who was honest and faithful. It made magic real and chronicled the classic battle of good verses evil. Now, I get to share that with my kids, and that makes me happy.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This may be required reading, but I still love it. It’s Southern. I have an understanding of the culture and events in this novel that make it very personal to me. Scout and Boo are legend.
- The American Reader By Diane Ravitch. This is a throw back to my days of teaching history. This book has all the major documents and speeches that made America. It’s an invaluable resource as a teacher and citizen. There are words written in it that make me burst with pride and feel the fire of rebellion.
- The Holy Bible. Yes, I have actually read the whole thing. This is the basis of my beliefs.
- Mr. Brown can Moo Can You? by Dr. Seuss. I read this book a million times with each child. They would make all the sounds and before they could read, they could recite the whole book. Reading was a special time in our house. The kids loved the attention. I loved watching them grow into readers. I still have that chewed up boardbook.
This list is incomplete, I can think of many more books I want to add. But it’s a good start.
I think there is only 1 or 2 weeks left in this round. I know what I want to tweak for next time.
Reading: I am reading another Indie book, I think it’s an Indie. It’s a local writer.
Submissions: I actually made a submission this morning. First time the entire round! But I have a short story coming out on Amazon and Smashwords.
Revisions: I’m almost through with revisions on a short story, I haven’t made any progress on my novel.
I think I’ve been very productive. I’ve figured out e-publishing. (stop laughing) I don’t know everything, just enough to be dangerous:)
So how did your week go?