Row80 and Top 10 books

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.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The Holy Bible.  Yes, I have actually read the whole thing.  This is the basis of my beliefs.
  10. 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.

Row80 Update:

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.

Writing: none

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?


2 thoughts on “Row80 and Top 10 books

  1. You have an interesting group of books there. I always find such lists entertaining!

    Sometimes figuring stuff out related to writing is more important than writing, even if it is “just enough to be dangerous.” 😉 I need to remind myself of that and take some time to read a couple of PDFs I have sitting around. Maybe next round?


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