This morning I received a book list from my librarian friend, Joanne. It’s one of those things going around the net — your 10 favourite books of all time, send to 10 friends, send a copy to the person who sent you theirs — you know the sort. Her list had the list sent to her tacked on and I found both interesting. One included Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (I’ve seen the movie more than once but never read the book) and To Kill a Mockingbird, the only novel by Harper Lee which was such a sensation when it came out and then again when made into a movie. Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns (which I reblogged a review of recently) was also included; I must get a copy of that. Many others that I’ve never heard of that sound intriguing and will bear follow up.
What are mine? I had to stop and think for a bit. Some of my favourite books are ones written for preteens (since I taught that age group for many years) and I discovered them to have wonderfully gripping stories that have stayed with me over the years. Some, of course, are adult books with wonderfully woven plots and complex characters. Some are records of personal soul-seeking journeys. Hard to choose just 10 but here are mine:
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King
The Breadwinner (first of a trilogy) by Deborah Ellis
The Spire by William Golding
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Rope in the Water by Sylvia Fraser
Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Three of these I’ve written about before in my blog so it will be no surprise to find them included again here. The diary by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is the record of the time when her son was kidnapped and it is extremely moving and intense in places. In context with all the other diaries by her, it helps to paint a more complete picture of her life leading up to her marriage and then the exciting years following. I read them at a time when one thing sparked an interest in others — a six degrees of separation kind of thing — which began, as I recall, with seeing the Spirit of St. Louis in the Smithsonian Museum of Aviation in Washington D.C. That was when I started reading about Charles Lindbergh. First, Lindbergh Alone, a biography by Brendan Gill, then The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh, which led to We, also by Lindbergh, followed by the diaries of Anne Lindbergh in sequence beginning with Bring Me A Unicorn, and after the one mentioned above, to the book The Airman & the Carpenter about the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann.
I did my 3rd year thesis (many years ago now) on the works of William Golding and found him an incredibly diverse author. I found Lord of the Flies compelling but repulsive and had read it much earlier so did not reread it. Many of his other novels, though, including Free Fall, were fascinating and no one like another except in the richness of description and character: different time periods, different settings, different vices.
What are your top ten books? Since you’ve taken the time to stop by, leave a comment to tell us about them!