Monday, July 21, 2008

Favorite Eleven Books of All Time

The question was asked elsewhere what your top ten books of all time are, and since I so love books, and so many different genres of books, it was very very hard to compile this list. Many books made the list, then got bumped by something else. All of these books reside permanently on my bookshelves, and are taken out and re-read at various intervals in my life. I never did whittle it down to ten, so this is my top eleven...

So here's mine (feel free to tell me yours!):

The Stand - Stephen King (because he is such a superb storyteller and this story is so engaging)
Illusions - Richard Bach (because every time I read it, I get something different out of it)
Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (because his language is so beautiful, I've read this trilogy more times than I've read any other, including twice out loud to my kids)
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (because she has a way of capturing a sense in a phrase that is unmatched)
The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara (because I'm a Civil War buff and this is the epitome of all Civil War books ever, with the possible exception of The Red Badge of Courage)
Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson (because I've always been fascinated by big weather, by this particular storm, and this is some awesome historical storytelling)
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (because it was the first book to affect me very deeply)
Out of Africa - Isak Dinesen (because I feel like I'm standing there in Africa again every time I read it)
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole - Sue Townsend (because I've sincerely never laughed harder while reading a book)
Into Thin Air - John Krakauer (I love Krakauer's engaging writing, the tragedy -- in the true Greek sense -- of this story and the people involved, how Krakauer makes you feel the mountain, and last but not least because I once considered going on this expedition so it always gives me the chills to read this account).
A Perfect Spy - John le Carre (hard to pick just one of his, but this is my favorite)


Trihardist said...

Even though I am an English major, the only one of those I've read is Lord of the Rings. But my friends are always pushing me to get a life outside the gym, so maybe I'll take a few of these as suggestions. I should really read To Kill a Mockingbird, I think.

My all-time favorite is Paradise Lost. Love it love it love it. Could read it a million times and still find something new. I also love Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) and On Beauty (Zadie Smith, although the ending is sort of a let down).

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Great book selections and reviews! I also love Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover. Another one of my favorites that you may like is April Witch.

momo said...

oh, thanks so much for posting this! i've taken a little hiatus from reading the past while and have missed it. i've read a couple on your list - i think i'll head to the library to see if i can find a few of the others!