My Top 10 Favorite Books
The interesting thing about our favorite books and stories is that the more we read, one of two things happens; our favorites either become more firmly locked into place or they get pushed down and down the list until their titles no longer appear. I was surprised by a few of the titles that ended up on my list, which was compiled after a fellow writing friend (check out Julija’s blog sojustmethen.wordpress.com) encouraged me to do so after she shared her own. Along with the surprises, there are a few that have become as sure as cement. Some have been on the list for many years and others only a few months.
I encourage all avid readers to write down your top 10 favorites. Like me, you may be surprised at what makes the list.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald –I’ve always loved reading, but The Great Gatsby made me fall in love with literature! Although it’s no longer my favorite novel, I will forever be in debt to Mr. Fitzgerald (and my high school English teacher, Mr. Smith, who assigned the reading) for introducing me to another world.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – J.K. Rowling has given the entire world a gift. She created such an imaginative yet believable world it’s no wonder millions of kids have wrote to her asking for their Hogwarts letters. Harry Potter holds such a high spot on my list not only because I fell in love with the characters, the world and the epic story, but because that story was shared with so many. The community of people around the world that Harry Potter has brought together is in itself magical. Growing up with Harry and his friends through the series was a remarkable journey and one that I, and so many others, will always hold near and dear. The number of young readers who may never have enjoyed reading if it wasn’t for the Harry Potter series is unmatched and will be for a long time.
- The Story of Forgetting by Stefen Merrill Block – Not knowing any idea what I was getting into, I randomly chose The Story of Forgetting audio book off my local library shelf. The novel follows two contrasting storylines, one of a young boy with limitless potential and the other of an old man waiting for the past to find him. A wonderful story but the writing is what hooked me. Block blends worlds; of youth and old age, of imagination and harsh realities, of the past and the future. Block’s novel encompasses so much of what I am aim to achieve with my own written work.
- Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser – An absolutely wonderful book of poetry that touched my soul in a way nothing else ever has. Images from Kooser’s poetry jump into my consciousness on a regular basis. He sees and describes everyday sights and experiences in such a way that I immediately connect with the writing. Although I understand it’s not my strong suit, I love writing poetry because it makes the mind think in different ways. When I attempt to twist my words into a poetic line or two, Kooser’s ability to turn the simplicities of life into unforgettable moments of beauty is exactly what I strive for.
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – My Hamline writing friends know this one well! Assigned reading in my Senior Seminar for Creative Writing, this is simply a beautiful tale of a man and his memories.
- Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz – My favorite fictional character of all time, Odd Thomas is fun, unpredictable and humble. He accepts his bizarre, chaotic life in order to help others even when it tears his own world apart. The way Koontz presents and stays true to Odd’s character throughout the series earns it a top spot. Though, the entire series (currently six books) is worth reading, the first one is by far my favorite.
- Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff – My favorite short story author! His stories are definitely worth the read. His memoir is patiently waiting to be read on my shelf as well.
- The Shining by Stephen King – Similar to The Story of Forgetting, we are graced with characters both young and old and see the story through varying POVs. We take a nerve-quaking journey with an extraordinary young boy just learning to understand and control his abilities. That small twist of science fiction in an otherwise ordinary world is something I can’t resist! With the amount of fiction King produces, it’s safe to say he will always be on my reading list. The Stand, a King classic and regarded by many as his best novel to date, is the next King title on my list.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games series doesn’t even come close to Harry Potter, but such a unique story, written in great prose, is hard not to love. The novel is paced beautifully and Katniss is a beautifully rounded character. She always stays true to herself even when she’s not sure who that is.
- I’m going to end my top 10 with all the childhood favorites that got me reading in the first place: Goosebumps, the “Witches Don’t Do Backflips” books, Matt Christopher, Clifford the Big Red Dog, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, and so many more! I’m not sure who I would be today if these children’s and young adult authors had not found a way into my heart.
Posted on February 16, 2014, in A Writer's Life, Book Review, Literature and tagged books, dean koontz, f scott fitzgerald, favorite books, harry potter, literature, odd thomas, out stealing horses, per petterson, Stephen King, stephen merrill block, suzanne collins, ted kooser, the great gatsby, the hunger games, the shining, tobias wolff. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.