Nothing gets past children. I'm always sharing books with kids at my school library and saying, "This is my favorite book!" I said that last week when I did a dramatic reading of Green Eggs and Ham and one boy said, "Mrs. Nance, you always say that. Is every book your favorite book?!"
And, of course, he is right. I am always saying that. I have a hundred favorite books. Maybe even two hundred.
So here is a list of ten of the many, many books I'm always trying to push on people:
Gilead is the gentle novel of a dying 76-year-old man who is writing a letter to his young son, sharing with him stories about his family and reflections on life. Beautifully written and deeply thoughtful.
I happily spent the entire last day of my spring break carefully rereading To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't know when I've enjoyed rereading a book more than I did that day. It was pure pleasure, reading a little, writing down the quotes I liked, making a list of all the things that marked this as a book from the Deep South, and thinking about the amazing Atticus Finch.
I rarely reread, yet The Good Earth is one I've read and reread a half dozen times. I'm fascinated with the way the family started poor, struggled, saved their money and worked hard, became wealthy, and became decadent and lost the things for which they had worked so hard.
What do you do when your religious beliefs come up against your beliefs about the creation of art? That's the struggle in this brilliant novel, My Name is Asher Lev.
Yet another book I've read several times that seems to get better with every read is The House on Mango Street. The struggles of young Hispanic girls growing up in a big city are beautifully told.
I can say, with authority, that The Little Prince is an amazing story, whether you read it in English or in French or in Spanish; I have read it in all three languages. You could read this in any language, at any age and it will enchant you.
Here's a just-for-fun novel, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I can't resist pushing it on just about everybody. It's not a deeply philosophical book or a book filled with great language, but it's a nice little trip to a lovely part of Africa.
How can I leave out a good book of poems? Poetry 180 is a very readable choice, filled with poems that send you scrambling for scratch paper so you can scribble down lines to read again and again.
It's long, but don't let that put you off; you really just can't put A Short History of Nearly Everything Down once you start reading it. It really is a little bit about everything science-y.
And I'm always recommending books that will list recommended books. The first great list of books I ever owned was this one, Good Books: A Book Lover's Companion. It is probably out of print now, but, by browsing through this book, I've found my way to more good books over the years than from any other book of its kind.
How about you? What books do you recommend the most?
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
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