Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

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!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. i LOVE the Little Prince - even more so in French. It's such a lyrically beautiful and poignant book!
    To Kill A Mockingbird is on my finally-to-read list this year :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Billy Collins is a poet I haven't explored much, although do mean to.

  3. As far as books with book recommendations, I love sharing HONEY FOR A WOMAN'S HEART.

    Several on your list are books I hold dear, too!

  4. WOW - what a great list!

    I've read only 2, but already had 4 others on my wishlist (I came this close to reading The Good Earth last year)...Now I have four new titles to add. Thank you!!

  5. Great list! Love The Little Prince :) And the day you read TKAMB sounds like my idea of a perfect day.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

  6. I've enjoyed reading your list, some wonderful books. To Kill a Mockingbird isn't on my list but was close. A great choice. I enjoy the Ladies Detective Series too.
    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my list too.


  7. You really can't go wrong with To Kill a Mockingbird and The House on Mango Street, which I've seen in person (in SA)! :) Having books that will recommend good books is another plus, especially for librarians. I'll need to see if we have Good Books in my library. Thank you for sharing, Deb!

  8. Great list!! I love To Kill a Mockingbird. That is probably my all-time favorite classic. And I really loved The Little Prince too.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

  9. You have some awesome classics on this list. And I love that you included The Little Prince. That is such a great story!
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Deidra @ Simply Books.

  10. You listed some great ones! The Good Earth, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Little Price are all love! Gilead sounds like a beautiful read and I'm adding to it my TBR list.

    Thanks for stopping by Literary, etc! :)

  11. This is a rock out list. You brought back some good memories for me and a few new ones to add to my list too.

  12. What a fascinating list Deb. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have read any of them. I have read The Little Prince (in only one language sadly) and I'm not sure that I got it. I will read it again one day- when it comes up on the schedule. A Short History of Nearly Everything is a book that I own in three versions but haven't read one of them! For shame. I loved no1 detective agency too, so gentle and lovely.

  13. This is a wonderful list! I need to read Gilead if you think great. Chaim Potok's The Chosen is also fantastic! cheers.

  14. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those great classics that I really hope to get round to reading one day.


I love to hear what you think.