Saturday, June 16, 2018

Readerbuzz's 10th Blogoversary


I never planned to be a blogger.

I started out by doing my summer professional development online with a version of an amazing class called 23 Things sponsored by the librarians at Spring Branch ISD way back in June of 2008. Part of the 23 Things was creating a blog in which to try out all the new online tools of the Internet.

By the end of the summer, I'd learned about a fun semi-annual event called Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon and I'd heard about a weekly event called Sunday Salon and I was invited to serve as a judge for the Cybils....I was a real blogger.

It's such a silly word. Blogger. But it's something that I am. It's something that I love.

This post is my 1,560th published post. Ten years of blogging. Let's celebrate!


One of my early blog posts, way back in the summer of 2008, was a list of my 100 favorite reads ever. I noted that an "online book group" had asked its members to post a list. (Unfortunately, I didn't link to that group. Does anyone know what group this was?)

I promised to update this list regularly. I haven't done that. I think now is a good time to do so.

Here is my updated list, with books I added in the last ten years noted.

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The BFG by Roald DahlBird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
Book of Luminous Things edited by Czeslaw Milosz
The Box Garden by Carol Shields
Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Candide by Voltaire

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreath
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Civility by Stephen L. Carter
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Corduroy by Don Freeman
Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux
A Death in the Family by James Agee
The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? by Philip K. Dick
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Dubliners by James Joyce
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynn Truss
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Firegirl by Tony Abbott
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

Go, Dog, Go by P. D. Eastman
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Grass Harp by Truman Capote

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Half Magic by Edgar Eager
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Hank the Cowdog #8: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse by John R. Erickson
Happenstance by Carol Shields
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by J. K. Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hawaii by James Michener
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Heaven is a Playground by Rick Telander
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Holes by Louis Sachar
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett
How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Into that Good Night by Ron Rozelle
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
John Adams by David McCullough
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
The Last Shot by Darcy Frey

Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher
Life-Sized Zoo by Teruyuki Komiya
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lives of the Writers by Kathleen Krull
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Love is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madeleine by Ludwig Bemelmans
Magister Ludi by Hermann Hesse
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Make a World by Ed Emberly

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Material World by Peter Menzel
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Middleman and Other Stories by Bharati Mukherjee

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia Rylant
Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry
The Odyssey by Homer
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
One Man’s Meat by E. B. White

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster
Plan B by Anne Lamott
A Poem a Day edited by Karen McKosker
Possession by A. S. Byatt
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Rotten Island by William Steig
Sailing Alone Around the World by Billy Collins
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodge
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
The Secret History by Donna Tarte
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnston
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Silk by Alessandro Baricco
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Some Writer: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet
Sounder by William Armstrong
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Step Ball Change by Jeanne Ray
Strong Measures edited by Philip Dacey and David Jauss

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Roads to Sata: A 2000 Mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome JeromeTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction by Lex Williford
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
True Grit by Charles Portis
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Resistance by Laura Hillenbrand
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
Waiting by Ha Jin
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel WilkersonWatership Down by Richard Adams
We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevtich
Window by Jeannie Baker
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
Working by Studs Terkel
The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Zen and Zen Classics by R. H. Blyth

Unfortunately, this list has 239 books. Let's see if I can whittle it down to my top 100.

And here it is. My list of my 100 best reads ever:

My 100 Best Reads EverThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark TwainAnimal Farm by George OrwellAnne of Green Gables by L. M. MontgomeryBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathBird by Bird by Anne LamottBless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo by debnance

Thoughts? Books I've left out? Books I've included that you don't like?

I've done a couple of other things with my favorite books, including My Ideal Bookshelf below:

Titles pictured: Be Happy; Ed Emberly's Make a World; Possession; Maira Kalman's Principles of Uncertainty; The Wind-up Bird Chronicle; A Wrinkle in Time; Zoe Oldenbourg's The World is Not Enough; The Little Prince; Bowling Alone; The Gold Bug Variations; Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies; Civility by Stephen L. Carter; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; Material World; My Name is Asher Lev; Watership Down; Because of Winn-Dixie; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

And a few years ago I decided to try to compile a list of books that are so good they should not be missed. 

To celebrate my ten years of blogging, I'd like to ask that you contribute to this list:

I hope you will help me celebrate ten years as a blogger by joining in.

What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


  1. So many great books on that list! As I skimmed it I found myself smiling as I remembered how much I enjoyed reading each book. Congratulations on 10 years; that's a great accomplishment!

  2. Wow, Deb, that's a lot of blogging and even more reading! I love your list(s). There are a few on there that I'd sub in a different work by the same author on my own list, which you can bet your booty I'm starting work on this afternoon. And there are many on your list that I still need to read. But a lot of very beloved books on there for sure!

    A question that is not meant to be rude--just something I'm considering for my own thoughts. When looking at beloved titles like Little House or Crossing to Safety, do you only consider what the book meant to you when you read it, or do you take into consideration things like Little House having racist scenes or Stegner having lifted a woman's memoirs? In my mind there's a difference between "my favorites books" and "books everyone should read" when I get into issues like those. With the recent accusations against Shermie Alexander, Jay Asher, and James Dashner, I have similar questions. I love Absolutely True Diary and Smoke Signals, but do I recommend Alexie's work to others, especially when there are about 200 books to fit on my 100 book list?

    Finally, regarding your Ideal Bookshelf--it's lovely. Who created the art? It doesn't look like the Ideal Bookshelf work I've seen before. I'm hoping to persuade my husband to paint one for me, but now I'm smitten with the style of yours, which is very different from what he'd do.

    1. When I was trying to cull my list down to one hundred, I decided to focus exclusively on my gut-level love for the story. It's a tricky call, I know. And it is just the personal list of a 61-year-old white American woman. Not everyone, of course, makes the same deep connections to stories. That's why we have so many great book lists.

      My Ideal Bookshelf picture was made using a photo of my favorite books. I ran the photo through an iPad app called Sketch Me. It converts photographs into various types of paintings, drawings, and other sorts of art.

    2. Ooooh, cool! I like the wallpaper and doorway--it has a very Carl Larsson feel.

  3. What a FAB post and list of books...thanks for sharing.

    Happy Blog Anniversary.

  4. I loved many of the books on your list, which I also skimmed...I'll be checking it now and then. I know that Tom Sawyer was the first book I checked out of the public library (when I was eight). I've been blogging since April 2008, and had no idea I would still be blogging...or that I would love it so much.

    I read and re-read Gone with the Wind as a teenager, and Anne of Green Gables in middle school.

    I loved several Anne Tyler books, including Breathing Lessons...and saw a movie based on it starring Joanne Woodward.

    Thanks for sharing...and congrats again on your ten years!

    1. I am looking forward to reading the new Anne Tyler soon.

  5. Happy, happy 10th, Deb! What a great list you shared here! I don't think I could pare one down to the 100 I liked best through my life. You even included picture books. So many of them were familiar and dear. Congrats to you and hope all will be well as you adjust to your new place in life.

    1. When I made up the final list, I listed books that especially made my heart sing.

  6. Huge congratulations on your 10th anniversary on blogging - what a major achievement! I also very much like your lovely list of books to read before we die... Have a lovely week, Deb:)

  7. Two lists in one post! Loving your work (as always)! I'm so glad we're blog friends, and real life friends too. They're both such great lists- I can feel some listmania tingles happening... I need to consider your lists further.

    1. If only we could have met up again in Paris last day we will...I am sure of it.

  8. Happy blogiversary! My 5th is coming up soon. I hope I’m still blogging at 10 years. Blogging is such a huge part of my life that I don’t know what I’d do without it. I love your list. A lot of those books would be on my list, too.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I am surprised (astonished, really) to discover how much I love blogging. It is a huge part of my life, too. I feel certain you will be blogging in ten years. I know it.

  9. Congrats on listing all those books. I would have a hard time choosing the best from among those I've read over the years.

  10. Happy 10th!! I believe I hit my 10th last February. it came and went quietly.

  11. Happy Blogoversary! You have a great list of books.

  12. Congratulations on the blogoversary!

  13. 'Gone with the wind' is one of my favourite books too.

  14. So many recent blogiversaries popping up! My 12th came and went last February, but I love you idea of listing your favorite 100 books, so I may have to borrow the idea for next year. Congratulations on this milestone and to your new life! I am so happy you are here in the blogisphere!

  15. I see a lot of my favorites. Happy 10th years!

  16. congratulations, and to many more! and thanks for the giveaway

  17. Joyeux Anniversaire !
    Wishing you many more reading delights, Debbie, and thankyou for sharing them with us :)

  18. IMPRESSIVE post. My, my.

  19. This is a great idea! I might have to try to come up with my top 100 books of all time too. I agree with many of your selections!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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