I have often talk about the books and series I love. These are the books I will keep on my books shelf forever. These are the books of which I will buy multiple editions and copies. Some of these will only be read once, but they make such an impression on me that I can’t let them go. There are times this is not always a good impression. Here are the top 10 of those books:
- Persuasion – I am not going to list Pride and Prejudice. You have heard enough about it and it’s not actually my favorite Austen novel. Persuasion is my favorite. The idea of getting a second chance and one mistake not being the end is a trope I am obsessed with in life and in literature. Having had so many second and third chances myself, I know how important they can be. Plus, to have a mutual love that can survive such a mistake as Anne Elliot makes… that’s my romantic fantasy. This is probably because I make plenty of mistakes.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) – I don’t love this one only because of Cedric Diggory. I understand why she killed him, even if I don’t like it. The reason I love this book the most (within the series) is that this is where the series shifts into difficult territory. Readers have to deal with a senseless death. They have to watch Harry face things alone. Readers learn about the dark side of magic in terrible ways. It is not an easy read, even for adults. Also, DRAGONS!
- Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles, #6) – this is the last of Frank Herbert’s original series. Everything after this has been written by others based on notes. My father didn’t get this far in the series, but I was able to wade through the heavy politics to let it all presumably come full circle. What I love about Herbert is that he understood religion as an uncontrollable force, but also something that could be manipulated. I read the series as I was wrapping up my degree in religious studies and I was focusing on religious anthropology. This all hit home as I came to understand how religion develops and changes over time.
- The Secret Garden and A Little Princess – I could not pick between the two. I love them both so much. Thinking back to when I read them, I have memories of my Grammy (the one who passed away recently). It isn’t anything concrete, but I associate both books with her. I have two lovely illustrated copies of these books that I have had for as long as I can remember. I sometimes like to sit and just read little bits on one.
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America – I love murder mysteries. I love reading about serial killers. I love micro-history. The H.H. Holmes story is so engrossing! Adding into this a shift in American innovation. So many things that we think of as quintessentially American came out of this World’s Fair: Cracker Jacks, zippers, ferris wheels, and dishwashers. This is one I keep wanting to go back to. How can you not like this one: serial killers, zippers and Cracker Jacks!
- Gone with the Wind – I read this for the first time on a road trip from Miami to Memphis to Atlanta while I was in high school. We were doing the summer college trip mixed with some family visits and friends. It was the perfect book for long drives through the south. She wrote about the red clay and I saw it. I fell in love with Rhett Butler (and then out of love with him) on the road trip. As I got older I realized I was in love with Scarlett and her ability to make very difficult (often self-serving) decisions and accept the consequences of those choices.
- Carrie – of all the Stephen King books I have read, Carrie remains my favorite. I read it in high school in one afternoon. I remember laying on the couch and just consuming the entire book between lunch and dinner. It was the perfect reading experience.
- The Complete Maus – I have already written about Maus and the place it has in my heart so I won’t re-hash it here.
- Atonement – This is the one book on this list that I love and hate. I will always keep a copy, but I may never read it again. It destroyed me. No, it built me up with hope and then ripped my heart out. I mentioned already that I love second chances in stories. Atonement takes that and uses it to stab you in the heart over and over and over and over and over again. The movie didn’t make it better either. I love James McAvoy, so it hurt a lot to get the twist at the end.
- V for Vendetta – I love a good dystopian story, even if I am a bit burnt out on the YA genre’s take on them. It’s not the crappy world, but when characters actively try to change things. V is that character and the power of his conviction is what I find lacking in YA dystopian. Main characters seem powerless and at the mercy of many people. In this graphic novel, Evey starts out as such a character, but V opens her eyes and then lets her lose to act on her own.
What are some of the books you just love so much? Tell me in the comments!