Gosh, how have I not posted on this topic? Dan Harper over at Yet Another Unitarian Universalist recently posted about books that changed your life. My cousin Lydia who has her own blog lists her favorite books here (we used to have reading contests when I was little – who could read the most Nancy Drew books the fastest and when Lydia turned out to be more of a reader than me, my Dad would always point out the books she was reading sort of like, “Well at least someone your age appreciate books as they should.”). Maybe the reason I haven’t posted on this is because I read so many academic books that I have to trudge through, I forgot how fun reading is and how wonderful a good book can be. Not that I don’t like my academic books, but it is a different sort of satisfaction. Without further ado, a start to My Favorite Books list. Since this will take time to reflect on and fill out, this is just an off-the top of my head start. And these may not be my favorite books to read now, although lots of them are, but have been important favorite books throughout time.
Three Books that Come to Mind as Absolute Favorites
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy
(While the movies are all pretty good, the books came first for me. Movies later. As I noted in my comment on Yet Another UU, I first read all of these by the time I was 12. My parents were big readers and my Dad was an English teacher so my sister and I just sort of read whatever was around. It included lots of children’s books, but my parents liked these books and so I figured they must be good. As you can imagine, this meant that I didn’t really understand the books the first or second time I read them – but yet, even though I wasn’t getting it all, I had a strong sense that they were important books. I still read them all again every few years.)
Other Books I Really Like a Lot For Various Reasons
Texasville – Larry McMurtry (Just so funny.)
Evensong – Gail Godwin (link to my amazon.com review – scroll down to view)
Lie Down in Darkness – William Styron (As with a lot of other books, I read this first when I was way too young so I didn’t understand it that well the first time I read it, but somehow it stands out as a favorite because of the beautiful, tragic language, but also because it is a favorite of my Dad’s and somehow that makes it special to me.)
Amazing Grace – Jonathan Kozol (Caused an a-ha moment about my purpose in the world and an important realization about injustice in the world.
The Corner – David Simon and Edward Burns (link to my amazon.com review – scroll down to view after clicking)
Books for Children
Behind the Attic Wall – Sylvia Cassedy (this was a favorite in fourth grade)
Gypsy Summer – Wilma Yeo (a third grade favorite that I’m sure I read 20 times that is now out-of-print)
Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh (another third grade favorite – way before it was a movie!)
Steven Kellogg books – love them all
In Memory of Her – Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza
Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World – Judith Lieu
more to come!