Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Updated Book List from The Mom

I have been second guessing myself about this update for about a year. If I add another book, does it mean I have to remove one? My favorite books are like old friends. They hang around in my head for a long time. As I have said before, the List is almost akin to a living entity for me; it is in a fluid state, a state of flux, and I am constantly sifting through various books in my mind to see if they are worth making it onto "The List." So, please bear with me; I will probably find myself continuously editing this, or at least adding to it. I am already asking myself, "Why, oh why, did I ever commit to listing my 100 favorite books?" They are not in order of preference, because on any given day, the order can change.
   A special note: I am not listing the Bible on my list because it is THE BOOK, the one book that has ultimately changed my life more than any other, and I believe with all of my heart that it was not written by mortal men, but is the inspired Word of God. The Bible therefore has a separate category all its own so that is why you will not find it on the list, even though I am tempted to put the Psalms of David, Job, Romans, and Revelation as four of the books on my list...

Again, in no particular order:
My Top Twenty-Five  -- Give or Take a Few
  1. East of Eden ~ John Steinbeck
  2. Brothers Karamazov ~ Dostoevsky 
  3. Chronicles of Narnia ~ C.S. Lewis
  4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Fountainhead ~ Ayn Rand
  6. Absalom, Absalom and Go Down Moses ~ William Faulkner
  7. The Great Divorce ~ C.S. Lewis
  8. Night ~ Elie Wiesel
  9. King Lear, Hamlet, Twelfth Night ~ William Shakespeare
  10. The Man Who Was Thursday ~ G.K. Chesterton
  11. All the King's Men ~ Robert Penn Warren
  12. Shadow of the Wind ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  13. One Thousand Gifts ~ Ann Voskamp
  14. Frederick Buechner's Autobiographical Series: Telling Secrets, Sacred Journey, Now and Then
  15. Can You Drink the Cup and The Wounded Healer ~ Henry Nouwen 
  16. The Scent of Water ~ Elizabeth Goudge
  17. Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy
  18. Hyperspace ~ Michio Kaku
  19. Wise Blood ~ Flannery O'Connor
  20. The Sparrow ~ Mary Doria Russell
  21. Tale of Two Cities ~ Charles Dickens
  22. Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
  23. The Glass Castle ~ Jeanette Walls
  24. Prince of Tides, Beach Music, South of Broad ~ Pat Conroy
  25. Cry the Beloved Country ~ Alan Paton
  26. Out of Africa ~ Isak Dinesin
  27. The Dispossessed ~ Ursula Le Guin
  28. The Dune Series ~ Frank Herbert         
The BEST of the REST, at least according to The Mom...
  • Pensees ~ Blaise Pascal
  • Seven Storey Mountain ~ Thomas Merton 
  • Ulysses ~ James Joyce
  • Paradise Lost ~ Milton
  • Odyssey ~ Homer
  • Inferno ~ Dante
  • The Art of the Commonplace ~ Wendell Berry
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek ~ Annie Dillard
  • To Kill A Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee
  • The Tapestry ~ Edith Schaeffer
  • Peace Like a River ~ Leif Enger
  • Ragamuffin Gospel ~ Brennan Manning
  • A Wrinkle in Time ~ Madeleine L'Engle
  • Winston Churchill, The Last Lion Multi-volume Biography ~  William Manchester
  • Of Human Bondage ~ Somerset Maugham
  • Walking the Bible and Where God Was Born ~ Bruce Feiler
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran ~ Azir Nafisi 
  • Anne of Green Gables (Series) ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • The Dark Is Rising (Series) ~ Susan Cooper
  • The Children of Men ~ P.D. James
  • The Collected Poems of Robert Frost ~ Robert Frost
  • Exodus ~ Leon Uris
  • Jane Eyre ~ Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights ~ Emily Bronte
  • Age of Innocence ~ Edith Wharton
  • Huckleberry Finn ~ Mark Twain
  • On Walden Pond ~ Henry David Thoreau
  • Lost Horizon ~ James Hilton
  • Tess D'Urbervilles ~ Thomas Hardy
  • Contact ~ Carl Sagan
  • Candide ~ Voltaire
  • The Road ~ Cormac McCarthy
  • Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns ~ Khalid Hosseini 
  • House of Sand and Fog ~ Andre Dubus
  • A Lesson Before Dying ~ Ernest Gaines
  • The Awakening ~ Kate Chopin
  • Beloved ~ Toni Morrison
  • Time Traveler's Wife ~ Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Historian ~ Elizabeth Kostova
  • Edgar Sawtelle ~ David Wroblewski
  • Integrity ~ Stephen Carter
  • Redeeming Love ~ Francine Rivers
  • Catcher in the Rye ~ J.D. Salinger
  • 1984 ~ George Orwell 
  • The Stranger ~ Albert Camus
  • Metaphorphosis ~ Franz Kafka
  • Faust ~ Goethe
  • Doctor Zhivago ~ Boris Pasternak
  • Mists of Avalon ~ Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Le Morte D'Arthur ~ Thomas Malory
  • Bullfinch's Mythology ~ Bullfinch
  • The Constant Gardener ~ John Le Carre
  • Hunger Games ~ Suzanne Collins
  • A Severe Mercy ~ Sheldon Vanauken
  • Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret ~ Howard Taylor
  • Amy Charmichael: A Chance to Die ~ Elizabeth Eliot
  • Christy ~ Catherine Marshall
  • Catherine the Great ~ Henri Troyat
  • Ten Little Indians, et al ~ Agatha Christie
  • Works of Edgar Allen Poe ~ Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Civil War ~ Bruce Catton
  • Band of Brothers ~ Stephen Ambrose
  • Lonesome Dove Series ~ Larry McMurtry
  • Snow Falling on Cedars ~ David Guterson
  • Joy Luck Club ~ Amy Tan
  • Memoirs of a Geisha ~ Arthur Golden
  • Shogun ~ James Clavell
  • Pillars of the Earth ~ Ken Follett
My Favorite Books I Read as a Child and Loved Again When I Re-Read Them as an Adult
  • Winnie the Pooh ~ A.A. Milne
  • Black Beauty ~ Anna Sewell
  • Little Women ~ Louisa May Alcott
  • Black Stallion Series ~ Walter Farley
  • Last of the Mohicans ~ James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Velveteen Rabbit ~ Margery Williams
  • The Secret Garden ~ Frances Hodgson BurnettE.
  • Where the Wild Things Are ~ Maurice Sendak
  • Heidi ~ Johannah Spyri
  • Treasure Island ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Peter Pan ~ J.M. Barrie
  • The Sword in the Stone ~ T.H. White
  • Charlotte's Web ~ E. B. White
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet ~ Madeleine L'Engle
  • Misty of Chincoteague ~ Marguerite Henry
    Addendum: (I knew that this was going to happen)
    Special Note: There are so many books that I could have included and did not include, but I tried to list those books that changed or altered my perspective on life, influenced my worldview, or challenged me in some way; I have also tried to remember those books that stayed with me long after the pages were closed. Some might quibble with the fact that the list is so weighted heavily in the area of fiction, but the majority of my lifetime experiences with reading have been for pleasure and therefore I have been drawn to books that offered the best hope of escape, travel, or adventure!
    • Diary of A Young Girl ~ Anne Frank
    • The Killer Angels ~ Michael Shaara
    • The Bright Shining Lie ~ John Paul Vann
    • We Were Soldiers Once...and Young ~ Harold G. Moore
    • Siddhartha ~ Hermann Hesse
    • The Glass Menagerie ~ Tennessee Williams
    • The Scarlet Letter ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
    P.S. My apologies to one of my favorites apologists, Chesterton, for listing him as Chesterfield...what was I thinking ?


    1. i love books (and that quote--is my mantra too)! great list...looking forward to reading some you listed. just fyi--#10--G.K. ChesterTON

    2. I read all the time, but there are several on your list I will have to check out at the library. Got to to the library!


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