Well, reading his post as well as the comments from his fans inspired me!
|Yikes! How am I gonna pick just ten???|
After all, he seems like a nice guy and I don't wanna wear out my welcome. So, dear readers, I am picking up the discussion here. (Although, you've got to head over to Paul's blog and check it out!)
Where to begin...okay no judging. I could put a list of well-reviewed classics up here and feel pretty smart, but I wouldn't do that to you. This is the real deal. So, with no further babbling on my part (maybe). Here we go:
The Stand was my first intro to the Horror/sometimes Sci-Fi genre and I was hooked! I read this for the first time in 5th grade and I know it sounds crazy (and maybe a little psychotic), but I would imagine a post-apocalyptic scenario where I would be in charge of recreating society and fighting the baddies. Shame almost everyone would have to die horribly for me to achieve this goal...
2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany Publisher: Ballantine Books)
I went on a big John Irving kick in 9th grade and honestly much of it was over my head (although my teen-smarts would never admit that at the time.) This is the only book I have re-read as a real-life adult and I treasure it. Maybe I should hit up Irving again and I'll understand why so many people run around with bears in his books...
3. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind, 75th Anniversary Edition)
I refuse to be ashamed for my love of a good Southern romance. I read this book thinking that Scarlett is miraculously going to get her act together this time...Bet you can guess how that's working out for me. I have always been torn between wanting to be Melanie but acting like Scarlett (sometimes vice-versa).
Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7))
You promised not to judge, remember? Hear me out: To me, the publication and success of this series was a watershed moment for our society in terms of creating a new generation of readers. It got young readers excited to crack a book, writers pumped up to create magical worlds (not all great, I know, but many are) and publishers hopped-up about finding the next "Big Thing". Rowling spins a good yarn, there's no denying it.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.(The Great Gatsby)
I read this in high school (like you do...) and, again, didn't appreciate it until I was older. I went on quite the Fitzgerald bender last year after re-reading this book. My new found love for Fitzy then convinced me to return to many of the classics with my new "old" eyes (hello, Ernest, I'm talking to you...) I could try to wax poetic for ages about The Great Gatsby, but basically my take-away is: Man, Daisy's a jerk!
The Pillars of the Earth)
Just love it from top to bottom. I had been dodging this book forever because it is unreasonably thick and felt like it might be a chore. Don't you know at the end I was wishing he had written about a thousand more pages? This book enabled me to easily swallow my intimidation at the sight of the lengthy Songs of Fire and Ice series.
7. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove: A Novel)
This book propelled me into the biggest book-buying spree, ever. I had to get my hands on all things McMurtry! Especially after I realized he didn't strictly write great Westerns (see: Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show).
The common theme with many of his books is people who have quite a bit of time on their hands to consider their lives and drink cocktails (kinda like, Gatsby, no?). I always wanted to grow up and live in a Larry McMurtry novel (without a horrible early death at the end - whoops, spoiler alert for practically every book he's ever written.)
8. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set)
Collins reinvigorated my belief that not all YA books have to be cheesy and formulaic. Sometimes they can be inspired and well written. Katniss is a kick-ass heroine and stands as a good role model for the tweens. Well, except, maybe, that pesky little part where she has to kill people...
9. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings))
As my first introduction into the Fantasy Fiction genre, I was mesmerized by Tolkien's now-classic tale of a little guy and a ring. The trilogy (and The Hobbit too, of course) is a work of genius beyond compare. This isn't one of those series that you've never heard of and I might convince you to try. Either you love it or you don't... and I do.
10. Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones Diary)
Okay, I know...I know, how could I put this book in a list among Pulitzer Prize winners, you ask? Well, here's how.
BJ'sD was a huge influence to the publishing industry when it debuted because women were snatching it up like it was free. Thus reinforcing to said publishers that the female population's buying power was no small thing, thereby spawning an entire genre of "Chick-Lit" that I, in turn, spent several of my hard-earned bucks on.
It ushered in a new era for light literature targeted at women that didn't have Fabio on the cover and potentially created some new readers out there where there weren't as many before. Plus, it's pretty funny and Darcy is dreamy!
Honestly, I feel like I have left of about 1,000,002 books off of this list, so I might make this a recurring post. I would love to hear your thoughts and lists as well (you don't have to come up with ten, anything you would like to put is fine - well, almost :) )