Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ten of My Favorite Books

I just finished checking out Paul D. Dail's (one of my fellow Book Blogger's) blog and he recommended that I check out his post "My own Works Cited list: Ten books that have inspired me."

Well, reading his post as well as the comments from his fans inspired me!

Yikes! How am I gonna pick just ten???
I immediately responded with a comment listing six of my faves (okay, he only asked for three, but I couldn't stop myself!) and after babbling cleverly (okay, maybe not) for about, I don't know, 5,000 words, I realized there was only so much blog space in the world and maybe I should stop taking up all of his.

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
1. The Stand - Stephen King (The Stand)

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...

A Prayer for Owen Meany Publisher: Ballantine Books2. 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...

Gone with the Wind, 75th Anniversary Edition3. 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).

4. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (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.

The Great Gatsby5. 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!

6. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (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.

Lonesome Dove: A Novel7. 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.)

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set8. 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...

J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)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.

Bridget Jones's Diary10. 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 :) )

Keep reading,



  1. Nice picks! I loved The Stand and the Hunger Games trilogy.. I've had Pillars of the Earth on my TBR list for a long while now, but have yet to read it..

    Love your site :) *New Follower*

  2. Great voice of books! No judging at all... In fact I praise that you could narrow your list down, I would have changed mine several times... Or just gave up completely. Don't judge me but some that would appear in my list include twilight series... Yes I'm one of those who was forced into it, by my teenage cousin no less. To fix my reputation I'm going to add pride and prejudice, Anna karenina and midnight in the garden of good and evil :)

    I like bridget jones, for the fact that I completely agree with you, however I only saw the movies, would you say the book is a must read even if I saw the movies first? Btw I live Darcy!! Who doesn't!


  3. Hey! You've been given the Liebster Blog Award! Go HERE to claim your award! :)

  4. @Keely - You have to check out Pillars. I think you'll like it!

    @Kris - I thought about including Twilight, so I'm the last to judge you! I also regretted not including some Austen (because I do love her so!) Anna Karenina has been in my TBR for awhile, but if you like it, I'm going to bump it up! Loved Midnight (and a great cover too!)

    This is why I think I'm going to do a (shorter) list like this weekly. I'm sure somebody has a meme out there! I have too many favorites!!

    You should check out BJ'sD, the book. It's a quick, fun read and the sequel is way better than the movie sequel was!

    @Anna - Thanks so much. I have already received the award, but am happy to give you a shout out in my blog post about it and appreciate your thinking of me. If you want to give it to another deserving blog, I will understand :)


  5. Thanks, I'll pick it up this week from the bookstore :)
    I was thinking of doing my top 10 tomorrow too... but now that you mention it, a weekly one sounds great. Let me know if you find a meme out there.

    Great to hear you like Twilight and Austen too. Anna Karenina btw is a hard read... when i say hard, i mean exhausting and a bit slow. A large portion of the book seems to be about agricultural politics which I found alot of people hated, but you have to "plough" your way through it :D

  6. @Kris - LOL I'l put my "ploughing" boots on :). If I can't find a meme we can just start our own! How about "Friday's Five Faves"? It'll be all the rage!


  7. Thanks for sharing the list! I know for a book lover that is incredibly hard to do :) You gave me a few new titles to seek out, Rae

  8. I figured out your link! It was missing an "S". I am now following you too! Love your blog!

    I, too, LOVE The Great Gatsby! Seriously, who doesn't!?!

  9. @Rae - Your welcome, it was fun! It was hard to pare down, so I think I'll be posting a list every Friday of oldies but goodies.

    @Kristin - I'm glad you came by (even though my typing skills made it tough!)I have too many "s"'s in my darn blog name and a few fall through the cracks sometimes :)


  10. Yes to Harry Potter AND The Hunger Games. Oh, do I have some heart-tugging epic love for both series.

    Thanks for following me on Twitter! I'm following your blog now!

  11. Great list. And thanks so much for the publicity. As you hopefully saw, I replied to your comments on my blog, but it was great to see the rest of your list.

    Completely agree on the Harry Potter phenomenon, and regardless of any opinions on quality, even Twilight is helping along the growth of readers in our society (which previous to Harry Potter was pretty bleak... although I maintain that HP will stand the test of time better than Twilight).

    Interesting tidbit. Lord of the Rings was originally intended as one novel, but no one would pick it up that way, so he had to break it into the trilogy. Wild, eh?

    Thanks again, and glad I came upon your blog.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  12. That's a good list. Though, #4&8 felt a bit like you were cheating the system a little. But I can understand how you might not be able to choose just one.

    Kim @ Book Munchies

  13. @Paul - Thanks for stopping by to visit. I might try to do a few each week, I'll keep you posted :)

    @Kim - I see your point on 4 and 8 but I lumped them together because (like you said) I couldn't pick just one and also (going to Paul's comment, kind of) I read the majority of HP and all of HG consecutively with no break between books, so I guess in my mind they are both one story just broken up :)



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