Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Across the Milky Way..."

Sitting at Omega's kitchen table Sunday morning, a cup of java at near and a donut in the other hand leisurely reading the Lexington Herald Leader (love that paper) and coming across the printing of the top ten books of all time, submitted by us! the readers.

I shuddered at some of the books on the list. Yuck. But one mans Yuck is another favorite.

So here is my Yuck list.... (after number one, in no particular order)

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have read this book over and over and never tire of it. Wonderful read, wonderful story, wonderful characters and a life lesson that all on the face of the earth need to be reminded of every so often.

2) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver. Made me want to return to school and study biology even though I was terrible at it the first two times...(sort of). Three stories intertwined in the same area of the Appalachian mountains.

3) The Magic Bus: An American Odyssey - Douglas Brinkley. Made me want to go out and discover America on a literary tour and write about it. Darn, already been done.

4) Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand. When I read this in High School I realized I had a brain if I could understand and enjoy a book of this scope and magnitude. It made me seek out thick books. The thicker the better.

5) Any Human Heart - Wm Boyd. This book was suggested to me by a friend I met at AOL-J-Land (who has since disappeared ) because it was a study in one mans life. Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I cried at the end for a long time.

6) The Story of Live Dolls - My all time favorite book as a child that I would check out of the library over and over and dream and wish and pray that my dolls would come to life.

7) Into the West - Berly Markham. A companion to Out of Africa only in the sense that both were written by women in Africa at the same time, seemingly in love with the same man, and knew each other. A absolutely stunning book. Prose at its best.

8) Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes. This book opened my eyes to the wonder genre of travel writing. I read it a long time ago, way before the movie. I looked forward to watching to movie on DVD and when I finally got my hands on it I could not go beyond the first 20 minutes as it was such a detour from the book. Anyway, I loved the book and it set me off on an insatiable quest to read all nonfiction travelogue books about Italy. Thank you Frances.

9) The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron. 500 pages that I could not put down! A sheer delight of a story, plot, characters, and story telling. I did not want this book to end even though I rushed through the final chapters to the conclusion of one of the best stories I have ever read!

10) Travels with Fortune - Christina Dodwell - This book began my love affair with all books African thus kicking open the door about a zillion African books. This lady, (English)when she was a tender 20 something (late 60's early 70's), went to Africa and boated down the Congo with another English girl. When her traveling buddy decided to return home and get married..Christina forged ahead on a horse named Fortune! She was alone with a tent and a horse! Unbelievable and wonderful.

I could never have a top ten list and not include Gone with the Wind, which I did. I love that book too, but have included most books I have recently read or totally impacted my reading habits.

Any one else got a top ten best book list?

P.S. - Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand -


Micki said...

I appreciate you sharing your list Mary. The books that have influenced you most reveals a little about you.

meno said...

I don't know if i could do a top ten list. There are so many....

But it would include Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.

Blue said...

Hi there!

Sorry, Ihaven't commented for ages but have kept visiting...

Your book list got me. I too adore "To kill a Mocking Bird" & "Gone with the Wind"
Did my own top 10 ages ago, can't even find post link...
"The shadow of the wind" is a recent buy, due to recommendations, but yet to start on it - maybe this w/e, if weather stays fine & I can sit out in garden..


Chris said...

My list would be 90% non-fiction. Maybe not. Not in order here they go:

1) Six Pillars of Self Esteem (Branden ex lover of Rand)
2) Hitchhikers Guide 'trilogy' (Adams)
3) Crucial Confrontations (Patterson et al)
4) Crucial Conversations (Patterson et al)
5) Where the Red Fren Grows (Rawls)
6) Christine (King)
7) Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)
8) Speech Can Change Your Life (Sarnoff)
9) Confidence Course (Anderson)
10) Reading People (Dimitrius)