Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Beloved Books

I'm parting with some of my books. It was a tough decision, but rather than have every wall in our home covered floor to ceiling with book shelves, I've decided to take an inventory, and decide what I absolutely can't get ride of, and put the rest in a garage sale. It'll hurt, but others will enjoy my choices, I'm sure. Some are simply too good to just sell, and I'll bring a good selection to Mom for her friends at the Senior Center. Others will go to the local library.

Among my books are some that I reread every five years or so, and thus will be keeping on my shelves. I wanted to recommend them. Some are old. A couple are new, but I know they will fall into this category, and so I'll shelf them together. It's an eclectic mix, so everything might not be to everyone's taste, but if you just love really great writing, I'd say this is a great list to try if you're out of your own favorite author's titles.

In no particular order...

  • The Source by James Michener
  • Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
  • The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkein
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Shogun, Tai-Pan, and Noble House by James Clavell
  • Out of the Silent Planet Trilogy & The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  • Three Weeks With My Brother (& almost everything else) by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Dune Trilogy by Frank Herbert
  • The Chase by Clive Cussler
  • The Drake series & The Leopard series by Christine Feehan
  • Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold by Terry Brooks
  • The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Ender's Game (series) & The Seventh Son (series) by Orson Scott Card
  • The Dragonriders of Pern (series) by Anne McCaffrey
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  • The Christmas Box, Finding Noel, & The Christmas Gift by Richard Paul Evans
  • The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

I'll add to this a list of my favorite "women's fiction" authors. For many years I was too big a snob to ever read "that stuff." I can honestly say that once I started I went through many years where I read nothing else. I can also attest to the fact that I learned many very much needed lessons about relationships from reading these books. I very rarely read strictly romance anymore. Most of these authors' new books are fairly intense, and most could be categorized as romantic suspense. If you want the door to close during romantic moments, be prepared to skim or skip a few pages now and then. It won't make any difference to your reading enjoyment. I'll give just one or two examples by each author.

  • Barbara Delinsky (Family Tree)
  • Catherine Coulter (The Sherbrooke series)
  • Danielle Steele (Sisters)
  • Debbie Maconber (Mrs. Miracle)
  • Diana Palmer (Soldier of Fortune series)
  • Elizabeth Lowell (Only You; Only Mine; Only His; Only Love - it's a series)
  • Iris Johansen (The Wind Dancer; The Tiger Prince
  • Jayne Ann Krentz (Falling Awake; writing as Amanda Quick, Second Sight)
  • Jude Deveraux (The Velvet Series)
  • Judith McNaught (Every Breath You Take)
  • Linda Howard (MacKenzie Family Saga - five books)
  • Nora Roberts (The Irish Trilogy; The Garden Trilogy; and writing as J. D. Robb, Remember When)
  • Sandra Brown (anything, but to name one - Envy)
  • Tami Hoag (Kill the Messenger)

I'd appreciate it if you'd comment with a book or two that you can't forget, loan out and have to replace when it never comes back, or find yourself rereading once in awhile. By the way, my most often replaced book is Islandia. It's the only book Austin Tappan Wright ever wrote. I'd love to write a sequel. I've read the book about eight times in the last 40 years, and each time I read it, my sequel would be different. I guess I keep morphing. I now have two copies of Islandia - a paperback that I'm willing to loan out, and a hard cover that never leaves the house. Let me know what your library's treasures include, please. We'll just assume there might be scriptures there, so you won't need to list those.

I'll end with a quote attributed to Seneca. "If I have money, I buy books. If I have more money, I buy food."


sherrie said...

Thanks for the challenge! It's kind of funny that we can be such good friends with such different tastes in books, all though I know that we do have some crossover. My favorite's are historical novels, mostly British and American, but about half of my favorites come from children's lit. I am currently re-reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (I read an abridged version in jr. high, now working my way through the unabridged version -- great but, whew), and I think if I ever read Pride & Prejudice, it might belong on this list. Here is a very partial list of my "MUST KEEPS":

*The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
*The Kingdom and the Crown: Fishers of Men; Come Follow Me; & Behold the Man by Gerald Lund
*How to Grow More Vegetables...than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine (go figure -- I'm a nut ! ! !)
*Men to Match My Mountains by Irving Stone
*Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana
*Silas Marner by George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans)
*The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
*A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
*Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
*The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Goerge Speare
*My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
*Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt
*Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry
*The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
*The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
*The Empty Pot by Demi
*Anne of Green Gables (+ everything else) by L.M. Montgomery
*All Creatures Great and Small (series) by James Herriot
*A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall
*The Work and the Glory (series) by Gerald N. Lund
*Centennial by James Michener

There are a few more, but I'll have to think of them later.


Kathleen said...

Not so funny... I reread Les Miserable last year; loved it again. I reread A Tale of Two Cities Last Month, and started Silas Marner yet again last night right after posting my blog. I didn't even begin to add my children's lit to my list. Maybe that would have to be a separate blog? Thanks for the great list. There are books there I'd never heard of.

Tina said...

Well, unfortunately, I haven't taken enough time for myself to read as much as I would like. But, one series I have enjoyed (and have yet to completely finish) is Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series:

Body of Evidence
All That Remains
Cruel and Unusual
The Body Farm
From Potter's Field
Cause of Death
Unnatural Exposure
Point of Origin
Black Notice
The Last Precinct
Blow Fly
Book of the Dead