This is actually a meme going around on FaceBook. One of my friends did this list and I found it fascinating, so I decided to do one of my own. Some of these titles are not seen as “classic” literature, but for whatever reason, these books are the ones that resonated with me the most. And not to brag, but I have read a lot of books. Here they are, in no particular order.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou This book opened up a world completely unfamiliar to me, but was so well-written that I identified immediately with Ms. Angelou. I admire her strength to this day.
The Brothers Karamazov- Fyodor Dostoevsky Now I may not have liked this book as much if I hadn’t had a professor to guide me through and help me make actual diagrams of the different families in this saga, but this is truly a fantastic book and worth the effort.
Henry IV and V- Shakespeare I think well-written footnotes are the key to enjoying Shakespeare to the fullest. Without a good explanation as to what the words mean, it often can be confusing. I’m no Shakespeare expert, but it is my humble belief that the characters in these two Henrys are the most fully developed in all of Shakespeare.
Nancy Drew Mysteries- Carolyn Keene I so very much wanted to be Nancy Drew! Her dad allowed her to pretty much do whatever she wanted, she was smart, and she had a steady boyfriend. And a convertible!
The Little Prince- Antoine de St. Exupery I still do the ugly cry every time I read this book, even though I know damn well how it is going to end.
The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame The adventures of Toad, Rat, Badger and Mole will always have a very firm place in my heart.
Ethan Frome- Edith Wharton Not exactly a book, but one of her short stories. But oh, what a short story it is! The impact of this story is huge, even though Wharton displays an enviable economy of words, which is what I love so much about it.
Like Water For Chocolate- Laura Esquivel I do loves me some magical realism, and this tale of love lost, ultimately briefly found, and lost again is one of my favorites.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis One of the first fantasy books I ever read, and in my mind, the best of the Narnia series. The only one that comes close is “The Horse and His Boy.”
Beloved- Toni Morrison This book hit me like a ton of bricks. I was mystified, astounded, and impressed. Not to mention jealous that I couldn’t write like that.
A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court- Mark Twain Twain is on my short list of people from history with whom I’d like to have lunch. Of course he is known best for some other stories about a couple of boys named Tom and Huck, but I actually like this little gem better.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales- Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm How grim they are indeed! Cinderella’s sisters cutting off their toes to fit into the glass slipper, evil witches with their heads getting cut off, and all sorts of violence were commonplace. I read these as a child, although perhaps I shouldn’t have!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams I’m letting my geek flag fly, and sci-fi/fantasy books have been among my favorites since I started lifting the books of my older sister (a D&D player!) when I was eleven or so. This is one of the best.
Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris I don’t think I have ever laughed as long or as hard as I did at one of the vignettes in this book. I was literally wiping tears away for minutes.
The Divine Comedy- Dante Alighieri Again, it took a professor and an entire year of study to truly appreciate this masterwork. I think I would have been too daunted to even begin reading this without the help.
I would love to hear some books that have “stuck” with you!