Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reading Recommendations--a meme

This post has been sitting in my drafts since March 2009. I'd forgotten all about it and just now discovered it unfinished and, obviously, unposted. I finished it this morning and am sharing it in the hopes that some of you will do your own version, sharing books you love and recommend. Thanks in advance for the new reading material!

Four Childhood Books I've read (and re-read):

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (plus all her other books)
My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, Green Grass of Wyoming by Mary O'Hara
3. All the
Anne books by L. M. Montgomery and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Winnie the Pooh and House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (plus When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six...the poetry books)

Four “So-Called Classic” books read and never forgotten:

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (and, a new favorite, Persuasion)
  2. A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (play about Thomas More)
  3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare (my favorite Shakespeare to teach)
  4. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (an achingly beautiful book, first read in college, another favorite to teach)

Four personal modern “Classic Novels” favorites:

  1. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  3. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  4. Anything by Elie Wiesel; ditto for James Alexander Thom
  5. (These are random picks as I have many favorites)

Four authors I've read again and again:

  1. Chaim Potok
  2. William Shakespeare
  3. Louisa May Alcott
  4. Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  5. Jane Austen
  6. Soooooooooo many more!!!

Four authors or books I'll never read again... ever:

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula
2. Charles Darwin's
Origin of the Species
3. Can't think of any others right now...
4. ???

Four books on my To-Be-Read list:

1. Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold (a novel about Charles Dicken's wife)
2. Symphony by Jude Morgan (a novel about the inspiration for Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique)

3. An Altar in the World--A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
4. Wormwood by Susan Wittig Albert (from the China Bayles series)

Four Non-Fiction Books I’d take to a desert island (instead of 2 fiction and 2 non-fiction):
  1. The Bible
  2. Gifts from the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh
  3. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
  4. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
Four Book recommendations I have followed (and loved):

1. Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mystery novels about a 19th century Egyptologist and her eccentric family (a librarian friend got me started reading this amazing series)
2. Stephen King's On Writing (a former student (turned English major) recommended this fantastic book about the craft of writing...I loved it and have used it for my honors composition classes. They, too, love it. And I've never read any of his other books!)
3. Louis L'Amour's westerns, another student recommendation (this time by a reluctant reader)
4. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (first in a lovely, lovely series!)

The last lines of one of my favorite books:

It is now some twenty minutes since the man left, but I have remained here on this bench to await the event that has just taken palce--namely, the switching on of the pier lights. As I say, the happiness with which the pleasure-seekers gathering on this pier greeted this small event would tend to vouch for the correctness of my companion's words; for a great many people, the evening is the most enjoyable part of the day. Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished? The hard reality is, surely, that for the likes of you and I, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our services. what i the point in worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one's life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution cout for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that is in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.
~ from The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (the third to the last paragraph)

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