This is going around FaceBook and is actually interesting enough that I decided to cross-post to my blog. I was tagged by my friend, Lady Strange, who knows of my deep love for books. In fact, choosing only ten is the problem….
The meme as given to me by Lady Strange:
Ok. Here’s how it works – in your status, list ten books which have stayed with you. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that affected you in some way. Margaret Walters Bridges tagged me. Now guess what? Mickie Riley, Sid Taylor, Barbara Bishop and Melody LaGory,* “Tag! You’re It!”
Beyond the Pawpaw Trees (Palmer Brown) – my mother bought me this book when I was very little. I had strep, as usual, and was home, sick, and restless. I read this book until it literally (and I’m using the word correctly here) fell apart. I could never find another copy, until it was reprinted in 2012, unfortunately due to the death of the author. This is pure, magical whimsy, and I still love it to pieces.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) – deep love, often re-read, probably for the same reason as Beyond the Pawpaw Trees; the wonderful nonsense, though Alice has a darker tone than Anna Lavinia.
The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) – as with many others, my introduction to high fantasy. I loved this book first; I learned to love the Lord of the Rings trilogy much later.
The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas, père) – there is intrigue, beautiful ladies, hidden identities, an evil cardinal, swashing, buckling, swordfights! What’s not to love?
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L’Engle) – another book my mother got me when I was sick. Apparently, that’s what it took to keep me in bed. Witches, stars who are witches, space travel, lost families…love this book.
The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) – can I use the whole set or just The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? Regardless, I spent a good deal of my childhood tapping the back of closets hoping, hoping, hoping….
The Odyssey (Homer) – I read this during my Greek mythology phase and love it to this day.
The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) – Mowgli and Bagheera, the wolves, the apes, the snake… the lessons of the jungle. Along with this one, I also love Kipling’s Just So stories, myths about how things came to be, oh my best beloved, such as how the elephant got his trunk or the leopard his spots.
Fairy tales and mythologies – Grimm’s, Hans Christian Andersen, The Arabian Nights, Bullfinch’s – I love them all; magic and karma, good and evil, love and lust, it’s all there.
The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) – or however you wish to write it – all the Holmes stories. He’s an interesting hero, Holmes; brusque and impatient, an addict, depressive, sociopathic, and utterly compelling in his brilliance. Holmes taught me a love for detective fiction.
Honorable mentions, because I just love these books:
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman – hands down, one of the best vampire novels I’ve ever read. I’ve read two paperback copies to shreds. It continues Bram Stoker’s Dracula into Victorian London, only the Count is now Victoria’s consort. There are vampires in society and London is crumbling….
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – the other best vampire novel I’ve ever read. Creepy, insidious, horrifying. Pair it up with the short stories that inspired the novel and you’ll scream every time you hear a tap on window.
The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon – from vampires to werewolves; this one is an ex-pat Russian who is a naturalized English citizen and spy. Set during World War II, it’s bloody and terrifying.
All things Shakespeare, actually. The comedies, the tragedies, the poetry; though I do have an especial love for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.
The Chronicles of Prydain (Lloyd Alexander) – based on Welsh mythology, with an irascible old wizard, an evil Lord of the Dead, a Princess with red-gold hair, an oracular pig and her Assistant Pig-Keeper.
The Dark is Rising Sequence (Susan Cooper) – Arthurian mythology and a secret cabal as old as time. Oh, how I wished when I turned eleven!
P.S. I also really do love To Kill a Mockingbird, but that one made everyone’s list, so I considered it a given and decided to choose the next ten.
*Names redacted for privacy.