|It may surprise Prairie Readers, but there aren't any Jane Austen books on my Top Ten list. I wish there were because it would make me appear smart and refined.|
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen
Father Time is marching towards New Year's Eve. This always puts me in the mood to write "Best of . . . " lists. Sadly I can't write a list of 2013's best movies because I only saw two movies this year (up from NO movies in 2012) - The Book Thief and Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I went to those movies because I loved the originating books.
A list I am extremely qualified to write is "Top Books That Touched My Life At Some Point in Time."
1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
I am still upset that Laurie married Amy instead of Jo. And why Jo had to marry that kindly Mr. Bhaer is beyond me. It is like she was sentenced to marrying a subdued Santa Claus.
2. Breakfast at Tiffanys, by Truman Capote
I reread this book at least once a year. Where else can you find out what the mean reds are?
Holly Golightly: “You know the days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
3. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
This book stays with me. I will open it to random pages to revisit the words. Some people can't move beyond the book being narrated by Death. I was immediately hooked.
Markus Zusak says it best: “Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it.” I want to be near The Book Thief.
4. A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park
Every year I read this book to my students. Every year I am amazed by the strength and heart of Salva Dut (one of the Lost Boys of Sudan). I never take a glass of water for granted.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
This is probably on everyone's list. How could it not be? I gave this book to Prairie Pa a couple years ago because he claims not to enjoy reading fiction. I think this book changed his mind. Atticus Finch had it going on:
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."
To be continued . . .