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Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday's List: My Top Five Books, Period

I could write lists and lists about all of my favorite books, broken down by genre, theme, audience, etc. But it's best to start at the beginning. My top five favorite books of all time. In no particular order, they are:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
And no, this is not a favorite just because Harper Lee was a Chi Omega (somewhere, one of my sorority sisters is laughing). There is something awe-inspiring about reading a book that resonates in different ways throughout your lifetime. I'm not sure when I read it first. Middle school or high school? But it always seems brand-new each time.

2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster
This is my favorite kid lit book, by far. It is just too perfect for words, and it's a great fit for the reader who loves wordplay in addition to a straightforward "journey" story. I consistently read this over and over again, and the combination of Norman Juster's story with Jules Feiffer's illustrations is story-telling gold.

3. A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin
This book appeals to my literary fiction heart. I have a soft spot for Mark Helprin, John Irving, John Update, T.C. Boyle, et. al., and this epic is by far my favorite. It DOES take commitment. The first 75 pages are dull as dirt but the payoff is totally worth it. Helprin's "Memoirs from Antproof Case" is also excellent.

4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
I recommend this book to every pregnant women as inspiration (and preparation) for what their body can do during labor. But it's more than just inspirational for the natural birthing set; it's a reminder of what it means to be a woman and how important it is to have a community of female friends throughout your lifetime.

5. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
I am not a huge Kingsolver fan; I think I am the only person who disliked "The Poisonwood Bible." But THIS book is different. It's magic. The story of intertwined characters rediscovering themselves is just beautifully told. It's also set in Appalachia, which speaks to my affection for where I grew up.

So, get reading folks! I have a lot of book recommendations from what I've read over the past five years or so, and I will post those as another list.

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