Books that move me

Sally - The countFrom the time I first learned to read, I have enjoyed reading more than any other hobby. After considering majors in Journalism, Criminal Justice, and Elementary Education, I finally decided that nothing would suit me as much as English Literature. Over the years I have read more books than I could ever count. Some I determined never to read again. Others I enjoyed the first time, but never felt compelled to read again. Some I have read over and over again. Included in this list are books that I’ve read and re-read — some dozens of times over the years. For some reason, in my vast library, these ‘call’ to me the most. I like them for different reasons — one was read to me as a child and represents something lovely. One was assigned reading in high school and challenged the way I thought about our modern world. One taught me lessons about myself — another taught me lessons about love — another taught me about friendship. They make me think. They challenge me. I cherish many of them. They are not all pleasure reading. They deal with difficult subject matter. Some require slight editing.

I was thinking of calling this “My Favorite Books” or “The Books That Have Influenced me the Most”…but I just can’t put numbers next to the books I love! To call some of them ‘favorites’ makes them sound like pleasure reading and at least one of them is not pleasureable to read at all. If I number them, I will be leaving out countless other books that I love. For instance, I’ve chosen two Austen books, but I really love all of Jane Austen’s books. The two included in my list make me think the most.

These books have one thing in common — the human experience. The characters are some that I think of by name. They are *real* to me. They have taught me lessons that have made me who I am today. The themes, some of which include Biblical allegories, are love, sacrifice, redemption, and hope. Some are misunderstood and maligned (i.e. if you think Wuthering Heights glorifies the dark, doomed relationship of Heathcliff and Cathy, you need to read it again and look for the *real* meaning. Heathcliff and Cathy are lost souls; they are not lovers to be emulated…). As for Rowling’s world, I do not have enough time or energy to try to explain the 1000 reasons why I believe Harry Potter is worthwhile literature.

When I think of my favorite books, I’m reminded of this quote, “So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?” (Kathleen Kelly in You Got Mail). I understand what she’s saying there… I think that some books just touch you in such a way that it makes them real! I’m okay that it’s not the other way around.

It should go without saying, that all books should be read unabridged. The literature lover and writer in me simply cannot abide abridged books. If this is offensive, blame it on my English background!

You will notice that the Bible is not on my list. The Bible is THE book that means the most to me. As it is the POWER of God, I just can’t put it on a list…relegate it to a ‘top ten’…it did not *just* teach me lessons, move me, inspire me, or make me love its world and its characters — it changed the course of my life completely. Besides, it isn’t a book really…it’s the WAY to eternity. The books on my list are fiction! The Bible is TRUTH!

These books are from various genres! A place on this list absolutely does not imply a recommendation for all ages…for all tastes…for all personalities!

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Harry Potter (series of 7 books) by J.K. Rowling
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Anne of Green Gables (series of 8 books) by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Category: Musings
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