Name 10 books that have stuck with you over the years. It doesn’t matter what kind they are, or why you like them. They can be books you hate or books you love. These are mine. I chose books that I enjoyed and that have made an impression on my life.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. My favorite book of all time. I love Bradbury’s passion, and yet as manic as his writing style can be, the book has a compassionate heart.
Henry Reed’s Journey by Keith Robertson. The first novel that I ever read, in the fourth grade. To this day, I don’t know whether I adopted Henry’s slightly skewed sense of humor, or whether it was already there and this book just brought it out.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Other than Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the witches and the darkness in the story. My reading of it is that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth do horrible things, for different reasons, but Macbeth can’t escape his warrior honor, and Lady Macbeth can’t escape her guilt, which I read as a subtle sense of decency underneath. It gives them both layers that I like to think about. When do good people do bad things? Can they be redeemed? How far do consequences reach?
The King’s Buccaneer by Raymond E. Feist. This is my favorite book out of the Riftwar and Serpentwar series. It’s gritty, fun, coming of age fantasy story with a pirate flair. What’s there not to love?
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I loved dinosaurs growing up, and it’s such a simple concept: a dinosaur theme park. The book is filled with wonder, menace, and rollicking action. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll like this book.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I read this in a weekend. It made me feel like a kid again! You know the story already, but I’ll summarize how it felt to me. Harry begins the story as an outsider. He travels to a magic castle where he finds a place to belong. A father figure. Friends. Wonders to dream about. Challenges to help him grow. And nightmares that kept him awake for six more years.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. To me this book is a prose poem, not a novel. It’s a meditation on old age, the sea, courage, compassion, love, youth, dignity, selflessness, endurance, and on, and on.
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. On my bucket list, I have the goal of reading all the Ian Fleming James Bond novels. Until then, this book is my standard. It opens with a sense of mystery that moves into a sinking sense of danger. The story becomes a whirlwind of threats and plots that draws the reader in until you’re holding on for dear life, just like Bourne. I’ll never forget the scene where I realized that the book had me thinking like a spy.
The Black Company by Glen Cook. A fantasy novel about the bad guys. For someone who had only read stories with noble heroes and quests, this book broke all the rules for me. Nothing is clean. Even the good guys are bad. This book encouraged me to give the bad guys a fair shake and let nightmares into the story.