Friday, March 16, 2007
Ten Books I Could Not Live Without
I should probably participate in my own thing, should I not? This is going to be hard. I had a few down years, but I normally read a lot of books in a year, so let's see what happens.
1. The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery: These books have been with me since I was really little. I remember one summer, and I was relatively young, I took all eight books and read them one right after the other. I have read book one several times on its own, both when I was younger and when I was older. I also grew up on the movie.
2. The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle: I credit this series with my move to fantasy and science fiction, but I think I had already been reading some sci-fi before reading these books. So, it was probably the precursor to reading a large amount of fantasy. Since reading the quartet, I have read many of her other books. I also reread this series, which is actually pretty impressive for me because while I would like to reread, I rarely do.
3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: I really cannot see the world without this book. Where would we be without Tiny Tim and Scrooge? This book has really influenced Christmas, look at all the movies that have been made from it. I just cannot imagine the world without this book.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: I love this series. I mentioned in the post about the original list that I thought it was both good and bad that a movie has reinterested the world in these books, but let me tell, I have been a Lewis fangirl for years! I owned the complete set way before it was cool to own the complete set.
5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (including The Hobbit): As a fantasy reader, my list would not be complete without these four books. I also discovered this set before the movies, and to me, they are what made fantasy what it is today. I could not image the world without these books in it. I think I am due for a reread. I also have always meant to read more Tolkien... someday!
6. The Beatrix Potter Collection by Beatrix Potter: I was really surprised that these books were not on the UK list considering that Potter is a UK author! These books were my favourite books when I was really little, and they are the books that I always want to buy for the people in my life that decide to have babies. I actually just received a biography of Potter in the mail today, a gift from Tom. I was so happy because as much as I love Potter, it was not even very discounted on Amazon, so I would have waited for it in paperback. He really came through!
7. The Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley: I am noticing a trend with the books that I am listing, they are all mostly series! But, I love these books. I love Arthurian-type books, which is why I first read Mists of Avalon, and I loved everything that came afterwards. I could not imagine a world without Bradley in it, she is totally my favourite fantasy author.
8. Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Grimm's Brothers: I could not imagine the world without these fairy tales because they offered the chance to dream. They were the precursors to many of the storylines that are available today. They do not look on women very flatteringly, but they started a trend where authors attempted to change how fairy tales look at women. Even still, the Grimm's can happily be credited for taking previously unpublished stories and offering children a chance to dream.
9. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: This book is on here purely because it is both a scary and touching look at genetic manipulation of humans. It is one of the first books that ever made me cry, and I love it. This book even when I have not reread it recently will stick with me always.
10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne: I had a hard time deciding on my last book, but this book has always stayed with me because it shows us where we have come as human beings. Life may not be perfect for women in modern society, but it has come a long way from where it was. This book sticks with me always.
11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Okay, I cheated. I really thought I liked my ten books but then I scrolled up and discovered that I had missed this one. This book was my first big read, as I actually own the whole novel (and hope to reread it this year). I love this book, and I would hate to see the world without it.
So, who else is going to join in? I got my first submission from Chris from book-a-rama today. If people follow my lovely example and cheat... do not cheat TOO much. I just cannot follow my own rules.
Going back to Chris's post, she raised what I essentially hope to do with this list. It does not have to be the best book you have read in any given year, what it should be is more a list of books that you cannot imagine the world without, whether because you could not imagine not having them to read, or because you could not imagine them having their effects on society like they do. Also, I think the list only is really compelling if you have actually read the book. Chris mentioned "The Bible". While I doubt a lot of people can imagine the world without it, it cannot have touched you as a person if you have not actually read it. Keep these things in mind!
I also promise to not say anything if you include some of the books that I was rather... critical about on my post about the UK winners. But, seriously, the world can honestly get along fine without Bridget Jones. I'm sorry if people think otherwise, but it really can!