My book meme of last week has spurred some rather interesting thinking. B.E. Sanderson created her own list of books she felt every adult should read here - http://i-shrugged.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-list-of-must-reads.html. Jessica Raymond on her site was prompted to wonder what the top 100 romantic reads are...... you can vote here - http://jessicaraymond.blogspot.com/. Then I thanks to b.e.'s blog I was connected to Therese Fowler who has an interesting discussion going on regarding the list its self here - http://theresefowler.blogspot.com/. One of the comments on the blog suggested that certain books should be read at certain times in one's life. I think that is very true. The subject matter and the style certainly play into that concept. This fit in with my book club choice of books for this month - The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. At some point in my school career I read Ethan Frome and vaguely remember enjoying it. I am enjoying The Age of Innocence but I am finding it slow. My reading style has changed and so has my attention span. So I am afraid I will waltz into the book club on Friday not having completed the book!
This discussion made also think of how the lists were compiled. Being a yank sitting in the UK my reading history is different that of my husband or my friends here yet there are many overlaps. I also think where I have lived in the world has shaped what I have read and how I understand them. So combining age with the location issue I think the top books vary widely.
So it led me to think what are my top reads. What books have captured me and stayed with me over the years. In no particular order here they are:
Leo the African - Amin Maalouf
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The Regency Buck - Georgette Heyer
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Daughter of Lir - Diana Norman
Katherine - Anya Seton
Johnny Tremain - Ester Forbes
Any Human Heart - William Boyd
The Canterbury Tales - Chaucer
Trinity - Leon Uris
Frenchman's Creek - Daphne du Maurier
Make Way for the Ducklings - Robert McCloskey
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Not really a huge list but they are the books that come first to mind. Some I have read several times over and others just once but they have stayed with me a very long time. What are yours?