I am a bookworm and have been ever since I learned how to read. My all-time favorite activity is to sit on the beach and get lost in a good book.
I will always hold Harry Potter at # 1 (I’m still waiting for my letter via owl), and I love a good “beach read” (one I can rip through in about a day). However, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a book and knowing that it’s changed you.
I’ll admit, I’ve cried more than once at simply the satisfaction of a fabulous ending…one that leaves me wanting more, but one that makes me feel like I’ve learned something, that my soul has been fed, and that I have a more complete view of the world, of myself, and of the human experience.
I can’t imagine the number of books I’ve read over the years, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but here’s a rough top fifteen (that started as a top ten), in no particular order. I’ve included three descriptors or phrases for each one — there’s something on this list for everyone!
- Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
- complex, intelligent, modern
- Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
- storytelling, historic, self-discovery
- A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Melissa Bank
- coming of age, honest, heartfelt
- The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
- historic, healing, beautiful
- Beloved, Toni Morrison
- poetic, haunting, unforgettable
- The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
- grit, hardship, lovely
- Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, Chelsea Handler
- laugh out loud funny, brutally honest, silly
- The River Why, David James Duncan
- sustainability, revelation, romanticism
- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
- the only movie adaptation that soothes me to sleep, funny, inspiring
- Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
- epic, classic, romantic
- The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter
- post-modern fairytales, gripping, empowering
- One Day, David Nicholls
- funny, romantic, witty
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
- stark, poignant, stirring
- Magical Thinking, Augusten Burroughs
- sarcastic, empathetic, engaging
- Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
- bizarre, imaginative, inspiring
Don’t let the bore of assigned reading and work overload keep you from expanding your mind in a book! Then again, thank you to many of my English teachers who assigned some of my favorite books.
Taylor and I have found that a great way to make sure you’re always reading is to create a book group. It sounds silly, but it’s a great excuse to read something new and get together with friends for food and wine.