Obviously I couldn’t pick just ten books and even some of what I included are more representative of collections or genres! In general, I gravitate toward fiction – these days it is anything Neil Gaiman (listening to him read his audio books is amazing – he’s English) and I especially enjoyed reading The Graveyard, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and his “Make Good Art” speech. Other great fiction titles that I love include Jane Eyre (I’ve read at least five times); Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and Enchanted by Orson Scott Card (I love fairy tale based plots, oh, and original fairy tales themselves for that matter); Most anything J.R.R. Tolkien and much of C.S. Lewis’ work; The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro; Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn; and I am sure I could go on but I better stop here.
You will also catch me with a good mystery – David Baldacci is a recent favorite, Steve Hamilton is a good favorite, Sue Henry, Dan Brown, and I am sure I could think of others.
Okay, you could also catch me with my Harry Potter audio books, and I’ll admit that I have listened to them a zillion times. They are read by Jim Dale, who is an award-winning vocal artist who also reads the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is definitely one of my very favorites! Its so creative, unique and entertaining! Something I would highly recommend to anyone!
And I can’t forget graphic novels, which are of particular interest to me. The first graphic novel I was introduced to was during a multicultural literature college class – we read Art Speigleman’s Maus collection (two volumes). I hadn’t had much personal interest in nonfiction but this is an amazing memoir of the Holocaust, brutal and personal. Other graphic novels include Bone by Jeff Smith, and let me just say that the whole collection is ten years of a man’s life and a great documentary to watch is called “The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics.” Ironically the Bone series was written for adults but is still marketed to younger kids because of the style that Smith portrays his characters, “marshmallow-like”. There are many more graphic novels I could mention but I will just put in this last one, Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge, because I highly recommend it for any young girl – its clean, creative and encouraging!
I also love poetry. Emily Dickenson is of course probably why I love poetry (sharing our first name) but also William Blake, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William H. Auden, many others as well as great classic epics such as Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, Dante’s Inferno-Purgatory-Paradise, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales! (Can you tell I had college studies in classic literature?)
Children’s books – Absolutely Love children’s books! Special childhood favorites include Go Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman, The Pokey Little Puppy by Little Golden Books, the Bernstein Bears by Stan & Jan Bernstein. I have so many more favorites now but it would take way too much space to list half of them. But I simply cannot deny that the illustrations still draw me to children’s books!
I know I haven’t yet mentioned travel books, book-art type collections, and DIY project books, and small space décor books – but these are favorite books too!
And why do I love all these? In short, because in each book lies a world of experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have. It is wonderful to see so much during one life, you live a million lives when you read. And we are wiser and more connected because of it!