March 16, 2007

Kailana's Top Ten Book Request

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Kailana is compiling a list of people's top ten books they can't live without.

In making mine, I thought about what criteria this kind of list should have. I came up with my own, it works for me. Yours might be different.


  • I had to have read it. So, the Bible isn't on my list, since I didn't read the whole thing. If it's on yours, terrific.

  • It had to have a profound effect on me (or at least makes it onto my 'desert island' list), OR has influenced the world in some way. I might not hug the book to myself at night but I can't imagine the world without the book in it.

With that in mind, here's my list:


  1. Little Women(Louisa May Alcott): This was the first 'real' book I ever got for Christmas. I think it sparked my interest in reading. It was only Part 1, the book ending when Dr March comes home at Christmas from the war. All is right with the world. It wasn't until years later that I read Part 2. Poor Beth. Since that time, I wanted to be Jo and have 4 sisters.

  2. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte): My favorite book. Jane is a heroine from the beginning. She stands up to her evil aunt, even though she is poor and plain. She grows into an intelligent woman who goes out into the world looking for her own happiness. When she thinks she has it, she has to decide if she'll compromise her morals and self-respect for it. She says no but ends up with her happy ending anyway.

  3. Silas Marner (George Eliot): If I need to read about goodness in a cruel world, I read this book. It makes me feel warm inside when I read it. It's about what really matters: love. Not romantic love either. If you're a parent, this is a book to read.

  4. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon): For pure escapism this is the book for you. It's an intelligent romantic tale with a realistic historical feel. I can never forget Claire and Jamie. A perfect desert island book.

  5. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens): Can you imagine Christmas without Scrooge? What would the sitcom writers rip-off for their Christmas episodes? I can't go a year without watching the grainy black & white version on tv. We wouldn't be able to call someone a Scrooge or grumble 'humbug'. And poor Tiny Tim would never had proclaimed, "God bless us, everyone!"

  6. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood): A new addition to my list. This is a book that scared the you-know-what out of me. As a woman, I think it's an important reminder of what we can lose if we don't pay attention.

  7. Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen): I had Romeo & Juliet but changed my mind. I like Austen soooo much better. Plus, I like a happy ending. Elizabeth sticks to her guns and waits to marry a man who is her equal in intelligence (not to mention hot) This is quite a feat during a time when a woman married the first guy to come along.

  8. Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maude Montgomery): Anne is a spunky red-headed heroine. She is the emblem for an entire island and figure head for a tourism industry. But I like Anne anyway. She can't be tainted by corporations. She is a poor orphaned kid who despite a rocky start makes everyone love her. Montgomery writes so lovingly about her island that of course you want to go there. (It really is beautiful).

  9. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas): More escapism. Once you start reading, you're hooked. You have to read about Edmund Dantes elaborate plan to avenge himself. The villains are villainous and the heroes, heroic. Sub-plots and plot twists are rampant in Dumas's gigantic tale.

  10. Dracula (Bram Stoker): I mentioned Christmas so I end my list with my second favorite holiday: Halloween. Think Halloween and Dracula is sure to pop into your head. Kids in black capes and fangs knock on every door. A tale based very loosely on historical fact and folklore is still with us more than 100 years later. And it keeps on producing new books: The Historian!

So, there you have it. This is my list of 10 books that have shaped my world and I can't imagine them not being in it.

6 comments :

  1. Yay! My first participant! Hope more people join in. :) A great list!

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  2. It looks like we have some books in common. I LOVED Count of Monte Cristo. If it could have been a top twelve or top twenty list it would have easily made mine. And I couldn't live without Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice :)

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  3. I'm completely with you on LITTLE WOMEN, JANE EYRE, OUTLANDER, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and DRACULA.

    It surprised me how little time it took me to come up with my own list of ten:

    1 - THE HORSE AND HIS BOY from THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series by C.S.Lewis. It's hard to pick any out from the series as a whole, but this one is really special to me. It includes a spoiled royal daughter who learns what life is like on the other side of the palace. My absolute favorite thing. This series was #33 on the UK Guardian list.
    2 - THE SILVER CHAIR from the Narnia series. This one had issues of madness and was quite gothic.
    3 - FARMER BOY by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For some reason I always went for the boy character POVs! He loved his family's horses and I shared his love.
    4 - THE CRYSTAL CAVE by Mary Stewart. Her ultra-realistic Merlin character really did it for me. I found this book at a Christmas tea-and-sale when I was about 12, and images from this book have stayed with me for thirty years.
    5 - DUNE by Frank Herbert. This one made me rethink my concept of organized religion, no less. And his image of a person's life-path/fate starting off as a giant round mosaic that narrows into a line as one moves forward and makes choices I've always kept in my mind. This was UK Guardian's #52 book.
    6 - NINE PRINCES IN AMBER by Roger Zelazny. Really loved the concept of the True Amber, of which Earth is merely a shadow realm. And the morphing route back through all the shadows in order to return, plus the use of cards to shortcut through time and space. Plus walking the Pattern. Wow - makes me want to read it right now!
    7 - TEMPTING FATE by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. This was the first of her series that I read featuring the Count Saint-Germaine, a vampire who has to deal with the practical problems of eternal life. He's such a great character. Uber coolness but with a compassionate heart.
    8 - DRACULA by Bram Stoker. When I read it I was already a vampire fan. I was constantly amazed at the compelling and riveting imagery, then reminded myself 'No wonder it's such a classic.' #72 on UK Guardian's list.
    9 - THE WITCHING HOUR by Anne Rice. Loved the secret society that kept tabs on the activities of the supernatural.
    10 - DEVILISH by Jo Beverley. This is part of a historical romance series by one of my favorite authors. The series follows the Malloren family, and the head of the family, Rothgar was in several books before he got his own story. He's such a dark, brooding character, taking coolness beyond James Bond territory, but in an 18th century kind of way.

    I enjoyed making up my list and hope others chime in, too!

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  4. Great List Chris!! Silas Marnier was one I almost put on my list too. I loved that book!

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  5. I absolutely LOVE Jane Eyre too! She's a brilliant character, so strong-willed and determined.

    Plus, she made Mr. Rochester fall in love with her although she's plain while his other lady friends are much more imposing.

    She's just a wonderful character. I enjoyed the book till the last page.

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  6. Jane Eyre is also my favourite book of all time. I first read it at 17, at a time of fairly strong turmoil of both the heart and the head, and the book reached out to both.

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