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My Best Reads List (ever)

June 9, 2014

Joy! It is summertime! FINALLY! Work is moving along at a nice steady pace and I have a slew of events and activities on deck for the summer…. including an upcoming staycation. It is coming up at the end of the month and I am preparing with what books are going to be on my reading list. Book number one… A Long Time Gone by Karen White. Anyway, as I was starting on my “to-read” list I started thinking about my fave books. Mainly because I really want to re–read the Harry Potter books on vacation, but can’t seem to find my copies. Buried in a box somewhere! This is my list:
1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
• Thank you to Teri Foltz, my AP English teacher for making us read this. Hands down this is my favorite book ever. Such a wonderful story about friendship, loyalty and growing up. I can’t tell you the number of different types of papers I have written on this book through high school to grad school… just a wealth of material in one good book. John Irving pretty much rocks!

2. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
• My Dad first bought me this book in 5th grade and tried to get me to read it. Winter 1993 at Tri-County Mall. I can still remember sitting in the food court and reading the first page and seeing the word “shit” in the dialogue and saying “no way.” As was often the case in my childhood… my Dad was right in trying to push me to try something new and move away from all the Baby-Sitters Club and Nancy Drew. So when I has to read it senior year of high school, it wasn’t a surprised that I was hooked. JD Salinger was such a great writer and I still have that same copy sitting in my room that my Dad bought me back in 1993.
3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
• Are there even enough words to describe how creative and fabulous this series is in the history of books? I need more Harry Potter books Ms. Rowling! More! Some more back stories or never before told side tales about the many, many characters in those books!
4. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• I started reading these as a child, and have probably re-read them every three to four years as an adult. Visiting DeSmet, South Dakota is totally on my (rather long) bucket list of places to visit.
5. The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
• Another series I fell in love with as a child and re-read every three to four years as an adult. I loved that they started making them into modern twenty-first century movies and I really wish they would do them all. Such wonderful and powerful stories!

6. What Now by Ann Patchett.
• I talked about this one HERE. It speaks volumes to me for such a little book.
7. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
• I randomly stumbled across the first book in this series when I was browsing at Barnes and Noble in 2011 and I was hooked. I read the whole thing in a day and a half! It is nearly 600 pages, so that is impressive! I then had to wait until 2012 for the next one to come out and finally the final book comes out next month! I can’t wait.

8. Burning the Map by Laura Caldwell
• This is a chick lit novel that I came across in grad school and just loved. A fun and breezy read about a woman in her twenties figuring out her life and exploring Europe. Totally hit me for where I was at the time and still today gives me some of my favorite book quotes!
9. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
• I boycotted reading this for the longest time. The Bestie and TT kept telling me to read it and I was just adamant that I would hate it. After a year and a half of harassment from them I finally caved and I LOVED IT. They still like to rub it in that they were right. This is a great memoir from the wittiest of writers. She is so sarcastic and real. If you want to laugh out loud and have tears running down your face… read this book!
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
• Duh, it is Dr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet… need I say more?
11. Best Friends by Martha Moody
• 14 years after I read this for the first time, I still love it. I pretty much cried like a baby this book was so real. A tale of two women who meet in college and tell the story of the up and down of their friendship and various relationships through the years after college and into middle age. This one is timeless to me.

12. Summer Sisters by Judy Bloom
I cried even more at this one because of the heartbreaking ending than I did during Best Friends. Such a powerful story and great characters.
13. The River of No Return by Cleveland Sellers
• I had a class with Dr. Sellers in college and pretty much consider him one of the most brilliant men I have ever met. The River of No Return is his memoir of his time in being an activist in the Civil Rights movement and SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) in the 1960s. A very powerful and first-hand account of a fascinating time in American history (in my opinion).
14. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
• A professor I was a TA for in grad school had me read this and I loved it. A short little story based on the real correspondence from Helene Hanff in NYC and a bookshop owner in England during the mid-twentieth century. Just a sweet gem of a read.

15. The Tradd Street Series by Karen White
• Give me a book by Karen White and I am a happy girl. Of all her works, my favorite is the Tradd Street series. Set in Charleston, SC  (we know I love the South) and diving readers into the world of the South told through Melanie, Jack and a full cast of characters… I love everything about these four books. I wish she would write more!




That is my list of faves! What are your favorite books?

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