Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top 10 Books to Read Before You Die

I saw this list on AOL and just had to share it with you. Seems they got their top 10 from an AOL poll. I didn't vote. Is your top book here?

10 - The Holy Bible (I'm so glad it made at least #10 since it is the world's all time bestseller - sigh)
9 - The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
8 - Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
7 - Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
6 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I love both the book and movie)
5 - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (bought the book but never read it)
4 - The Stand by Stephen King
3 - Harry Potter series (I did read the first 3 or 4)
2 - Lord of the Rings series (so far I've only done the movies)
1 - Gone with the Wind by Marget Mitchell (don't know why, but I've not read the book. Seen the movie numerous times, though. And - notice - this is the book with the most "romance" focus, no matter how twisted or bittersweet.)

Do you have a top 10 list of favorites or those you still want to read?

My list would likely include Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers near the top.


Christine Lynxwiler said...

My top would have to be The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. This series (esp the first two books) changed who I am and how I live. For me as a writer, a must read is Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Dean paints pictures with words in such a way that I can only dream of doing. Sometimes I get that book out and re-read sections where he describes the trees or shadows. Very unusual for me. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is a childhood favorite that I re-visit every few years. The Oath by Frank Peretti showed me the power of Christian fiction. I know there are so many more but I can't think of them right now. Great blog, Becky!

CHickey said...

Gone With the Wind, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, all favorites of mine. Glad to see they're on there. Now if we could get some Christian fiction on that list.

Kim S. said...

Numbers 2-10 aren't in order of preference, but rather in order of recall. :o)

THE BIBLE; TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (that is a life-changing book); THE CHOSEN by Chaim Potok (love this line: '"Reuven, as you grow older you will discover that the most important things that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them - 'ordinary things' is a better expression. That is the way the world is."' How true!); MAGDALENE by Angela Hunt; THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis; THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS by C.S. Lewis; CHRISTY by Catherine Marshall; THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas; THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV (I can't spell the author's name--I can barely spell the brothers' name!); THE SEARCH FOR DELICIOUS by Natalie Babbitt (There are delightful truths hidden in this book--the fabulous class discussions I had with my fifth graders after reading it aloud to them! Oh, how I miss those kids...)

There are several children's stories I would see as "must reads," but I tried to be at least a little sophisticated here. :o)

Myra Johnson said...

Interesting list. I see two of my favorites here (not counting the Bible, which goes without saying). To Kill a Mockingbird and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I've read LOTR all the way through (including The Hobbit) at least three times in my life, and of course saw the movies and bought the DVDs. I'm also a fan of C.S. Lewis and Madaleine L'Engle. My friend Julie Lessman finally convinced me to read Gone With the Wind a couple of years ago. Another classic!

Janet Spaeth said...

My favorite novel of all time is A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. I can wax rhapsodic (!!!) over it at any time. I had a student (English major) who'd heard me ramble on endlessly about it a few too many times, so he finally checked it out over Christmas break just to see what was so special about it, and came back saying, "Without a doubt, this is the best novel I've ever read."

There you have it! If you haven't read it, you should. For the characterization that digs deeeeeep down, for the setting that is completely alive, for the theme that resonates across the years, it's fantastic.

Oh. My. I think I am waxing rhapsodic.

Mary Connealy said...

I read part of A Catcher in the Rye once. Not gettin' that one.

I've read Gone with the Wind once. I liked it but no desire to re-read it.
The Da Vinci Code I read and liked okay, lots of skimming.
My daughter loves Atlas Shrugged. I've never read it but I trust her.
I've heard The Stand is Stephen Kings Opus. I've read three (well, honestly 2 1/3-I read the beginning and the end of Misery, skipped the middle 2/3 of torture) Stephen King books...that was plenty. I get it. Scary, torture, blood, favorite things. I read Firestarter and Carrie. The thing I do get about King is, he can make you care, even about monsters. This is no small talent. Carrie killed all those people, including people who loved and cared for her, and we still couldn't help rooting for her. That's talent.
I've read all the Harry Potter books. I really consider them a life's work that may always stand. They're so complex, all seven books carrying details and clues that are so fully realized. It's no wonder people read them over and over, so much depth. Even so, I've reread the first but no more.

Favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird.

2nd: A Lantern in her Hand

3rd: I loved Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion trilogy, especially the first two. That is to me, just a pure example of the power of words and how they can rise above simple meaning and change your life.

After that, I like romantic comedy and romantic suspense. I know--pulp fiction, sorry.
Read: Son of the Morning by Linda Howard sometime. Yikes, that's an amazing book. Not Christian but using Christian themes in an interesting way reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code (and of course occasionally twisting them in horrible ways, but still, fascinating--Knights Templar, relics from Christ, time travel and romance, what's not to love?)

Janet Spaeth said...

Mary mentioned A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich--which I also love, being Nebraska-born myself, but if we can extend this to books of short stories, Bess Streeter Aldrich's Journey Into Christmas is right up there on my list of faves. Man, that woman could write a short story that would crawl right into your soul!

One time I read her description of a woman from one of these stories to my class of college students, and they begged for me to read the whole story to them. They had to know what happened to her, why she was in the story--just on the basis of one paragraph.

What a writer!

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

By far, Redeeming Love is a must-read. Obviously, the Bible. Couldn't live without it.

But I must admit it saddens me to see both of Dan Brown's books in the top 10 with his misguided views and skewed facts. I know it's fiction, but he says his research is based on facts. (sigh)

For adventure wrapped around history, I much preferred National Treasure. :)

Back to books, though.

To Kill a Mockingbird-definitely!

LOTR trilogy-without a doubt!

Don't care for Harry Potter at all for the underlying premise.

A Wrinkle in Time-a favorite.

Gone with the Wind-I haven't read from front to back, but have read a good portion. The sequel too, although the first was far better.

Outside of classics, though, I prefer romantic comedy and historical fiction. Some women's fiction, but I'm a sucker for a good romance. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Me too, Tiff. I'm just big time into HEA.
Happily Ever After.

I am seriously displeased with a book that doesn't give me that.

Mary Connealy said...

Janet, I don't think i've ever found anyone who's read A Lantern In Her Hand before.

that is seriously the most powerful emotional experience I've ever had reading a book.

I actually don't read it anymore because I just hate crying that hard.

So beautifully done.

Mary Connealy said...

I want to add that, probably because Janet and I are both Nebraskans is why we've read it, but although the book is set in historical Nebraska, Nebraska has nothing to do with why it's so good.

It's a book about a woman's heart, her love for her husband and children, self-sacrifice and the wisdom of knowing what really matters and defining success not by how much money you have or how famous you are but by how well you've loved the people that have been put in your life.
It's a really beautiful and wise book.

Ausjenny said...

besides the bible i haven't read any of those books.
not sure what i would put in my top 10 but seven little australians would be there.
I have no desire to read Gone with the Wind or most of the others.
I enjoyed the lOTR movies. Oh and loved the Narnia series which i read many times.

Susan Page Davis said...

Well, I have read A Lantern in Her Hand, and I'm not from Nebraska. But one of my all-time favorites is Mrs. Mike, a true story about a young woman who marries a Canadian Mountie (by Nancy and Benedict Freedman). I buy copies at yard sales and give them away. And I do love to Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, too. Anybody for The Testimony of Two Men by Taylor Caldwell?