Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The World is Too Large

I just finished reading "My Name is Asher Lev". It has taken me a long time to read this book. I've gotten distracted with other books, with other occupations, with people, with things...but this book has won out and now that I'm finished it, I can see why it is a must-read on so many people's lists.

If you haven't read it, please do.

The artist's struggle - the internal debate between honesty and safety - just read the book.

Out of curiosity, what books are on people's must-read lists? My list is so long...it really depends on who asks me. I have a list of children's books, a list of fantastic fiction, a list of books that really impacted my beliefs, a list of not fiction...lists of specific authors...it is very difficult to narrow it down to 10 books, but in a fit of spontaneity I'm going to try right now.

These are in no particular order because that would just be too much hair-pulling strain.

1. The Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
2. The Narnia Chronicles by C. S. Lewis (please don't make me narrow it down to one)
3. Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle (while you're at it, read all of her other books too)
4. Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card (but you have to start at the beginning of the series to understand this one)
5. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (and then you can read the sequel!)
6. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
7. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien (if I can only have one, then The Return of the King - but ha! You have to read the others for this one to make any sense!)
8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
9. The BFG by Roald Dahl
10. Oh, I can't decide! [insert wail of despair.] I ended up remembering so many wonderful books from my childhood (like "The Cricket in Times Square" by George Selden) that books that I am reading now and quite enjoying (like Chaim Potok's "My Name is Asher Lev", or "Thief of Time" by Terry Pratchett, or "The Hitchhiker's Guide..." by Douglas Adams) got quite swept away in the flood. A top 10 list of books is actually a ridiculous idea. There are far too many good books out there. Far too many! Even a top 10 list of authors would fill me with regrets for the ones I had to leave out.

However, this list will do for now. I realize I've cheated by really listing more than 10 books, but any effort to change that will result in me throwing a mighty tantrum. Trust me, you do not want me to throw a mighty tantrum, so just leave my list alone.

Unless you want to add to it by telling me your favorite books...because however huge the world of books may be, I really don't think it can ever really be too large.


Andrew Simone said...

1. Portriat of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
2. This Side of Paradise by Fitzgerald
3. A Moveable Feast by Hemingway
4. Franny and Zooey by Salinger

That will do for now.

Duckie said...

I will always be amazed at how many books you guys read when you were little! I read Asher Lev in high school, and I think I'm the only one who liked it, everone one else hated it because they were forced to read it. :p