Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Best Books, Five Through Ten

I had a much harder time choosing the remaining five books for my top ten. But here we go:

6. Hugo, Victor. Les Miserables. I remember exactly why I first read this book years ago. My mom gushed and raved (and she isn't a gusher), and then promptly told me that she didn't think I could get through it. I attacked it with gusto. Isn't she a smart mom? I want my boys to read this book so that they can see one more shining example of a real man's actions. Heroic. Steadfast. Honest. Jean Valjean is *the man* (in the literary world) in my humble opinion. Don't miss the Broadway musical. Absolutely stellar. Just the other day I slipped in the CD soundtrack, and it still brings an amazing array of emotions to the surface. My boys thought I had gone off the deep end as I sang at the top of my lungs. 24601.

7. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't know what to say about this book that hasn't been said already. The movie is excellent but no substitute for the original.

8. Lowry, Lois. The Giver. I love the way this book made me think. It surprised me, shook me up a little, and left room for hope. (Unlike 1984 by Orwell.)

9. Otis Skinner, Cornelia and Kimbrough, Emily. Our Hearts Were Young And Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s. I decided to provide a little variety in my top ten, and this book represents humor in its best form. It probably doesn't even qualify as fiction (it chronicles the 'real' adventures of two young ladies traveling abroad), but I'm claiming amnesia, or naivety, or ignorance, or.... something. Read this book if you want to shake with laughter. Then go read Down the Garden Path by Beverly Nichols and A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.

10. Milne, A. A. Winnie-the-Pooh. The mark of a brilliant 'children's' author is the ability to appeal to children and adults alike. Winnie-the-Pooh is one of Levi's favorite books. Oh, but the humor, the subtlety, the timelessness.... So much is lost on the young ones! Go back and read it, or read it for the first time. Don't overlook this one because you think it is childish, or because you've heard the 'Disneyfied' version. The audio version, read by Peter Dennis, is excellent. When you're done with Winnie-the-Pooh, be sure to move on to The House at Pooh Corner!

Here is a link to my first five.

I'm still waiting for you to list one or more books in your top ten.... take this opportunity to de-lurk and chime in!


Unknown said...

Okay, now this sounds more my style. Did you tackle the unabridged Les Mis? I've heard that it's just more war etc. I read the abridged (but still very long) version over 10 years ago. I have the unabridged version, but haven't tackled it yet.

That would be on my list. Gone with the Wind might too. I remember reading it on a long car trip and it really stuck with me (and I've never even really seen the movie).

Donna Boucher said...

One of the books in my top ten is The Princess Bride.

It is funny :o)

I think William Goldman is quite the writer.

Oh yeah, I liked,

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

There were parts of this book that made me burst out crying.

heather said...

i am going to read all of these. I recommend "The Scarlet Pimpernell"