I was tagged by our cousin, Annette, to list the ten books that have had the greatest influence on me or have presented me with some sort of challenge. To use her words, these are the books I’d grab if the house set fire. It’s hard to list only ten, but here goes.
1. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (fiction) – Impeccable writing, inspiring story. I loved every word.
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (fiction) – I think I read this in two or three days. Many tears. Amazing storyteller. Unfortunately, I can’t find it on my shelf, so I must have lent it out. Thank goodness this book has made it into classrooms alongside the likes of Jane Eyre, King Lear, and Catcher in the Rye.
3. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (historical fiction) – This was the gateway book to reading all of Follett’s work. He is by far my favorite fiction writer. If only I could be half the storyteller he is…
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling (fantasy fiction) – Though I could easily say the entire Harry Potter series is a favorite, I thought it best to pick the one I love the most. The Half-Blood Prince taught me that things aren’t always what they seem.
5. One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (fiction) – Laugh-out-loud hilarious.
6. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (memoir) – When read in the proper time and context, this one is enlightening and reflective.
7. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (non-fiction/inspirational) – I’m still reading this one very slowly, but that’s only because every page is worth inhaling and digesting.
8. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (fiction) – Once I got use to his writing style, the story poured out like paint on a canvas. Simply beautiful.
9. Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans (non-fiction/memoir/spiritual) – I could’ve have written this book, though not in the same esteem. Rachel is definitely more qualified to tackle religion, but we share similar experiences.
10. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (non-fiction/memoir/instructional) – Essentially, this is my writing bible.