On Her Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tip Tuesday – Best Book, Alive or Dead

This is one of those “think fast” Tip Tuesdays where I ask you a question and you just have to say the first thing that comes to your mind without agonizing over it. I’d like the format to resemble the conversations the old men have in “Return to Me” while playing poker.

"Best singer of all time, alive or dead?"

They all give answers and then fight about them with fake Irish old man accents. Well, the old man part isn’t fake but I’m pretty sure the Irish is fabricated.

I’d like today to be like that, without the fighting and without the accents. List your favorite book at the moment you read this post. This doesn’t mean it’s the best book ever written or even in the top one thousand, scientifically. Just type something that strikes you as great.

Rules:
-No books of scripture can be listed. I’m sure you’re all very spiritual and read all kinds of the Talmud but I don’t want all of the answers to be the same.
-No children’s books this week. We’ll do that next month or some time when I feel like it.
-You can only list ONE, not one per genre, not one for each hand, not one for every college degree you are currently pursuing, ONE - PERIOD.

I choose Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner for Non-Fiction, typically found in the Nature or Essay section of your friendly neighborhood bookstore.

Speaking of bookstores, am I the only person who gets this ache inside whenever they see prime retail space available for lease and wishes they could open a successful independent bookstore that wouldn’t be crushed immediately by the Evil Duo? Ahhhh, dreams.

I opened the book and found this random excerpt to share with you:

Catch it if you can. The present is an invisible electron; its lightning path traced faintly on a blackened screen is fleet, and fleeing, and gone.

That I ended this experience prematurely for myself – that I drew scales over my eyes between me and the mountain and gloved my hand between me and the puppy – is not the only point. After all, it would have ended anyway. I’ve never seen a sunset or felt a wind that didn’t. The levitating saints came down at last, and their two feet bore real weight. No, the point is that not only does time fly and do we die, but that in these reckless conditions we live at all, and are vouchsafed, for the duration of certain inexplicable moments, to know it.

You can open to any page and find that she weaves her descriptions of the world around her with profound insight. Ah, to write with the power of Annie Dillard, to live for one day having a mind so alive and vivid. Sometimes I feel that she sees more in one sunset than I could see in a thousand hours of plodding along through my daily grind.

Now, let the games begin. Favorite book at this moment, alive or dead?

113 Comments:

Blogger Kim C. said...

I'm first? Really?
I actually have an answer this week: The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Not that I've read his complete works completely, but every time I pick up the book, I realize why he's still famouse after 500 years. That guy was good.

3/21/2006 4:10 AM

 
Blogger Grammy said...

I'm so confused. Now I feel like I have to go read over all of my favorites to see which one is really the best. Choose just one? It can't be done!

3/21/2006 4:59 AM

 
Blogger Papa said...

Battle Cry - Leon Uris

3/21/2006 5:11 AM

 
Blogger Marsha said...

Room with a View (E.M. Forster)

I swear, I read it every year (sometimes twice) and it never gets old. I even like the film adaptation and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

3/21/2006 5:17 AM

 
Anonymous kmr said...

My favourite book of all time would have to be "The Stone Angel" by that great Canadian author Margaret Laurence.

3/21/2006 5:39 AM

 
Blogger a suburban housewife said...

Everything That Rises Must Converge, by Flannery O'Connor.

3/21/2006 6:07 AM

 
Blogger Chris said...

I'm with grammy... I can't chose just one.

3/21/2006 6:14 AM

 
Blogger Sheri said...

Well since I am reading a lot of Christian Fiction right now I'd have to say "Yada Yada Prayer Group".

Truly, I don't think they are the best books ever, but I love 'em and they help me relax at night, and with four children that's a real necessity.

3/21/2006 6:20 AM

 
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

My all-time favorite: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. Loved it as a junior-high student, and love it now. I wore out at least 2 copies of it.

3/21/2006 6:31 AM

 
Blogger Edge said...

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card--changed forever the way I look at children (and although children can read it) I don't consider it a kids book.

3/21/2006 6:46 AM

 
Blogger owlhaven said...

You've had such good questions lately! Short answer: "Hold On To Your Kids". AWESOME BOOK! For WHY it's so awesome go visit me over at my Ethiopia blog because I feel the need to go on and on and give links and everything....
Mary, mom to many

3/21/2006 6:53 AM

 
Blogger martine said...

"Charms for the Easy Life" by Kaye Gibbons. After I finished reading it the first time, I realized the best thing I could do at that moment was to read it again. And I did.

3/21/2006 7:01 AM

 
Blogger TftCarrie said...

LIke Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.

I love the Latin flair for food and passion.

3/21/2006 7:03 AM

 
Blogger Rachelle said...

Little Women. I love Jo. I love watching her grow and change. This one is such a classic. I could read it over and over.

I posted about my love of books just yesterday. And I want you to know how hard it is to choose just one book. That's almost torture! You're mean I tell you, mean! I will be watching the comments here today to add to my growing book list.

3/21/2006 7:06 AM

 
Blogger jessica said...

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Made me want to write the great American novel and become an ethical, injustice-fighting lawyer all at the same time. Now that's great literature!

3/21/2006 7:13 AM

 
Blogger Hotwire said...

alive, dead, or otherwise, "a prayer for owne meany" by john irving is my all time favorite

3/21/2006 7:21 AM

 
Blogger Liz said...

Oh Money! Money! by Eleanor H Porter

3/21/2006 7:27 AM

 
Blogger Goslyn said...

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. What a read.

3/21/2006 7:28 AM

 
Blogger Lessa said...

To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert Heinlein.

My copy that was given to me and started me on my journey with the Sci-Fi master is tattered and worn and well read and falling apart. I love it muchly. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love is a very close second. Whoops - that's cheating, isn't it? *slinks away, whistling innocently*

3/21/2006 7:30 AM

 
Blogger HLH said...

Okay, I cannot pick just one favorite book, so can I tell you my favorite author and favorite book by her?

Isabel Allende: Of Love and Shadows

I LOVE magical realism and surrealism in spanish litreature. I have read a great many books in my day, but I always go back to the spanish literature- it seems so steeped in tradition that the stories have so many layers of meaning.

3/21/2006 7:36 AM

 
Anonymous krista said...

margaret atwood- edible woman.

classic.

3/21/2006 7:47 AM

 
Anonymous Adam said...

Harry Potter 7
As if by saying that I could help it be released...EVER!

Adam

3/21/2006 8:11 AM

 
Blogger No Cool Story said...

Freak The Mighty -Rodman Philbrick . It has everything, love, friendship, humor, adventure, tears. It’s not my #1 of all times, but it’s the first one that came to mind, as a book I loved.
Btw, I've now added 11 titles to by book queue, thanks for all the good recommendations!

3/21/2006 8:16 AM

 
Blogger Stephanie said...

I still love 'The Last Unicorn' by Peter S. Beagle.

So good.

(Does this make me a PZ4 or whatever you an Heather call the sci-fi fantasy nerds?)

3/21/2006 8:17 AM

 
Anonymous Heidi said...

"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. (Yes, all those movie versions came from a actual book!) Oh My. It's been years since I read it, but it had such an impact on me when I read it at thirteen.

I have to give props to Barb, though, because at around the same age I read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Another Oh My.

3/21/2006 8:40 AM

 
Blogger emlouisa said...

I have to choose ONE?

Okay. The same one you have for your book group this month. The Kite Runner. I actually woke up in the middle of the night and had to go continue reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen. GREAT book.

3/21/2006 8:43 AM

 
Blogger brooke said...

'Lonesome Dove' by Larry McMurtry

3/21/2006 8:43 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Hmmm, best book ever...

Definitely something by Orson Scott Card for me.

Ender's Game

or

Ender's Shadow

How do I decide?!?

Okay, I won't. I say:

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Loved that book.

3/21/2006 8:45 AM

 
Blogger Emily said...

'a farewell to arms' by hemingway.

3/21/2006 8:47 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Was that cheating? Didn't mean for it to be. Just thinking out loud, not really meaning to CHEAT and list THREE books.

BIG GRIN.

Love you blog, BTW.

3/21/2006 8:48 AM

 
Blogger Bright One said...

Technically a "children's book", I guess, since they now read it in grade school but I LOVE "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. One of my favorite lines from the book .... after being "inspired" yet again to choose someone she could trust....."How long I wondered, would we be led by this Gift of Knowledge"

3/21/2006 8:52 AM

 
Blogger melnel said...

Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle.

It's the final book of the series. I just finished reading it last night--couldn't put it down, and was surpised that it was over already when I got to the end.

Did you know it won the 1956 Carnegie Medal?

(It's not children's...it's fantasy.)

3/21/2006 9:03 AM

 
Blogger Em said...

Definitely not the greatest piece of literature ever, but the book I've most enjoyed reading in a while was Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (nothing like the movie... it's travel writing)

It made me more aware of sumptuous details in my life and helped me slow down and be a bit more alive. It also activated my travel bug... too bad I'm so poor right now!

3/21/2006 9:10 AM

 
Anonymous Alissa said...

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah.

Makes me sob hysterically.

3/21/2006 9:13 AM

 
Blogger novaks8 said...

The Great Gatsby

I read it over 20 years ago for the first time and still think of it all the time.

(harry potter, Gone with the wind,)

3/21/2006 9:43 AM

 
Anonymous mimi said...

Isn't this akin to asking which child you love best? Oh well...

Beach Music by Pat Conroy.

(To all my other "book children": I'm sorry, she made me do it. I love you all the same.)

I've got an awsome top five if you should ever ask.

3/21/2006 10:17 AM

 
Anonymous Cynthia said...

"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I can't say enough good things about this book.

3/21/2006 10:20 AM

 
Anonymous The Last Word said...

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Written as a single volume, published as a single volume, trilogized by profiteering American publishers.

3/21/2006 10:22 AM

 
Blogger Karen said...

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

I never get tired of reading it.

3/21/2006 10:33 AM

 
Blogger Jeana said...

"Where the Heart Is" by Billie Letts
I love how real the characters are, and how by the end of the book I love them like real people.

3/21/2006 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Tigersue said...

I figure I had better answer this before I read other posts, not that I think my book will be there. Okay it is King Kelson's Bride, by Katherine Kurtz, no it is not the best book I have ever read, but I love the author, and this one, after all the trauma and sadness in her other books is a good read! It doesn't help that Kelson, finally gets a bride he can keep, and she is a wonderful bride at that.

3/21/2006 10:50 AM

 
Blogger Susie Q said...

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It's a great coming of age novel.

3/21/2006 10:56 AM

 
Anonymous Jenna said...

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott.
Amazing thoughts on being a Christian, an addict, a mom, a daughter, and a human. You'll laugh, you'll cry (but you won't hurl...any Wayne's World fans catch that one?)

3/21/2006 11:34 AM

 
Blogger Margaret said...

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I love it! One summer a few years ago I read it about twice every three weeks. It's about this girl who doesn't fit in where she is and then finds that there really is a magic world and she does fit in there, and furthermore...well, I wouldn't want to spoil the book :) Go read it! Who WOULDN'T want to find out that, no, really, you don't actually belong here, as you suspected all those years, but there really is a place where not only do you fit in, but they all love you and want you to be there and you can have a huge impact and be accepted as who and what you are.

Whew! I feel better now. :)

3/21/2006 11:45 AM

 
Blogger Carrie said...

As all have stated above, one is too hard but here goes . . .

The Good Earth - Pearl Buck

It has been ages since I read it, but I just loved it.

3/21/2006 12:19 PM

 
Blogger Renee said...

Thanks for asking this question! I've just written down several new "must-reads" on my list. Many of my favorites have been listed, but of the books I have read in the past several months, one that stood out is "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones.

3/21/2006 12:21 PM

 
Blogger elliespen said...

Good grief. Whenever I have intuitive answers ready you have to go and "disqualify" them because they're "children's books." Yeesh. :)

So, as revenge, the best book,

Dead: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

or

Alive: Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Lots of great answers so far. I have to put in a "Hear, hear!" for the To Kill a Mockingbird and Robin McKinley departments in particular.

3/21/2006 12:25 PM

 
Anonymous irene said...

Little Women by Lousia May Alcott. I just love it.

3/21/2006 12:27 PM

 
Anonymous irene said...

And of course I can't spell the author's name... *groan*

3/21/2006 12:31 PM

 
Blogger Chilihead2 said...

What a great topic! I've loved many of the books listed here. Right now, though, my very most favoritest book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I blogged several quotes from this book a few weeks ago. They are great discussion topics.

3/21/2006 12:33 PM

 
Blogger Mel said...

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle.

3/21/2006 12:51 PM

 
Blogger Tri Mama said...

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, here's one of my favorite quotes -
Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?". They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him.

3/21/2006 12:53 PM

 
Blogger ShelahBooksIt said...

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. I've read it with three book clubs now (at my choosing, we move a lot) and won many converts to it. If you have a friend or a mom who love but sometimes want to strangle this is a great read.

3/21/2006 1:09 PM

 
Blogger Life with Pzazz!!! said...

Man, I really need to start reading.....

3/21/2006 1:26 PM

 
Blogger Aunt Murry said...

"The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Every time I read it I learn something new about myself. If that is not what you meant then...

"Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum

3/21/2006 1:45 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. Hands down.

3/21/2006 1:46 PM

 
Blogger Bek said...

Rachels Holiday by Marian Keys....British Chic Lit--totally fluffy and easy read...about an addict and her view of her life before and after rehab. Very funny.

I just got A Known World...I can't wait to read it.

3/21/2006 1:59 PM

 
Blogger Dapoppins said...

off the top of my head? Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin...
(Emmersgingerbees put you on my pull down list so I thought I should come by and My you are famous!)

3/21/2006 2:28 PM

 
Blogger Kristen said...

"The Painted House" by John Grisham. First book that came to mind. Really. Not sure if it's my favorite, just the first book that came to mind.

3/21/2006 2:34 PM

 
Blogger Carbon said...

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

3/21/2006 2:45 PM

 
Anonymous mom on a wire said...

For some reason, even though it's not my ALL time favorite book, my fist instinct is to say "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. I loved it so much, and it was such an amazing, all-consuming kind of read.

3/21/2006 5:25 PM

 
Anonymous Lisa said...

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

3/21/2006 5:27 PM

 
Anonymous Elena said...

Catcher In the Rye by JD Salinger... thanks for doing this.. I've been wanting to get into reading in a bigger way now that my son is sort of sleeping better and i have the time in the evening. I can't wait to look through all the favorites. Hello, by the way, it's my first time commenting, and i look forward to continue reading your blog!

3/21/2006 6:14 PM

 
Blogger momofalltrades said...

Memoirs of a Geisha is my favorite recent read.

3/21/2006 7:26 PM

 
Blogger Amy A. said...

Since someone already said To Kill a Mockingbird, I think I will choose Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. Chilling!

3/21/2006 7:52 PM

 
Blogger Wendopolis said...

THe Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury.

3/21/2006 8:33 PM

 
Blogger Bobita said...

"Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting," Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. This book changed my life as a parent. I love it...and ALWAYS will!

And (P.S.) I'm sooooo choked up by the post about your sister...that I still feel the lump in my throat...10 minutes later.

I loooove that you love your sister so much. I have a best friend for whom I feel the same...and I'm trying to figure out how to blog about my feelings for her in such a way that "do her justice"...its a very hard thing to do!

I SOOOO LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

3/21/2006 8:47 PM

 
Anonymous Pam in Utah said...

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, also. Read it as a kid and remember sitting in the hammock between the two weeping willows and the stream babling under me on the way to the ol sump and not wanting to quit reading-ever.... memories!

3/21/2006 8:49 PM

 
Blogger Lynn said...

Just one? Yikes!

The Chronicles of Narnia.
Since I've got them all bound in one book, it counts, doesn't it?

3/21/2006 9:40 PM

 
Anonymous Heather from One Woman's World said...

L'Aventure Ambigue, by Cheikh Hamidou Kane. Amazing, life-changing read. Also translated into English, The Ambiguous Adventure. :)

3/21/2006 9:42 PM

 
Blogger Crazy and lovin' it said...

Mama mia!! I know who is shutting down blogger these days!! everyone is here!!I am number 71 for petey's Sake!! Ok enough with the !!s

book recommended......

Grapes of Wrath

Learn something new everytime I read it.

3/21/2006 10:08 PM

 
Anonymous Caryn said...

Wow. Mine's comment number 72! At any rate, I'm going to have to go with Pride and Prejudice. This is just the one I've read the most, but there are so many others I love!

As for opening an independent bookstore, I have the same urge, but it's impossible in our town because we have THREE bookstores here, all owned by the SAME guy. And our town only has 6,000 people. Yes, it's a monopoly. I worked for him for a while and hated it, though I loved his predecessor. So, no bookstore with cozy chairs and store kitties for me. Not here, at least. :-(

3/22/2006 6:41 AM

 
Blogger Sugarmama said...

72 comments?! Now I'll never know if 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was someone else's choice. But it sure is mine. I've read it countless times at this point, and plan to keep reading it every other year or so.

3/22/2006 8:04 AM

 
Anonymous surcie said...

Three of my all-time favorites were mentioned here: Jane Eyre, Traveling Mercies, and To Kill A Mockingbird. I just saw the movie Capote. Nell Harper Lee was his best friend and is portrayed in the movie, so I'd like to reread To Kill A Mockingbird now.

3/22/2006 10:17 AM

 
Blogger HangerMom said...

Little Women. It's been my favorite since I read it for the first time in 4th grade. Now it's all mixed up in my head with the movie (Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, et. al.), which included a lot more of Louisa May Alcott's real life experiences mixed up with the book, but still it's my all time favorite!

3/22/2006 10:53 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Wow, Holy Comments, Batman!!!

My reading list just got a WHOLE LOT BIGGER!

Thanks for doing this.

3/22/2006 11:01 AM

 
Blogger Pattie said...

"The Four Agreements" By Don Miguel Ruiz. This book has had a major effect on my life. It's fabulous!

3/22/2006 11:42 AM

 
Anonymous HolyMama! said...

heavens to betsy. beth patillo

3/22/2006 12:28 PM

 
Anonymous I am right about this one, trust me said...

Watership Down by Richard Adams. Accessible to (and appropriate for) readers from age 8 to 88, with writing of near-poetic resonance on every page and a tale of terror and adventure that Homer himself would have envied. Did I mention that almost all of the characters who have speaking roles are rabbits?

3/22/2006 3:12 PM

 
Blogger Lei said...

Secret Life of Bees has been my unmovable favorite for 2 years now and counting....

3/22/2006 3:19 PM

 
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Jane Eyre :: sigh :: Now I want to go read it again.

3/22/2006 6:04 PM

 
Blogger Liz said...

look at you with your 80+ comments! diva!

3/22/2006 8:19 PM

 
Blogger Tiffany said...

Have to comment.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.

3/23/2006 4:06 AM

 
Blogger SkiTheStars said...

"The Great Explosion" by Eric Frank Russell.

This is the best scifi intro to Cultural Anthropology that I've ever read. The story line revolves around the notion that one guy invents a faster than light drive that is cheap and simple to build and operate.

Net result:

Every Tom Dick, and Sherry in a special interest group builds a ship for that group and takes off to find a planet for their very own. Nudists go to one planet, barter people to another and so on. So many groups leave Earth to set up their own special places that Earth basically loses all governemtnal control.

400 Years Later....Earth sets out to "consolidate" all the runaways, with hilarious results, including crew going native. The book pokes playful fun at many of society's sacred cows. It would make a great Mel Brooks movie.

3/23/2006 8:45 AM

 
Anonymous Helprin Fan said...

Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin.

As many others have said, I find something new each time I read it -- and I think it's the longevity, the freshness, the (and herein I coin my own word) "revisit-ability" that marks a true favorite.

3/23/2006 8:49 AM

 
Blogger Jess said...

This is a fabulous question! Gone With the Wind is my all-time favorite. Such great, flawed characters. Much better and more complex than the movie, although I love that too.

3/23/2006 8:54 AM

 
Blogger Peach said...

Doesn't seem all that relevant to comment at this point, but here goes:

I love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is a life-changing work of fiction, and I will probably read it every year from now until I can't see. Then I'll listen to it.

3/23/2006 12:16 PM

 
Blogger Julie said...

I wouldn't call it a fave, and it's absolutely not heavy reading, but I loved The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis.

3/23/2006 4:28 PM

 
Blogger Allknowingjen said...

Since someone already said The Time Travelers Wife (which I loved!) I am going to say
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

3/23/2006 8:40 PM

 
Blogger harvestmoon said...

luckily have have lousy long term memory (must be senilty or something) so I'd have to say the last book I read. Santasharmarma? What the HELL was the name of that book? I'll see what Ms. Google says...

Shantaram

It is not my favorite book, but the only one the brain cells could come up with when i read your question.

Now, as a public service announcement, have you heard of Bookcrossing?

http://www.bookcrossing.com

Still waiting for the books I've released to be caught...

3/23/2006 8:48 PM

 
Blogger Nutella said...

I'm with Cynthia. "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. It will change your life (or at least the way you look at it)

3/24/2006 11:47 AM

 
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

I went out with my girlfriends last night and bought Jane Eyre at Barnes & Noble! YESSSSS!

I know, you were waiting for an update.

By the way, my best friend and I were talking blogs tonight and she mentioned yours - she loves it. I think it's awesome too.

3/24/2006 7:26 PM

 
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

Okay, I thought of a top five, and four of them already got listed, so here's what's left:
Outlander- Diana Gabaldon

I think I'm comment 93. Holy Cow.

3/24/2006 8:38 PM

 
Blogger Gabriela said...

Ok, my pick is East of Eden by Steinbeck. I love the message that we can decide our destiny and we are not trapped because of who raised us or the bad things that may have happened to us.

3/25/2006 1:20 PM

 
Blogger Jennifer said...

there are so many. and so many of the books listed above me have brought back such wonderful memories!

i'm going to go with "silk" by alessandro baricco because it is one of those perfect stories you can read a million times and always love like the very first time.

3/25/2006 2:33 PM

 
Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

*also frets at the "just one" limit*

"The Hero and the Crown" by Robin McKinley... prequel to "The Blue Sword" that Margaret mentioned. The theme for this one could be said to be about winning acceptence when the place you live doesn't seem to fit you and about finding your own purpose and peace.

For anyone interested, stop by my blog in the next day or so; I plan to get around "only one" limit by posting a list of everything on my bookshelf that I consider a keeper. :)

3/25/2006 4:59 PM

 
Anonymous kyrie said...

babeltower, a.s. byatt

3/25/2006 8:28 PM

 
Blogger Jane said...

Obasan by Joy Kogawa - hands down.

Though I love many, many other books, I read this the first year of college and it caused me to almost change my major to English. Kogawa's writing is amazing reading her work is like eating a piece of the best dark chocolate you can find - smooth, sweet with a satisfying finish.

3/25/2006 11:45 PM

 
Anonymous earthmamma said...

What looks like crazy on an ordinary day....by Pearl Cleage

3/26/2006 9:53 AM

 
Anonymous surcie said...

A Girl Called Zippy by Haven Kimmel

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

3/26/2006 11:54 AM

 
Blogger Abby said...

The Personal Recollections of Joan of Ark, by Mark Twain

Loved it, loved it, loved it!

3/26/2006 9:03 PM

 
Blogger Abby said...

Another little fav. Thought not fiction, saved my children's lives.

P.E.T (parent effectiveness training) by Thomas Gordon.

A precious little gem in the "be a better parent" category.

3/26/2006 9:07 PM

 
Blogger Abby said...

Sorry I doubled before I read the whole post. Keep the first book, and ignore the last.
My Bad.

3/26/2006 9:28 PM

 
Anonymous Mom on the Gulf Coast said...

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. (no relation to Toby from what I understand...)

I have read Wicked, but liked this one a tad bit better.

3/26/2006 9:39 PM

 
Blogger ABC Momma said...

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride.

3/27/2006 9:41 AM

 
Anonymous lauxa said...

War and Peace, Tolstoy

Not a light read, but I have read the whole thing twice, and I love how he weaves romance and intrigue with politics and history and battles. And I really like Russian literature for some reason.

3/27/2006 2:31 PM

 
Blogger kaylang said...

Wow, this is awesome. So many great books! I think my Favorite For the Moment would be "O! Pioneers" by Willa Cather. This book is soul food when I get impatient with life. Her descriptions of the inner workings of people just blow my mind. Here's one of my favorite excerpts:

"There was about Alexandra something of the impervious calm of the fatalist, always disconcerting to very young people, who cannot feel that the heart lives at all unless it is still at the mercy of storms; unless its strings can scream to the touch of pain."

Like I said, WoW.

3/28/2006 3:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe no one mentioned Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

3/29/2006 5:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this blog today and LOVE it. Such a great idea. Anyway, not my absolute favorite book but the last one I read. The Nanny Diaries, one that I can completely relate to as I was a nanny for a wealthy family at one time myself. I laughed out loud many times during my reading because I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about!

3/29/2006 5:44 PM

 
Blogger Sridevi said...

I'd go with Homer's Odyssey- translated by WHJ Rousse. He's got a great translation style, which is what I'd depend on, since my knowledge of Greek is rather non-existent. I found his translation much easier to read than others'.

3/31/2006 6:03 AM

 
Blogger Jeanne said...

I'm not sure why this popped into my head when I heard the question -- because it's true, there are too many to choose just one -- but this is the first: "The Diary of Anne Frank."

4/01/2006 12:01 AM

 
Blogger beth said...

Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I realize this is certainly not the best book ever written, but I just loved this story.

I've been inspired by your blog to start my own by the way. Yours is a pleasure to read.

4/08/2006 10:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has to be Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.

4/20/2006 8:17 AM

 

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