Here is a random yet somewhat related thought: I like making lists, especially to-do lists. Then I like crossing items off the list and keeping the lists as proof that I have actually accomplished something.
The following is a list of my top twenty, all-time favorite books, specifically, a list of my favorite books that I read as a child/young adult. To quote Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail, “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”
Note: There are way more than twenty books listed, because a lot of the favorites are series…I tend to think of a series as one book with several volumes, but that’s just me…
Harry Connick Jr. has his Songs I Heard album…this is my Books I Read list.
Feel free to weigh in when you’re finished reading. Are any of your favorites on the list? I know everyone has different tastes, but I’d like to know what you think (specifically about your favorite books/generally…oh, about everything).
Btw, the list is in alphabetical order, just because it’s more diplomatic that way.
1. Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
I loved how quirky and odd Anastasia was. I think I may have developed my love for lists after reading this book.
2. The Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne and Gilbert are the stuff dreams are made of. I found some kindred spirits when I found these books.
3. The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
A trip back to yesteryear when life was “kinder and gentler.” There’s a Besty-Tacy book for all ages, and I’ve read them all…not in order, however, because my local library did not have a copy of Betsy Was a Junior. My favorites are Heaven to Betsy and Betsy’s Wedding.
4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Teen angst at its finest.
5. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Talking animals. A spider using vocabulary to save a pig’s life. What’s not to love?
6. Cheaper by the Dozen & Belles on Their Toes by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
The first book was required reading in junior high; the second was a necessary must.
7. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Welcome to the wacky weird world of Harriet M. Welsch, everyone’s favorite under-age spy.
8. Honestly, Katie John (series) by Mary Calhoun
I loved the Katie John books. My favorite is probably Katie John and Heathcliff. I discovered Wuthering Heights by reading this book, which is a Good Thing.
9. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This book made me cry. It also made me wonder how I would have fared had I been left to fend for myself on an Island with no one but a dog for company.
10. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Once again, I was a sucker for a book about a family of girls. I loved following Laura’s adventures, from helping her father keep the family alive to meeting and falling in love with Almanzo. Being a pioneer wasn’t for the faint of heart.
11. A Little Princess by Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
This was probably my favorite book as a child. I like it much more than The Secret Garden.
12. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I come from a family of four girls, so this book will always have a special place in my heart. I remember sobbing uncontrollably when Jo turned Laurie down and wishing that I could have a best friend like him.
P.S. Are you starting to detect a theme…how many of these books have “little” in the title?
13. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
The rats in this books are smarter than most people, and Mrs. Frisby is a brave little mouse who will stop at nothing to save her sick little boy. Who would have thought you could feel compassion for rats and mice? I honestly can’t pass a cage of rats in a pet store without thinking of them.
14. My Friend Flicka (series) by Mary O’Hara
These books were a favorite of my mom’s when she was a child and she passed the love on to me. I love the daydreaming Kenneth, and watching him grow up and fall in love was to die for.
15. The Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
A girl detective? Need I say more? I loved the yellow hardback books. When I was a kid, they tried to update Nancy, they made her modern and paperback, but nothing’s as good as the original.
16. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms by Kate Douglas Wiggin
I read this before I read Anne of Green Gables and loved it. When I finally got around to Anne, at first I thought Anne was a poor imitation. The books stand on their own, and I’m a fan of both.
17. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry & Let the Circle be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor
These books took me to the rural, Jim Crow south. Not I place I’d like to live, but learning what life was like back then was informative.
18. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Another book that was required reading, with shades of Dead Poets Society.
19. The Shoe books by Noel Streatfeild
I especially loved Skating Shoes, but I also like the fact that Movie Shoes picked up the Ballet Shoes story.
20. We Interrupt This Semester for an Important Bulletin by Ellen Conford
I loved this book, and its precursor, Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate. Even though these books took place in the distant past, I found them timeless.