Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Books Read

As my parents can confirm, I LOVED reading when I was younger. I always had a book that I could sink my nose into. When I reached high school the amount of which I read decreased dramatically. It could have been the increased amount of homework. It could have been that I put my social life before all other things. Or maybe it was a combo of the two. Ok, who am I kidding? It was the social life. My social life took priority and left book-reading to the birds. Then came college for a couple years, and then full-time employment paired with motherhood. I just didn't feel that I ever had the time to sit down and read book after book. Well, for the past couple years I've made sure to make time for reading. None of this I'll-read-if-I-get-everything-else-done. Because you know what happens? You never get everything done. There is always something else that can require your attention.

One of my resolutions for 2012 (I'm not a big New Year's Resolution girl, but I gave it a shot this year) was to read at least 20 books throughout the year. That was about 10 more than what I read the year before. I thought I was setting a pretty outrageous goal, but I did it anyway. But now, let the record go to show that I have outdone myself. Not by much, but outdone myself indeed. With just under two months left in the year, I have read 28 books so far! They haven't all been gems, but they can't all be gems now can they?

With all of this being said, I give you my very own list of:

Top Ten Favorite Books

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Hands down, this will ALWAYS hold the #1 spot in my heart. Sure, it may be because I read it in high school and I could see a lot of myself in Holden's thoughts and attitude. But even when rereading passages here and there throughout the years, I'm still just as in love with it as I ever was. I even tried naming Broden after him, but supposedly Kyle knew a kid named Holden in high school that didn't impress him for some reason. Boo!

2. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

I know the series contains more than one book, but I can't narrow it down to which book in the series is actually my favorite. In all honesty, I still have to read The Winds Through the Keyhole which was published earlier this year.

This is not your typical Stephen King novel. If your thought process bounces from Stephen King to horror in less than a second, you have it completely wrong when it comes to these books. These books will amaze you. I promise.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

The first book in the Harry Potter series, this one was much easier for me to narrow down to my favorite. Actually, another confession, I haven't finished this series either, but I have made my way through the fourth book at least. I am currently reading the series aloud to Vada, so I will get passed the fourth book eventually. We are currently making our way through Harry's second year.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I read this book for a class in high school, but I recently re-read it as a part of a classics book club that I am a member of. While it's tough to fully enjoy a book when you're reading it for the full purpose of writing a paper on it, I fell in love with this book the second time around.

5. It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong

The sarcastic humor in which Heather Armstrong writes is right up my ally. I was literally laughing out loud while reading this book in my car during my lunch breaks at work. Disappointment took over when I finished it. I just wanted to keep reading! She also maintains a blog, dooce.com, which I used to follow more regularly than I do now.

6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Having seen the animated version of The Hobbit several times as a kid, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I felt I owed it to myself to read The Hobbit. I was sucked in from the very beginning. I am eager to get started on The Lord of the Rings novels...eventually. I also CAN'T WAIT for the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I will be in line for the first showing hours before it begins.

7. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

I had heard great things about the Broadway musical, so I read the book to understand what the rave was about. It was great. It had it's few low points, but overall, I loved Maguire's invention of the Wicked Witch of the West's backstory. Hopefully I can get the rest of The Wicked Years series read before the next couple years passes me by. I also have Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror on my To-Read list.

8. Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

After falling in love with the Ramona and Beezus motion picture, I decided that Vada and I would read the Ramona series for our Aloud Reading time. I read these books when I was younger, and remembered liking them, but I absolutely adored them as an adult. Ramona Forever was, by far, my favorite. I often found myself wanting to rush Vada through her school work so we could sit down and read this book.

9. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

I find history highly intriguing, so this was a tough book for me to put down. I've always sort of fantasized about what living in different eras would be like. Thinking about how much more simple life was without so much technology, less evil seen everyday, etc. This book definitely opened my eyes to how the lack of evil that was reported didn't mean there was any less evil, or lesser degrees of evil than you hear about happening today. This book takes history and makes it as gripping as a good crime novel.

10. Teddy by J.D. Salinger

Technically a short story within Salinger's book Nine Stories, but I relished this story. The philosophy within this story really had me thinking. This one required a highlighter for my favorite excerpts. If you have a few minutes to set aside to read this story, I would recommend it. 

Well, there is my Top Ten for favorite books. Remember, I took a few years off reading-for-pleasure, so if you're thinking, "how can __________ NOT be on her list?!" don't be so quick to write me off as a Horrible Book Chooser (yes, Horrible Book Chooser is a title...a proper noun). If you have books on your list that you think I would enjoy, I would love for you to share. My To-Read list can never be too long.

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