Thursday, May 18, 2006

13 of my very favorite books

In no particular order, except number one:

1) The Bible--(and my favorite book within the Bible is Psalms) Unparalelled not only in poetry and literature, but because it is a living, breathing, supernatural thing that literally has the power to change lives.

2) The Chronicles of Narnia--technically more than one book. (My favorite is probably "The Silver Chair")--I was avidly reading these books as a child, many years before the movie hype came along, and probably before many of you were born! Still, I continue to re-read them about once a year.

3) Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte--This book has everything--romance, high drama, mystery. Often seen as the mother of all Gothic fiction (and by "Gothic," I don't mean teenagers wearing black clothes and white make-up.)

4) Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte--Heathcliff is the ultimate bad boy that you can't help falling in love with. Windswept moors, sobbing heroines--it's a mess, but you can't help being captivated.

5) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen--I've always loved the way Darcy and Elizabeth are inexorably drawn to each other throughout the book, despite ostensibly not being able to stand each other. And Elizabeth is one of the coolest heroines ever...feisty, funny and beautiful.

6) Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott--Introduced me to the joys of fiction when I was a very little girl. Now, as an adult, it seems a bit quaint-- but I still love it.

7) Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers--Showed me how really excellent, top-notch and absorbing Christian fiction can be.

8) The Emerald Ballad Series, by BJ Hoff (again more than one book--but hey, this is MY list)--Solidified my love for all things Irish and taught me about Irish-American history while capturing me with characters I cared about and stories I couldn't put down.

9) The Moon Spinners, by Mary Stewart--I've re-read this book many times, just because I love Stewart's way with language, the suspenseful story, the setting, the feisty heroine and her appealing love interest.

10) The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher--Introduced me to the joys of Rosamunde Pilcher, and I can't get enough. I've now read everything she's written, and I'm afraid she's not going to write much more. Wait a minute--I just read something here that I never knew before. Pilcher used to write as Jane Fraser. Maybe I can get ahold of some of her Fraser-books. She's the kind of writer that creates such a cozy atmosphere, you can taste the tea and scones.

11) Wisdom Hunter, by Randall Arthur. Probably the most brutally honest look at graceless Christianity to date. Combines a fascinating story with vital spiritual insights. (Jollyblogger has a good review of this book, including some excellent caveats.)

12) Villette, by Charlotte Bronte--Never hyped or lauded as much as "Jane Eyre," this book is nevertheless a terrific story, and I've re-read it many times.

13) The Church Ladies, by Lisa Samson--The first book that showed me Christian fiction could be real, fresh, funny and honest. Fortunately, that's now a Lisa Samson trademark, and I don't miss a Lisa Samson book, period.

...and the list could go on...and on...and on...

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