Thanksgiving Top 10
In honor of the holiday, I’m going to list my top 10 favorite books of all time that I’m thankful for! These are the books have permanent spots on my book shelf (and in my heart), and that I lend out only to VIP’s when I can’t convince them to go buy it for themselves. Which leads to a case of fear and panic as if I’d let them borrow one of my children for an undermined amount of time.
10. A Dash of Style (Noah Lukeman) – this book is PHENOMINAL for newbie writers and the seasoned professional. Stop reading this right now and go get this book. It’s that good. I’m thankful for an author willing to take the time to make grammar interesting, understandable and, dare I say, fun, all the while applying it to fiction writing.
9. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) –a coming of age story about an orphaned, awkward, lovable red head named Anne Shirley. I read this for the first time when I was 8 and adopted Anne Shirley as my own. I keep her safe on the shelf and hope she knows she’s always loved.
8. The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) –this is Jeannette Walls story of growing up in West Virginia after a nomadic life in the mid-west. Being poor would have been an improvement to their poverty stricken lives. Yet, through everything, Jeannette gently breaks your heart while making you smile because the grief is just too much. Thank goodness for strong women willing to share no matter how painful.
7. The Color of Water (James McBride) – I did a book review for this one but it is a must read. James McBride grew up the son of a white Jewish woman and black man who struggled with his identity in the 1960’s when race and religion were hot topics of the time. I’m thankful for men strong enough to endure the worst of society and hold their head high. TRUE inspiration is in this book.
6. My Bloody Life (Reymundo Sanches) – Reymundo tells the gruesome and tragic story of his childhood and gang affiliation in a Chicago gang. Some of the material is hard to stomach but to see the man he becomes in the end is worth every cringe-worthy moment!
5. Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton)- yes I had to go here. I read this in middle school and dozens of times since. Michael Crichton sucks you into a sci-fi-fantasy-it-could-happen kind of story. To this day I couldn’t tell you why I love the book so much. I just know that I do and THAT is the mark of a genius writer.
4. Running with Scissors (Augusten Burroughs) – I think we all know how much I adore Augusten Burroughs! Running with Scissors is his memoir of growing up and is unapologetically tragic yet you snap that cove closed when you’re done and you end with a smile. His voice and writing are golden!!
3. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)- I’m a southern girl so heck yeah I love this thousand page monster. You can’t tell me that an average writer could keep me flipping pages like a maniac. It takes a goodness to weave this complicated and beautiful story and STILL leave me wanting more at the end.
2. Kent Family Chronicles (John Jakes) – so I cheated and it’s an 8 book series but I firmly believe that this is his best work. John Jakes possess the historical wisdom (and research patience) that I could only dream of as a writer. His characters are so multi-dimensional, deep and realistic that it’s hard to believe these jewels once wondered around in his mega-writers brain just waiting to be put into print and not in the real world.
1. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)-hands down the best book ever written. EVER. This is my go to book when I need a pick-me up or a break from my other favorites. It’s not a particularly happy book but I have a connection with Mary that endears her to me. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates a master piece of a character with Mary then tears her down and rebuilds her. My inner reader just falls in love and my inner writer stomps her foot and waves her fist yelling “Where do I buy this kind of depth for MY characters!” then falls dramatically onto a fainting sofa of some sort.
So there you have it! The top ten books/writers that I’m thankful for because they truly left a mark on my heart as a reader and inspire me as a writer!! Have a happy Thanksgiving y’all!!