Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Good Reads

I LOVE reading! Recently I was talking books with a friend, and she asked me to make her a list of the best books I have read. I had a lot of fun making this list, so I thought I would share it with all of you in "computer land".

10. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

This book has quite possibly the best characters I have ever read. You feel so connected with all of them, its as if they are real people in your life. The story is very good, but much of it is solely concerned with character development. The real events don't start to unfold until later in the book, but it is worth the journey, because the climax is fantastic!

9. The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis

This is one of the most unique stories I have read, because there are two sides to everything. If you take it too seriously, it can be quite disturbing, however if you take a more lighthearted approach, it is really funny. In brief summary, it is the letters of a senior devil, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior devil named Wormwood. Through his letters Screwtape instructs Wormwood in the techniques of tempting and corrupting man. C.S. Lewis is one of Christianities most celebrated scholars, and this story is deeply profound from an opposite point of view.

8. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby

I guarantee you will never read another book to compare with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The author was the victim of a massive stroke that left his completely paralyzed except for one eyelid. He could blink one eye, and that's it. The amazing thing is that he wrote this memoir after his debilitating stroke. How? He worked with a scribe who would recite the alphabet, and he would blink when she came to the letter he wanted to use. He literally blinked out every letter of the book, one at a time. Knowing the great care that went into the creation of this book, you literally hang on every word. Amazing!

7. Catch Me If You Can - Frank W. Abignale

If you have seen the movie, you know that Frank Abignale's story is quite amazing. The tone of the book is very different from the film, and you really get a completely new perspective on his life. Both the film and the book are excellent, but very different from one another. Quite simply, this is one of the best books I have ever read.

6. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde

This is actually a short play rather than a novel, but it is one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Seriously I giggled through the entire thing! I'm sure my roommates were wondering what the heck I was doing giggling alone in my room...but anyway, you should read it, because it is great!

5. The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom

Not many books have ever made me cry, but this one had me bawling. Usually if I am extremely moved by something, my eyes might tear up a bit, but this book had me actually weeping with tears running down my face and everything. I've never had an experience like this from a book before. While much of the story is sad, it is also very eye opening, and inspirational. This is potentially a life changing book.

4. The Giver - Lois Lowry

This is one of those stories that you can read over and over again, and each time find something new. It deals with issues that are very real and meaningful, and somehow does it in a way that appeals both to adults and young people alike. It raises some serious questions about life, but doesn't shove any particular answer down your throat. Some people don't like the ambiguities, but I find them fascinating.

3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

This book is great in every way! It is so witty, and fun, and delightful, and full of amazing characters, with a great story, and fantastic real-world application. I think everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in the book, and it is just a real treat to explore. This was another book that constantly had me giggling.

2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

This is another life changing book that made me cry, but this time it was not only tears of sadness, but also tears of joy. It is such a delight to read, that you just don't want to stop. There were times when I would finish for the evening, and after closing the book, I would hold it to my chest, close my eyes, and sigh with content. I would just lie there for a while thinking about this wonderful story. I think everyone should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

This has been my number one for a few years now. I just love everything about this book! It is extremely nostalgic and reminds me of my own childhood. In addition to a profound story, To Kill a Mockingbird has some of the most noble characters ever written. Reading it makes me want to be a better person.

There you have a list of some of the best book I have ever read. As usual, I had a hard time limiting the list to only ten books, so here is my overflow:

Runners up:
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Stranger - Albert Camus
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie


Erica said...

Phsst you didn't use any of my ideas. Jerk. I still heart you, and mostly agree with your top ten list... 10 and 1 should change places though

Robby Spratt said...

I'm still planning on using your ideas. I just had a busy day and didn't have time to write any of them. This one I had already written a few weeks ago.

Emmy said...

Mmm...I'm very pleased with most of the books on the list; I've not read the others, so I can't make a fair judgment. But, it seems like we're on the same page pretty much when it comes to reading, so I'm putting all the others into my personal reading notebook/library list :P

Thanks, Robby!

Chess said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is my number one too. I read it every summer. I don't understand how I've made it through an entire English degree without reading any Dickens. Must remedy that immediately!

Kendra said...

i love a lot of these books for sure. you have a good top ten list! i have been wanting to read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for a while and this only convinced me more. thanks!

Robin said...

Hi! I don't know you, but just linked here from my friend (your friend too, I assume) Jason's blog. Anyway, I like your list! I LOVE A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.