There’s a semi-regular Facebook game that asks people to list ten books that have stayed with them in some way. The rules: Don’t think too much about it and don’t worry about being “un-literary.” Just list books that left a lasting impression.

[As a sidenote: You should never worry about being “un-literary”].

I decided to turn my list of ten books into a blog post instead of a Facebook post, because I have a booknerdy blog and it’s the perfect place to release such a list in all its glory.

1. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

Is it the best book in the English language? No. But I have an unhealthy obsession with it that includes a growing collection of illustrated versions and several supplemental books. I might be the only person in the Western world who bought and read Wuthering Heights: Character Case Studies for fun.

2. The Underneath, by Kathi Appelt

You can read about my gushing love for this book here, in my interview with Appelt, a Newbery Honoree.

3. A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

That’s right. I not only read novels, I also read fat non-fiction books.

4. In the Lake of the Woods, by Tim O’Brien

I got this book on a whim from my local library last month and read it in two sittings. I picked it up because the premise reminded me of Gone Girl (and because Tim O’Brien, duh). It was one of the best books I’d read since Bel Canto.

In the Lake of the Woods predates both of those.

5. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

This is the kind of book that makes a writer want to give up writing. I recommend it like a maniac. Another of my favorite books to recommend is Chris Cleave’s Little Bee.

6. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave

Be prepared to ugly-cry. It will clench your soul from its first line: Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl.

7. Oh! The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss

Does this really need an explanation?

8. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret

Obviously.

9. Halfway Down Paddy Lane, by Jean Marzollo

This was my favorite book in elementary school. I checked it out of the library about 10,000 times. (Okay, maybe not that many. But a lot).

10. Freight, by Mel Bosworth

A total fave and nothing like any of the books above. Read more about it in my interview with Bosworth here.

Also: Check out Erin’s Awesome Bookshelf for more booknerdy fun.

Which books are on YOUR list?

 

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