Saturday, August 29, 2009

15 Books in 15 Minutes

Kacie tagged me to do this meme. I wrote my list on facebook, but I can provide commentary here, so I'll go ahead.

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you (not including the Bible!). First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. (I have to note: this isn't my list of my favorite 15 books of all time, though some of these are on my favorites list too--just 15 books that came to my mind that have stuck with me and I've reread multiple times...)

The Brimstone Wedding (Barbara Vine)
I love most of Barbara Vine's dark tales, but this story of superstitious Jenny, a caregiver in a retirement facility, and her unlikely friendship with secretive resident Stella is one I have pulled down from the shelf many times. In fact, I'm reading it again right now.

The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
This novel is a modern day Crime and Punishment set at a New England college in the 1980s. I have taught it so many times, and I've never had a student who didn't like it. No matter how many times I read it, I still feel the tension and can't put it down.

The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
For a mystery lover like me, I would be remiss if I didn't list this classic by Collins, pretty much the godfather of mysteries. I might have actually shrieked out loud at one point (and those of you who have read it know which point I'm talking about!) This is one of those under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight books.

Digging to America (Anne Tyler)
My favorite of Anne Tyler's books, a bittersweet story of two families who adopt orphans from Korea. I love all the cultural exploration--Korea, Iran, America--with Tyler's dry, quirky humor throughout.

Where Courage is Like a Wild Horse (Sharon Skolnick)
This memoir of two Cherokee sisters in an orphanage should come with a package of Kleenex. One of the most beautiful endings to a book I've ever read.

Bruchko (Bruce Olson)
I first read this book in college and then got to hear Bruce Olson speak. It is one of the greatest missions memoirs written, in my opinion.

Passage to India (E M Forster)
I am a huge fan of Forster. My favorite movie in the world is A Room with a View, but the book that moved me the most by him is Passage. An Indian professor in grad school taught me this novel, and I've been fascinated by India and British colonial rule ever since.

The Quiet American (Graham Greene)
Another one I was introduced to in grad school. Then I went on to buy and read everything of Greene I could get my hands on. I remember when I bought my first copy of this, the lady ringing me up said, "Weren't you just devastated by the ending?" Yes, I was! Classic Graham Greene.

With No One as Witness (Elizabeth George)
I started reading all the Elizabeth George mysteries when I was pregnant with Lucy (and never slept). Darren bought me all of them (and they're each a minimum of 600 pages) and would then find me, sitting in the nursery at 3 a.m., reading. A co-worker and I would then countdown for months for the release of the latest novel. This particular one was the second-to-last (at this date) and the one that absolutely rocked the series.

The Greengage Summer (Rumer Godden)
My mom and I have been on a mission for years to collect all the Rumer Godden novels we can in used bookshops and sales. They've actually all stuck with me, but this story of English children in a French hotel for the summer...just lovely.

Crying Wind (Crying Wind Stafford)
My fourth grade teacher read this memoir of a Native American girl to our class, and we were all spellbound and would beg her to keep reading. A few years ago, I ordered a used copy on the Internet (since it's out of print). When it arrived, I sat down and read through it all in one sitting and cried and cried. Not only did it hold up with time, it is even better reading it now.

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven (James Bryan Smith)
A devotional biography of the late singer Rich Mullins. His music has influenced me so much. Darren doesn't ever need to read this book because I've quoted so many parts of it to him.

Glittering Images (Susan Howatch)
Susan Howatch's series set in the Church of England saw me through a very difficult period in my 20s. Not only are they deep in theology, they are just rip-roaring good reads. Glittering Images is the first of the six...

The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
I don't think I need to explain these, do I?

Rainbow Garden (Patricia St. John)
The book where we got Elaine's name...I read it every Easter.

So that's it, I'd love to see anyone else's list if they want to link to it!

1 comment:

Kacie said...

Okay, so on your list I have only read the Chronicles, Bruchko, and Rainbow Garden. I have watched the movie the Quiet American but I imagine the book is better. :) So - I'll be adding a bunch of these to my wish list!