The Romance Reviews

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Top Ten Books

Earlier this summer, I posted a list of my top ten movies that I would want to have with me on a deserted island (as long as I had some manner to view them). It’s time to share the list of books that I would want with me. As much as I love my Kindle and the ability to cart several hundred books with me wherever I go, if stranded on a deserted island, I would have to have the hard copy of the following books with me. There is something very comforting about the feel of a book in my hands.

In no particular order, here is the list of ten books I would want with me on this hypothetical island.

1.      To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The movie was fantastic, but the book was even better. Little surprise there, as it’s seldom that the movie version of a book is as good as the book, much less better. The message in this book of forgiveness, tolerance, and acceptance is timeless.

2.      Ruffian:Burning from the Start by Jane Schwartz. This is the best that has ever been written about the incomparable filly who Lucien Laurin (the trainer of the great Secretariat) stated was “better than him.” Even knowing how it ends, and I had to walk away from the last pages long enough to stop crying, this is beautifully written. A fitting tribute to an earth-bound Pegasus.

3.      The HarryPotter series by J.K. Rowling. Yes, I’m cheating again by including these seven as one entry—but, asking me to pick between the novels would be like asking me which of my grandkids is my favorite. Not going to do it.

4.      Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone by George Black. (Taken from the fly-leaf): At the heart of the story is a great paradox: that no matter how deeply flawed these characters (Lt. G. Cheyney Doane—the “man who invented Wonderland”; former vigilante leader Nathaniel Langford; scientist Ferdinand Hayden; and Gen. Phil Sheridan) may be as individuals, no matter how mixed their motives, the paths they opened led to one of the true glories of American history. In that sense, the exploration of Yellowstone is a quintessentially American story, of terrible things done in the name of high ideals, and of high ideals realized through dubious means.

5.      Perfect by Judith McNaught. Sigh…Zach Benedict is the perfect tormented, broken hero doing his best to be cold, aloof, and strong…and Julie Mathison is more than his match. I have read this book so often I’ve had to replace it three times because it has literally fallen apart.

6.      The Mistsof Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley. A retelling of the Arthurian myth as seen through the eyes of the three women closest to him during his life: his mother, his sister, and his wife. A hefty tome, but wonderful and enthralling.

7.      The Bible. Need I say more about this one?

8.      The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Campbell made mythology accessible and acceptable for grown-ups to indulge in once more. In this definitive work, Campbell also lays out the steps of the Hero’s Journey.

9.      The Stand by Stephen King. I think this was the best that King ever wrote. Nothing he’s written since has even come close to the brilliance or complexity found within the pages of this novel.

10.  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. Classic early science-fiction and it’s frightening how accurate Verne was with his descriptions of a submarine and how it works, considering when it was written.

And, no, I did not include my own book on this list. Honestly, that would just be over the top. 

What books would you want with you on a deserted island?

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