I read about the Herding Cats reading challenge over at Dewey’s blog, The Hidden Side of a Leaf, and I had to join up, because not only do I love to read, I also used to work for EDS, when the ad above aired. So I thought, yeah, I’m on board. Here are the rules.
1. List 10 books you have read and love. LOVE. OK, at least really really like.
2. Pick 3 books you haven’t read before from the ‘favorite books lists’ of other challenge participants. Don’t worry, they’ve put together a wonderful master list, making it much easier than going through list after list after list.
3. Read those 3 books, and review them on your blog. The time frame is May – November, 2008.
4. Of course, link to the main challenge blog.
Here, then, are 10 books I have read and LOVED. I’m going to go all out and not include Gone With The Wind or the Little House books, because I’ve mentioned them so many dang times before on this blog.
- The Tale of One Bad Rat, by Bryan Talbot. I read this for my Graphic Novels challenge, and it amazed me. I had no idea that the graphic novel genre could reach into emotions and characters with such depth and skill. Highly recommended.
- The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I read this book recently as well, and loved it. It’s a different book than any other WWII book I had read, and it made me think of things a bit differently than I had before.
- The Mists of Avalon, by Marian Zimmer Bradley. I read this book in High School maybe, and gosh, what a book. I have to re-read it every few years, but it’s so huge that I’ll confess, I don’t always read it cover to cover every time. Sometimes I just go to my favorite parts. There are many. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s a telling of the Arthurian legend from the points of view of the women involved. I’ve tried some of the sequels and prequels, and wasn’t able to get into them.
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera. I read this book in college, after seeing the movie. I liked the film, but I liked the book a lot more. It’s an amazing tale, amazingly told. I kind of feel like everyone should read this book at least once, though I know that’s a mighty pretentious thing to say, and I couldn’t even explain why. Just because.
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers. I can’t believe Ms. McCullers wrote this book at the age of 21. It is the story of four characters, all through the eyes of a fifth. The characters are bitterly lonely, and are coping with that loneliness in whatever ways they can find. Drink, sex, violence. My favorite character was the hard-edged girl, Mick, whose search for beauty is disarming, and hopefully, unfailing.
- The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved this book so much, I wrote Ms. Kingsolver a fan letter. I had never done that before, and have never done so since, but this book, and its follow up, Pigs in Heaven, moved me in a very profound way. Didn’t hurt that I had a child about the same age as Turtle at the time. I also loved Animal Dreams, though some of her recent books have come across to me as too preachy, and I couldn’t get into them, even though I agreed with the message she was preaching.
- The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. This was a devastating, heartbreaking read. But worth every devastating, heartbreaking minute.
- Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. It took me awhile to get into this book. The first chapter wasn’t my cup of tea, but each subsequent chapter became more and more my cup-ish. Loved it.
- The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. The story of Dinah, one of the daughters of Jacob, from the Old Testament. I loved this telling of the story, fleshed out from just a few phrases in the actual text. Very well told, one of those books that I liked so much, I gave it to several people as a gift. I suspect it would mean more if I had read the Bible, and knew the background. I did go look at those few phrases in my Bible, but I think to a scholar, they would get even more. But without that, I still got a lot from this book.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. I read this book as a child, and wow, did I love it. Creepy and crawly and full of good friends, good scares, betrayal and redemption. LOVED it. HATED the movie version. HATED IT.
Next, here are the three books I am going to read for this challenge.
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I chose this book because one of my favorite bloggers, Wendy, suggested it long ago, and said how much she loved it when she read it. I then bought the book for Maya, but she hasn’t read it yet. So I’ll give it a shot. Thanks, Wendy, though you’ll probably never know since you gave up blogging last year. Sigh. This book came from Owlmoose’s list.
- Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie. I’m already reading this book for my Man Booker Challenge. I try not to read the same books for too many challenges, because even though that’s not cheating, it kind of feels like cheating to me. I want the challenges to challenge me to read books I might not have otherwise picked up. But I’m making an exception here, because I really want to read this book. I read Half of a Yellow Sun last year, and LOVED it. This book came from Dewey’s list.
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I’ve not heard of this book, and I suspect that by picking it, I’m more closely following the spirit of the challenge, because I’m learning about a book from those who recommend it highly. This one had four people suggesting it, which was part of how I selected it. Look for one that lots of people liked. 😉 I grabbed it from Amateur de Livre’s list.