Little Men is not my favourite, but that book is falling apart because I read it over 20 times one summer that I was at her house. I always regretted leaving that book behind when I went home to Calgary. About ten years ago, I asked her if I could take that book home with me, and she said “Well, of course. I thought you should have taken it twenty years ago.” Aw, Grandma, I miss you.
Along with Little Women, Louisa May Alcott wrote Rose in Bloom, the sequel to Eight Cousins. How I loved that book, even if it does have an icky undertone of “which cousin will Rose marry?” which is, well, icky. But yet, it’s a beautiful period piece and after reading a biography of Alcott’s actual wretched life, I like to think about her writing this lovely society story. I hope it brought her happiness.
4) The Mists of Avalon
My aunt gave me this book when I was a teenager and wow, is it an amazing read. It’s a retelling of King Arthur’s story from the women’s point of view. While I could care less about reading about knights and dragons, reading about queens and affairs and magical witchcraft? Fabulous. I’m not someone who enjoys fantasy stories, but this is the exception to my rule.
6) Pride and Prejudice
I was in second year university when I read this book and I can’t believe I wasted 19 years of my life without it. I am a slavish Jane Austen fan – love the wit, love the romance – but this book is the very best of the bunch. The dialogue is amazing and Mr. Darcy’s speech about how he MUST tell Elizabeth how much he loves and admires her? Sighhhhh.
Love this trio of books, but they are more of an honourable mention.
7) Diary of a Provincial Lady
This is the wittiest, most entertaining book ever. I read it when I’m feeling down or need to be inspired. It’s falling apart such that I have to put individual pages in order when I read it.
8) Of Mice and Men
This is NOT one of my favourites but it is a book that’s stayed with me a long time. In fact, I’ve only read it once. This should be telling. I practically have a sobbing breakdown when I think of the ending and so NO I WON’T READ IT AGAIN. Such a sad, moving story. I read it when I was a teenager, in the car on the way to Saskatchewan, and I was upset about it for DAYS after. DAYS. My older brother took great pleasure in leaning over and saying “What about the rabbits, George” which would make me burst into tears.
Ack, I’m running out of room. Honourable mention to Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, alhough Kite Runner is a one-read-only kind of book.
Also, props to one of my favourites, The Godfather. I burst into emotional hormonal tears when reading this in the doctor’s waiting room while pregnant with Jake. I had gotten to the part where Sonny is shot, look at how they massacred my son, and I started crying with I don’t want his mother to see him this way. Because I am a mother! Not that my husband is a mafia boss but still….
9 a) Lives of Girls and Women
I love Alice Munro’s works, I adore her writing, her dialogue, her mastery of the short story. Lives of Girls and Women was the first story I had ever read by her, and I was hooked. You can see by the spine that I’ve read it a few times.
9 b) Cat’s Eye
It’s HARD to choose ten books only. Cat’s Eye is astounding. I remember reading it for the first time, and then flashing back to being girl-bullied in fifth grade. If you’ve ever had experience with mean girls – and who hasn’t, really – this is an incredible read. But see in the shelf below, there’s a gap in my Margaret Atwood books?
10) The Blind Assassin
Possibly my all-time favourite book. It’s an epic, and threads so interestingly through different eras. A passionate romance, a family epic, a history of wars and Bolshevism and unionism and riots and civic unrest, but shown through the eyes of a pampered society girl. I love everything about this book: the description of the fashions, the dialogue, the romantic tension, the politics. It is on my nightstand right now.
And now it’s your turn! I’m tagging EVERYONE in this meme. If you’re a blogger, consider it a topic! If you’re not, tell me ten books that have stayed with you through the years in the comment section. xoxo