I would be lost without a good book. I compiled the list below without walking to my bookcase and examining my collection to jog my memory. These are the books that are permanently lodged in my head. Some of them I haven’t read since I was a small girl, others have recently come into my life.
Nonetheless, I find myself thinking of them again and again. I have included the title, author and a brief description of why I love them.
- The Island by Aldous Huxley
This book gave me my first vision of utopia. I wish this was required reading for every teenager.
- I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Diana Joseph
Diana Joseph brings you right into the details of the everyday and makes them light up like magic.
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
It is like reading a Renoir.
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Scarlett is perfectly impossible and Rhett is dashing and dangerous. At 14, that was all I needed.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
I read this one weekend instead of writing an economics paper and I have no regrets.
- The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones
Its bloody, sweaty and masculine and nothing like the books I was reading at the time.
- Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Piper Kerman perfectly captured the strange limbo you can stumble into if you don’t have a plan after college. (I understand the show is amazing, but I have never watched it.)
- Where Water Comes Together with Other Water by Raymond Carver
It is like peeking into the windows of other people’s homes.
- Forever by Judy Blume
It won a special place in my heart by creating an insane scandal in my fifth grade class.
- The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
A priceless piece of art doesn’t always hang on museum walls. In this case, you can hold it in your hands and leave it on your night stand.
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
In 4th grade this was a sobering lesson in racism.
- Just Kids by Patti Smith
Patti Smith draws you in and lets you mingle with legends. At the same time, she shares the most heartfelt memories of a true love and friend.