I love to read, but I don’t always have the time, which means I put other things ahead of said pastime, like painting, or spending time with family.
I used to devour the top ten books on the New York Times Bestseller List back in the 90’s. In 1996, I began working full time in education. You would think that working in academia would allow me the opportunity to read anything and everything, but that’s when my appetite for a wide variety of literature ended.
I began to read computer books, software books, books on design, illustration, and art, as well as material on being a good teacher. I had left my first love of literature.
This list is about the books that have changed my ideas about love and life. I would not be the same person without them.
You must love being taken to another time and place, to meet new people and experience grand adventures. That’s what literature does for me. It changes my way of looking at life, at just the right moment that I needed a change or a new perspective.
The list is in order by topic.
A side note. THE BIBLE continues to be the most influential book in my life. It is the book that pulls me through the dark and toughest times. These other books have helped shaped my view of life. One interesting note; I still own all of these books, except for Dr. Spock’s tome. No need you see, for as a grandmother, I’ve “been there, done that”! Now it’s just about the love.
1. THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton
2. ANGEL ON SKIS by Betty Cavanna
3. NOBODY’S BOY by Hector Malot
These are the books that carried me to someone else’s world and are burned into my memory. I have reread them countless times.
4. SHANE by Jack Schaefer
I read a lot in high school. A lot. Shane is the book, however, that began my love affair with literature, thanks to my freshman English teacher, Janice Lukasik. She loved books and somehow broke through my adolescent brain, to teach me how to love them as well.
5. MIDDLEMARCH by George Eliot
This book, epitomizes my life as an English Major in college. No other book helped to develop my love for British literature, as Middlemarch did. When I read the last line, I felt like I had lost a good friend.
6. ISAAC ASIMOV’s TRILOGY by Isaac Asimov
My love for science fiction was firmly established with this mind boggling trilogy.
7. THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING by T. S. Eliot
Given to me by my college boyfriend who was destined to become my husband, this book shaped my thinking about Arthurian legend in the grand scheme of literature. I have read countless books on Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, and Guinevere and search for movies and television depicting my favorite romantic characters.
8. THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE by William Shakespeare
Some plays and sonnets were dreary, while others were magical. Twelfth Night is my favorite play of course. A perfect mix of romance, deception, and foolery.
8. MERE CHRISTIANITY by C.S. Lewis
A staple in my walk of faith.
9. THE COMMON SENSE BOOK OF BABY AND CHILDCARE by Dr. Benjamin Spock. I met him in person at Notre Dame University just after my son was born. I think I said something he didn’t find very funny. I thought I was funny.
10. GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown
A book most children and their parents can recite by heart. I now get to read this to my granddaughter.
ADULT after my husband passed away
11. A GRIEF OBSERVED by C.S. Lewis
This book above all others helped me through the loss of my husband. I am reading it once again, upon the loss of another love. Life is shaped by our hellos and goodbyes.
There you have it. I would love to hear the books that you have loved or that have changed your life. I’m sure your reading adventures have been as life changing.