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Yesterday, I was tagged in the kind of Facebook meme that you just know I’m going to participate in: The request? That I list the top 10 books that stayed with me. They’re not necessarily my favorite books (though some are), and they’re not necessarily good literature (some are not) — but for better or for worse, these books all stuck in my soul.

Given that this is the month of using up vacation time for so many people — and, ya know, spending it with loved ones in your pj’s and NOT in your cubicle — I though this list of 10 might provide a nice little reading list for anyone looking for some good books to pick up this season (or, perhaps, gift ideas?)

In no particular order:

  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (One of the first memoirs I read and loved.)
  2. Forever, by Judy Blume (One of the few books I’ve read over and over. Such a sweet tale of first love. And, when I was in junior high, the first time I read it, I liked the sex. Come on — we all liked the sex.)

    Judy Blume in Skokie, IL

    (Judy Blume in Skokie, IL. God, I would love to see her. I have read every single
    book she’s written. I can’t say that about many writers, even Stephen King.)

  3. It, by Stephen King (My favorite book by the king.)
  4. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (My favorite book in the series.)
  5. Horns, by Joe Hill (The only book on this list that made me long for an AP English class for a good, long discussion — on the idea of good vs. evil, specifically on the concept of God granting prayers through the use of evil. Fascinating.)
  6. Inherit the Wind, by Lawrence and Lee (One of the only other books I’ve read over and over. When I think of all the reasons behind the details in my faith, this is one of the biggies. I read it for class freshman year of high school, and it was the first time I considered some of the Big Ideas presented. Quote: “The Bible is a book. It’s a good book. It’s not the only book.”)
  7. Good Grief, by Lolly Winston (Click lit with a killer story. For some reason, I really gravitate to books about widows.)
  8. Eat Pray Love, by Liz Gilbert (Amazing, amazing writing that solidified my obsession with Italy.)

    Eat, Pray, Love

  9. A Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion (This is the first book I’ve ever read that made me crave writing a book myself. Her technique is flawless, a beautiful mixture of memoir, stream of consciousness, detailed storytelling.

    Joan Didion by David Shankbone


  10. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving (This book touched me so much. It’s a feat of storytelling, following the characters from their childhood through adulthood, and I fell deeply in love with the pages.)

What books have stayed with you through the years? Planning to pick up any of these?