I like this meme because I like lists. I like this meme because it reminds me of the Top 5 lists from High Fidelity (by Nick Hornby as a book, starring John Cusak as a movie). And I like this meme because it causes me to think long and hard about book-related topics. So here goes:
1. Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Thanks to this book, I have an ampersand permanently tattooed on the side of my neck behind and slightly beneath my right ear. There is little than enrages me as much as irresponsible use of incorrect grammar.
2. Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
The ultimate friendship book. Elegantly crafted, this true story is about the lifelong friendship between Ann Patchett herself, and her BFF. I cried and gave it to my BFF and have recommended it to people far and wide.
3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My mother gave me this book – all five books bound in leather with gilded edges and a black satin bookmark. My sister has a copy, I have a copy, and my mother has a copy. I can’t really describe why the ridiculous escapades in these five-in-one novels strike me as both brilliant and hysterical (and brilliantly hysterical), but I’m constantly referencing things from them and most of the people around me have no idea what I’m laughing about. Read it, and find out how eerily it applies to a lot of life right now.
4. Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley
I know you’re all tired of hearing about my favorite book of all time, but I swear to you, watching Scarlett finally grow into herself without changing the essence that makes her just as much of a rascal as Rhett Butler has truly been life-changing. I reread this authorized sequel to Gone With the Wind at least once a year – laugh, cry, dream big, and learn something new every time.
5. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
I was 4 years into working in the book industry before I read this book and still, despite being surrounded by book writers, book workers, and book lovers every day, this was one of the very first times I felt like I was not alone in my obsession with the written word. A true treatise for book lovers everywhere.
6. Knock Yourself Up by Louise Sloan
This is a tell-all book about becoming a single-mom-by-choice. I’ve always said I wanted children at some point in my life, regardless of partnership status, but reading a book by a woman who actually went ahead and did it has been incredibly inspiring. While I’m not quite there yet, I know that if/when the time comes, it will be this book, among others, that will help me get through it.
7. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Another one of those books I will never stop mentioning. It’s just so all-encompassing in its story, writing with sensitivity and understanding, while throwing in action and adventure, told in both dreams and the present until they both come together; I really believe it to be a masterpiece. Read my review of it here.
8. One Bite With a Stranger by Christine Warren
This ain’t no a-dult-angsty version of Twilight. This is full-on vampire sex. For those interested, ‘nough said. Well-written, too.
9. You by Charles Benoit
God, I wish I knew what to do with the emotions this book stirred up. This is one of those books that makes me want to rally behind something, anything, to help the systemic, epidemic issues plaguing this country’s teens, regardless of socio-economic class. The brilliance of this book is that it shows, step-by-step, how “good kids” who come from “good families” can end up “going bad,” often before they, themselves, know exactly how they got there. If it was in my power, I would put this in the hand of anyone who has ever worked with, lived with, or even interacted with a teenager. Read my review of it here.
10. Rebel Bookseller by Andrew Laties
I want to open my own bookstore. This is a little like one of the books of the bible, for a bookseller. As awful as that metaphor is, you get what I’m saying.