These are my Top Ten Reads, the books that I will, or have read over and over again:
10. The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. Actually, any book by C.S. Lewis goes in the number 10 spot, I don't really care which one. He was brilliant, and I am always better for reading him.
9. The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope. A little-known book, first published in 1894. A rollicking, swashbuckling adventure, hard to put down.
8. The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan. Alfred Hitchcock based his movie on this book, but went way off the track. This is about the gentleman spy of WWI, and 007 has nothing on Richard Hannay. There are actually 4 books in the series, this being the first. I read this one aloud to my 3 sons, and they all got hooked and had to read the rest.
7. The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy. These are actually a series, and once you read the first action-packed book, you will be hooked. They take place during the French Revolution, and you cannot miss the English contempt for the Frogs. So much fun.
6. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. My daughter and I read this aloud, and shed a tear at the end of just about every chapter. This is the perfect example of why they call them 'The Classics'.
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin. Another girlie book, you might be thinking, but my son read this when he was 14 and loved it. The witty writing and quirkie personalities are one-of-a-kind. I pick this up now and then for a good laugh.
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. Such a heartwarming story, full of witty characters and a glimpse of a New York we'll never know again.
3. Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkein. This series elevated reading in my kids' minds. After reading the first one aloud, they all picked them up and finished them at their own pace. Of course, we watched the movies and made Halloween costumes for years. They have a love of good literature all because of J.R.R. Tolkein, and I am grateful.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I love this book because it was so well-written. A masterpiece that was a joy to read. A deep story told from the point of view of an 8-year-old child prodigy. I read that, other than 3 short stories that weren't that good, this was all that Harper Lee had published, sort of like her life's work. It certainly stands out as that.
1. The Shack, by William Paul Young. I just finished this in December, and re-read it in January. I can't say enough about this book. It is fiction, it is wild, it will blow your theology to the moon. It is written in such a way that it really doesn't matter what your religious background is. It will impact you one way or another. I think I will be digesting it for a long time.
So, those are my top 10 reads, it was really hard to narrow it down, there are so many more that I can think of. I'd love to hear yours!