I was challenged recently to list my nine favorite books, and it was harder than I thought. I have a list of hundreds. I also have had favorites at different points in my life. Here they are by decade/age.
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
This was my favorite book as a toddler. I am first generation Sesame Street, and Grover was always my hero. Now that I think about it, this one was a mystery too.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
I checked this book out of the Woodstock Elementary library every two weeks for months in the second grade.
The Crooked Bannister by Carolyn Keene
In the 5th grade, this was my favorite of all the Nancy Drew books. It had a pun and a plot twist that I loved. My friends and I raced through the collection at the public library. Then we read all of the Hardy Boys and Alfred Hitchcock books.
The Ransom of Red Chief and Other Stories by O. Henry
I was introduced to O. Henry in the sixth grade by Mrs. Todd. I have always loved stories with twists at the end. O. Henry is still one of my favorites.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I read this the first of many times in the eighth grade in Mrs. Buffington’s class. I fell in love with Scout, Atticus, Boo, and all the rest.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I read this the first time in the eleventh grade in Mrs. Bates’ class. Then we watched Robert Redford in that pink suit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this over the years. (Leonardo DiCaprio is good too, but the Robert Redford version is a classic.) Plus, Billy Idol's "Eyes without a Face" came out that year, and I've always linked that song with the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
We read a lot of good books in high school. I loved the mystery in this classic and the symbolism.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path
I read this in several undergraduate courses, and it resonated with me in my college years. Plath’s tragic ending made it more poignant.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
I read this early in my work career, and many of his points were dead on.
I was very fortunate to have parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians who encouraged reading and suggested great books. What are your favorites?