Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Books

I missed joining Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish last week because I was busy travelling with my family: to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe--wonderful!  So I missed out on my Top Ten Favorite Book Covers, but all is not lost.  My Top Ten All Time Favorite Books?  Well, this is a lot more difficult that my favorite authors...this is what comes to mind (in no particular order):

1. Persuasion, Jane Austen--the gentle introspection of this book makes it my favorite of hers, although I enjoyed them all.

2. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy--more than the great story and historical references, I love how Tolstoy thinks.  There are parts of the book that are discussion about war rather than story development, and while you could skip them and not miss any of the story, I loved those parts--it was like sitting with Tolstoy and having some great conversation.

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith--Just remarkable, personal, perfect.  I loved it in high school, but my recent re-read was so much better

4. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee--so easy to appreciate on many different levels.

5. Song of the Lark, Willa Cather--not for the story necessarily, more for the amazing description of the development and cost of creativity and art.

6. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte--Gothic flavor without the loss of logic.  I liked the more philosophical elements.

7. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell--even though she died before writing the ending, this girl is a good story teller.

8. Love is Eternal, Irving Stone--this has affected my perception of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.  Great biographical novel.

9. A Woman in White, Wilkie Collins--made me remember why I used to love mysteries.  Top notch, lots of fun.

10. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole--one of those books with an irritating main character that you just can't stop reading about.


  1. Nice list - I loved To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it and should probably reread it because I think I would appreciate it even more now.

    I've been thinking of reading A Confederacy of Dunces; it looks interesting. What other authors would you compare Toole to? (Just so I have a vague idea of what his writing is like.)

  2. Great list! So many of these are books I own but haven't read! I especially have been wanting to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because I've been hearing such good things about it!

    Thanks for participating this week! Hope you had a great vacation!

    -Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish

  3. Some I've read, others I haven't. Of your list, my biggest "to read" priority is The Woman in White. I have no idea why I've put it off for this long, but it's loaded onto my Nook for whenever the mood strikes.

  4. This is a really interesting list! I love that you included Confederacy of Dunces. That is a hilarious book with an interesting back-story. Jane Eyre is showing up on a lot of lists, I just could never get too into that one, but maybe I should give it another try.

  5. Shannon--I've been trying to think of something to compare Confederacy of Dunces to, but I've yet to come up with anything. You can get a little idea of his writing style from the preview on Amazon.

    Jamie--Thanks for hosting the Top Ten! And do read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (obviously I think it's great.)

    Andi--I'm totally a 'read what the mood calls for' person (though I'm trying to change that) so I totally understand.

    thebookstop--I almost didn't remember Confederacy of Dunces, but am so glad I did. It's really unique, and great fun to read. I enjoyed Jane Eyre, but it didn't really suck me in. I think I really liked that it wasn't Wuthering Heights. :)

  6. Well, in our respective 'Top-Ten Lists' we share five:

    "War and Peace"
    "The Song of the Lark"
    "Jane Eyre"
    "Wives and Daughters"

    Regarding "Wives and Daughters" I always get so upset with people who say that it is unfinished. It is really quite finished. I believe that you'd have to be a an absolute moron to not see where Gaskell was taking this. Molly Gibson gets her wish. [Secretly, between you and me, I loved the BBC film adaptation; they ended it perfectly!]

    P.S. My other remaining Five--

    "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" Thomas Hardy
    "The Return of the Native" Thomas Hardy
    "The Mill on the Floss" George Eliot
    "Our Mutual Friend" Charles Dickens
    "The House of Mirth" Edith Wharton

    and No. 11 "Anna Karenina" Leo Tolstoy

  7. Chris, I agree that Wives and Daughters felt complete, and the BBC adaptation is great!

    Dickens is on my "need to read immediately" list, glad to know which one to go for. :) I haven't read Hardy, Eliot or Wharton yet...I had a hard time declaring a Top Ten, because I know I have favorites out there that I just haven't read yet! :)

    I liked Anna Karenina in high school, it definitely deserves a re-read.


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