I have a very nasty habit of reading books I love instead of reading something new or picking up a different book by the same author. Conversion Diary had a post about some new books I would like to try, but in the meantime, I'll just read this old friend...
1. Thomas Hardy- Tess of the d'Ubervilles
An amazing book- talk about word pictures. I read Far from the Maddening Crowd this past summer when I was in the old country. All I could think is- Bathsheba is not Tess.
2. P.D. James- The Children of Men
I have read this masterpiece at least ten times. Although I love her mysteries, this is the book that she should be remembered for. This is science fiction for those that don't care for science fiction. If you really want to be scared, imagine a world where the plot of this book comes true. Her character development shows skill and love for her characters that most novelists just don't possess. Just please don't want the so-called movie. I cried in bitter disappoint.
3. Graham Greene- The End of the Affair
Another beautiful book. His writing is amazing, thought-provoking and emotional; if I had a book club, this would be the first on the list. First order of business would be to forbid everyone in the club to watch that horror of a movie that changed the end of the book which developed the theme of the book. I'll say no more, just read. I sense a pattern here- actress Julianne Moore has starred in two movies 'inspired' by my favorites which destroyed the book. I am not talking "Susan kisses Prince Caspian before she goes back home"-destroy, I am talking truly, madly, deeply destroying perfection.
4. C.S. Lewis- 'Til We Have Faces
Tolkein converted Lewis to Christianity when he said something to the effect- "Some myths are true." 'Til We Have Faces is a myth of the pre-Christian world variety. The writing is stark and true. Read it after you have brushed up on your ancient stories courtesy of D'Aulaire's Greek Myths.
5. JRR Tolkein- The Hobbit
While I should probably be reading Chesterton's Orthodoxy or St Augustine's City of God, I must confess that this book is the one on my bedside table right now. Much more than a child's novel, it develops the story of great things coming from the most insignificant of creatures, the simple hobbit being a mirror to humanity.
6. LM Montgomery- The Blue Castle
Recently back in print, this novel takes the unloved orphan spinster suffers then triumphs idea and surprises the reader along the way. The character and setting descriptions are less indulgent than but just as rich as her Anne books. I just pray that a movie is never made of this favorite.
7. Irene Haas- The Maggie B.
As a mom, I had to include a picture book. This is is one that I always reach for. I love the illustrations, the gentle rhythm of her writing and the unforced girl power-sibling love theme.
Leave some of your much-loved favorites in the comments if you are so inclined.