Recently I noticed a social media post making the rounds in which you are supposed to list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. The goal is not to overthink it, but simply take a few minutes and answer. They don’t have to be great books or the “right” books, just books that have stayed with you, impacting you in some way. So, in no particular order, here are ten books that have stayed with me:
1. Nine Stories~ JD Salinger: A collection of stories that is sometimes disturbing, but always full of melancholy. My favorites are “For Esme–With Love and Squalor”, “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes”, and “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period”.
2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret~ Judy Blume: This emotionally intense and angst-filled novel has a storyline that is issue-oriented and character-driven. It grabbed my attention in the 4th grade, and has stuck with me ever since!
3. Big Russ & Me~ Tim Russert: This biography is truly heartwarming and quite candid. The beloved television journalist writes about the relationship between him and his father and offers valuable lessons in life.
4. The Catcher in the Rye~ J.D. Salinger: If I was stranded on an island and could only take one book, this is the one I would take! Salinger’s classic coming-of-age story is darkly humorous, reflective, and moving.
5. The Body in the Library~ Agatha Christie: This is the first Agatha Christie book I ever read, and it had me at the title! Christie’s writing style is engaging and the storyline is intricately plotted in this Miss Marple case.
6. Ethan Frome~ Edith Wharton: Admittedly, the tone is quite bleak and melancholic, but Wharton’s writing style is so descriptive and lyrical that I was sucked in on the first page and never put it down until I finished. I shan’t spoil the story for you!
7. On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft~ Stephen King: A practical view of the writer’s craft, King‘s advice is grounded in memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer. The style is conversational, and the tone is reflective and darkly humorous.
8. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd~ Agatha Christie: Not your conventional Agatha Christie story! It is one of her best known and most controversial novels, with an innovative twist ending, and is considered her masterpiece.
9. The Notebook~ Nicholas Sparks: This was Nicholas Sparks’ first published novel, and I think it’s his best work. The poignant love story was inspired by his wife’s grandparents and is told through scenes from the past and a collection of intensely personal letters.
10. Wrecked~ Maria Padian: I just read this YA novel recently. It’s a multi-faceted interpretation of a sexual assault on a college campus that will leave you thinking how memory and identity, what’s at stake, and who sits in judgment, all shape what we believe.
It’s always nice to see people celebrating books, but my favorite part of book lists is learning about books that I haven’t heard of before or that I haven’t read yet. So with that in mind, what books have stayed with you?