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alpaca_shearer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 5:54pm
While not strictly related to creative writing, what we read has such a profound impact on how we write. I'm curious to see what moves all you wonderful writers. Plus its a fun way to pass the time until I can read all these great Round 2 stories.

I read the Marie Kondo book on tidying up last year. For those of you who don't know who she is, her new Netflix series has created quite a stir. I can sum up the basic premise for you pretty quickly. Hold an object in your hands: if it sparks joy, keep it. If it doesn't spark joy, get rid of it.

Anyway, she discusses the keeping of books. She says she whittled her own book collection down to 30 titles, and recommends others to do something similar. 

Personally, I could NEVER get my collection down to thirty. But it got me thinking... What would be the thirty books I would choose to keep if someone had a gun to my head? 

So here it is! My thirty favorite books. These are not what I would consider the thirty BEST books I've read. They are the thirty books that have either influenced me the most in my personal growth, both as a writer and as a person. The books that have inspired me, and the books that make me want to go back and read them again and again. 

Hesse, McCarthy, Hemingway, and Steinbeck all pull double honors (Noticing a theme there LOL)

In no particular order:

  1. Narcissus and Goldmund - Hesse

  2. The Prophet - Gibran

  3. All the Pretty Horses - McCarthy

  4. Life and Fate - Grossman

  5. How Green was my Valley - Llewellyn

  6. Ishmael - Quinn

  7. The Idiot - Dostoevsky

  8. The Old Man and the Sea - Hemingway

  9. The Call of the Wild - London

  10. The Road - McCarthy

  11. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Hemingway

  12. 1984 - Orwell

  13. All Quiet on the Western Front - Remarque

  14. Desert Solitaire - Abbey

  15. The Long Way - Moitessier

  16. The Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck

  17. The Power of One - Courtenay

  18. Cosmos - Sagan

  19. Roots - Haley

  20. The Jungle - Sinclair

  21. Siddartha - Hesse

  22. Huckleberry Finn - Twain

  23. On the Road - Kerouac

  24. Animal Farm - Orwell

  25. Heart of Darkness - Conrad

  26. Lonesome Dove - McMurtry

  27. Outdoor Survival Skills - Olsen

  28. The Hobbit - Tolkien

  29. The Education of Little Tree - Carter

  30. Of Mice and Men - Steinbeck


What have you got folks? Any of these books make your list?
 


Edited by alpaca_shearer - 08 Apr 2019 at 5:56pm
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roccapia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roccapia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 6:21pm
I recycle books. I find 'em used or at the library, and when I read them, I sell them back to the bookstore or return to the library. Any book that I read over and over, I keep on kindle. So I have books at the house, but none I'm particularly attached to and must keep. If they're good enough, I know I can always find another copy somewhere.
 
My 30 (and I like kid lit best, so my 30 might not be as adult in places as most!)
 
1. Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
2. The whole Chronicles of Narnia Series - C.S. Lewis
3. The whole Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
4. The whole LOTR (including Hobbit) - JRR Tolken
5. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
6. Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls?
7. River God - Wilbur SMith
8. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
9. The Black Stallion - Walter Farley
10. Every Oz book by L. Frank Baum
11. Seabiscuit - Laura Hillenbrandt
12. Chesapeake - Michner
13. Call of the Wild - London
14. Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
15. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
16. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
17. Just So Stories - Kipling
18. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khalid Hosseini
19. Winnie the Pooh - Milne
20. Alice in Wonderland - Carroll
21. It - Stephen King
22. The Seventh Scroll - Wilbur Smith
23. World Without End - Ken Follett
24. Oliver Twist - Dickens
25. The House at Pooh Corner - Milne
26. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
27. Anne of Green Gables
28. Peter Pan - Barrie
29. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Doyle
30. A Christmas Carol - Dickens
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alpaca_shearer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 6:45pm
Originally posted by roccapia roccapia wrote:

 

1. Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
2. The whole Chronicles of Narnia Series - C.S. Lewis
3. The whole Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
4. The whole LOTR (including Hobbit) - JRR Tolken

 

Haha, I'm pretty sure that's like 15 books right there! You're right though, its hard to pick a favorite when it comes to the Tolkien trilogy OR the chronicles of Narnia. 

I had forgotten about the Jungle Book!! That was such a big deal book to me as a kid! Might have to try and shoehorn that one into my top list as well...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GallifreyGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 6:48pm
It is my extremely biased opinion that either Marie Kondo has no soul, or "30 bookcases" was mistranslated as "30 books."

First of all, Harry Potter is 7 books; Temeraire is 9; and GoT (will eventually be) another 7. Which I guess means I have to Sophie's Choice 7 poetry books from my collection of over 200? Hard pass.



But if I did:
Asghar, Fatimah. If They Come for Us.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale.
Barnett, Catherine. Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes are Pierced.
Block, Francesca Lia. Dangerous Angels. (it's 5 books but they're compiled into a single volume so I'm only counting them as one sue me)
Bryson, Bill. In a Sunburnt Country.
Card, Orson Scott. Xenocide.
Cashore, Kristin. Graceling.
Chomsky, Noam. Manufacturing Consent.
Clifton, Lucille. The Book of Light.
Crusie, Jennifer. Getting Rid of Bradley.
Douglass, Sara. Beyond the Hanging Wall.
Gluck, Louise. Averno.
Grossman, Lev. The Magician King.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter.
Lewis, Robin Coste. Voyage of the Sable Venus.
Nelson, Maggie. Bluets.
Novik, Naomi. Crucible of Gold.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Black Water.
Oyehaug, Gunnhild. Knots.
Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct.
Rankine, Claudia. Don't Let Me Be Lonely.
Rowling, JK. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Russell, Bertrand. Why I Am Not a Christian.
Sagan, Carl. Contact.
Saunders, George. Tenth of December.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony.
Sparks, Amber. May We Shed These Human Bodies.
Simic, Charles. The World Doesn't End.
Thorne, Sally. The Hating Game.
Vuong, Ocean. Night Sky with Exit Wounds.

These cuts were to the bone, man.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dashesndots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 7:24pm
The first eight are fairly set in stone - the rest are somewhat interchangeable. Most of them are books I read as a teenager, and the genres I prefer are pretty obvious LOL
(And yeah, I'm cheating by including several series.  But I could never have only 30 books!)

1. A Song of Ice & Fire Series - George R.R. Martin
2. His Dark Materials Trilogy - Philip Pullman
3. Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
4. Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
5. The Abhorsen Trilogy - Garth Nix
6. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
7. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
8. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
9. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
10. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
11. The Fables graphic novel series - Bill Willingham
12. Little Women - Louise May Alcott
13. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
14. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
15. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
16. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
17. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
18. The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
19. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
20. The Firebringer trilogy - Meredith Ann Pierce
21. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse - Robert Rankin
22. The Kitchen God's Wife - Amy Tan
23. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
24. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
25. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
26. Clay's Ark - Octavia Butler
27. Blood & Chocolate - Anne Kurtis Klaus
28. The Forestwife - Theresa Tomlinson
29. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
30. A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams



Edited by dashesndots - 08 Apr 2019 at 7:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roccapia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 7:38pm
My big goal this year is to read every winning Pulitzer fiction novel that I haven't read yet (which is a lot). But when I'm done, I'm coming back to this thread and reading some of the books you guys have on your lists. Because there's a lot I haven't read that look really interesting!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dias Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 7:41pm
I love lists, but this was tough! I went for a mix of books I loved growing up, books that changed the way I think, and then some that are just fun to read (because if Marie Kondo really did take all my other books away, I'd need something to make me smile!)

In no particular order:

1. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
2. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
3. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
4. The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
5. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - J R R Tolkien
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C S Lewis
8. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
9. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
10. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
11. Running in the Family - Michael Ondaatje
12. Howl’s Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
13. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
14. Sabriel - Garth Nix
15. Le Grand Meaulnes - Alain-Fournier
16. Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
17. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
18. Cold Light of Day - Anita Desai
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
20. Tom’s Midnight Garden - Philippa Pearce
21. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
22. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
23. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor
24. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
25. Bridge of Clay - Markus Zusak
26. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
27. The Old Wives’ Tale - Arnold Bennett
28. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
29. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
30. The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion


Edited by dias - 08 Apr 2019 at 7:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote alpaca_shearer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 7:49pm
Originally posted by dashesndots dashesndots wrote:

The first eight are fairly set in stone - the rest are somewhat interchangeable. Most of them are books I read as a teenager, and the genres I prefer are pretty obvious LOL
(And yeah, I'm cheating by including several series.  But I could never have only 30 books!)

1. A Song of Ice & Fire Series - George R.R. Martin
2. His Dark Materials Trilogy - Philip Pullman
3. Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
4. Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
5. The Abhorsen Trilogy - Garth Nix
6. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
7. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
8. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
9. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
10. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
11. The Fables graphic novel series - Bill Willingham
12. Little Women - Louise May Alcott
13. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
14. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
15. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
16. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
17. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
18. The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
19. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
20. The Firebringer trilogy - Meredith Ann Pierce
21. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse - Robert Rankin
22. The Kitchen God's Wife - Amy Tan
23. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
24. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
25. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
26. Clay's Ark - Octavia Butler
27. Blood & Chocolate - Anne Kurtis Klaus
28. The Forestwife - Theresa Tomlinson
29. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
30. A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams


There are A LOT of books on this list I haven't heard of! It's crazy how varied everyones tastes are. So interesting! The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse? I'm looking that up!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 7:59pm
All right, I have to play now. Also just spent a lot of time combing through my bookshelves. (Might have found a TON of books I still need to get around to reading.)

First, the givens:
1-7: Harry Potter series
8-12: Song of Ice and Fire series, though I will say it took me NINE MONTHS to get through Dance with Dragons back in 2013

Then, if I have to pick only my favorite Stephen King novels
13: It
14: The Green Mile
15: Cell (don't ask me why. I have a soft spot for it.)

And in no particular order
16: Wild, Cheryl Strayed
17: The Help, Kathryn Stockett
18:To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (okay, that was a lie. This would/should be number 1)
19: Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
20: Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
21: Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill
22: Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
23: Beat the Reaper, Josh Bazell
24: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi (I've only met one other person who's ever even heard of this awesome book)
25-27: The Magicians Trilogy, Lev Grossman (an inspiration for how I plan to lay out my own fantasy trilogy)
28: Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
29: The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick
30: The Ruins, Scott Smith


Edited by chrissie0707 - 08 Apr 2019 at 7:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2019 at 8:12pm

Here's the top thirty leave on my bookshelf, while the bold titles are the top six seven eight I'd bring with me to a deserted island (along with a manual on how to survive on one LOL).

edited to add: The Scarlet Pimpernel and Orlando

All Our Wonder Unavenged

Don Domanski

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Andrew Bolton

American Gods

Neil Gaiman

Atonement

Ian McEwan

Beauty

Robin McKinley

Catherine Called Birdy

Karen Cushman

Circe

Madeline Miller

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

Deathless

Catherynne M. Valente

Disgrace

J.M. Coetzee

Essex County

Jeff Lemire

Float

Anne Carson

Grace: A Memoir

Grace Coddington

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

J.K. Rowling

My Best Stories

Alice Munro

Never Let me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

Orlando: A Biography

Virginia Woolf

Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Joan Didion

Stardust

Neil Gaiman

The Amber Spyglass

Philip Pullman

The Bloody Chamber

Angela Carter

The English Patient

Michael Ondaatje

The Forestwife

Theresa Tomlinson

The Illustrated Man

Ray Bradbury

The Odyssey

Homer (Translated by Emily Wilson)

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Baroness Orczy

The Secret History

Donna Tartt

White Teeth

Zadie Smith

Zorro

Isabel Allende





Edited by Angara - 10 Apr 2019 at 7:07am
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