10 Books I Can’t Live Without

6 years ago

Back in March of 2007, I posted about 10 books I couldn’t live without. I thought it would be interesting to revisit that post, 5 years later, and see how much it has changed. Or not.

The 2007 list:

1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

2. Possession by AS Byatt.

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.

5. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.

7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

9. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

See my post from 5 years ago, to see my thoughts on these books and why I picked them.

Now, for my 2012 list. What stays? What goes? Does it change at all?

First, I need to decide, once and for all, what my criteria are for this list. One that immediately jumps to mind is rereadability. Have I reread it? How many times have I reread it? Do I want to reread it again and how soon? And at the root of this? Well, my thinking is if I have read it many times, I obviously found something of merit. If upon rereading, I wound up loving it more than the first, second, third, and so on times, it should be found deserving. So, here we go. My list of 10 Books I Can’t Live Without -- 5 years later.

1. The Princess Bride stays. Always and forever. As you wish.

2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This book has become an annual event in my house. My hubby even loves it. I can’t wait to share it with the kiddos when they are little bit older.

3. Possession stays. I’ve read it three, four, five (?) times, and it never gets old. Brilliant book. I think I’m due a reread come to think of it. I think I’ll get my hands on the audio. It is fantastic..

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Yes! Of course this stays. This is slowly moving up my list of all-time-favorites. This book, THIS ONE, is the ultimate in comfort reads, for me.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. A sentimental favorite for sure. I haven’t read them in about 10 years, but it’s almost time to dust them off for my oldest. She’s just about ready for them.

The Three Muskateers by Alexandre Dumas. Still a favorite, but I think it gets pulled. I just don’t seem me reading it again anytime soon and for me, rereading is a strong factor in a favorite book. I have to want to reread it. I think 3 times is enough for this one. At least for now.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. Ditto the above. Great book, l0ve it, but don’t think I’ll be rereading it any time soon.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ditto again! I love this book, seriously I do. I even reread it last year. But now, I think I’m good for, oh, the next 20 or 30 years or so.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’ve only read it once. A reread needs to be done, so maybe it will wind up on the list again, sometime in the future.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I’ve only read it once! I KNOW. Someday, I will reread it. Until then, it has to leave this list.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve only read it once! Bad, BAD me. Apparently, (if I remember correctly) I read all of the last 4 books on my list 5 years ago, for the first time, and it was such instant head-over-heels love that I just arbitrarily put them on my list. Silly, silly 5 year ago me!

6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I think it’s safe to add this one, since I just completed my 4th reread and the story only grew in richness and complexity. This is one series that I think will never fail to move me.

7. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. Yes, I’m cheating here. No, I don’t care. I will love and adore these books forever.

8. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Yes, I’ve reread this behemoth. Three times actually and damn if it didn’t get better every time. This is one of those books where time only makes me grow fonder and multiple rereads only bring the brilliance, the layers, and the joy of this book out more and more.

9. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. A book about the power of words and stories. What more could a bookish book lover love more? Why haven’t you read it yet?

10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Me of 5 years ago would have been embarrassed to put this on my list. Me of 5 years later just doesn’t care. I think I have probably read (or listened to the brilliant audio) at least as many times as I’ve read The Princess Bride and it just doesn’t get old. Jamie…. *sigh*

So, there you have it. My list of 10 books I just don’t think I could live without.

How about you? What 10 books would be on your list?

~Heather~

Capricious Reader - a blog about books, family and life

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