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Reading Challenge: Herding Cats!

May 13, 2008
The Challenge: 342, 745 Ways To Herd Cats.
One cat: herded. Next!

This is a fun one. Click here for more info on the challenge. First, we list 10 books that we love. I have a hard time making book lists. I always want to qualify them. My Top 10 Books For When I’m Sick, Top 10 Books To Make Me Cry, Top 10 Books I Could Read Over and Over, etc. However, here are Top 10 Books That I Really Enjoyed That Pop Into My Mind Right Now.

My List of 10 Books That I Heart (in no particular order):

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: This book was perfect for January snuggly winter reading… shadowy, amusing, thoughtful and meandering. I loved, loved, loved it.
  2. Little Women: My favorite from childhood. I learned so much from reading this over and over and over! I recently re-read and discovered how much of my own moral compass stems from this classic.
  3. Middlesex: A classic case of misassigned gender… but so much more than that. Family secrets, a young person discovering their true self, an adventure, a tragedy. Fantastic writing and poignant yet entertaining story.
  4. Poisonwood Bible: I read this in 7 hours straight sitting at the Denver airport when my flight got cancelled. I could not have chosen a better book to be stuck with. Elegantly written, completely fascinating and utterly absorbing. One of the best books I’ve ever read.
  5. The Secret History: Mysterious, dark, edgy and troubling novel of college kids run amok with Dionysian excess.
  6. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: This is on my list of Could Read Over And Over. I love the meandering tale and the heartwrenching sacrifice, plus the characters get into your heart and stay there (while not at all being heartwarming, thank goodness).
  7. The Fountainhead: I read this while sitting awake during the long white nights in Finland, unable to sleep. This spurred a short-lived Ayn Rand obsession. I also really enjoyed We The Living. Harsh and difficult to understand at times, but completely worth reading.
  8. Mists of Avalon: Ugh, does everyone have this on their list? Still, being an Arthurian Legend geek, it had to be read, and re-read, and finally purchased to stay with me forever. I hate to admit that I love this book. It gets hard to read about half-way through as the tragedies start to stack up, but is such a good story.
  9. Twilight Series: Young Adult lit (one of my favorite genres)… a new twist on forbidden love. Captivating and deeply romantic without being sappy. If you’re looking for a dark (but not too dark) romance to fall in love with, I highly recommend this series, even if you think you don’t like YA lit. It is so. good.
  10. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: Another one of my favorites of all time. I just loved this book so much. Quirky characters and unexpected turns, and fantastic writing.

OK, that was hard. The person who created this challenge is compiling a master list of everyone’s Top 10 Books. I am only just now grasping how awesome that is. What a great resource!!

Now for the next step: Choose three books from other people’s lists to read by November. Can do. Here’s my list:

  1. The Time Traveller’s Wife
  2. The Book Thief
  3. The Alchemist (I’m iffy on this one but I’ve seen it on a few people’s lists, so I’ll give it a try)

I notice as I went through people’s lists I kept finding more of my favorites and wanting to revise my list. Should I add Rebecca? What about Jane Eyre? Possession? Alias Grace? The Stand? The Little Country? Snow Flower And The Secret Fan? Little, Big? Lonesome Dove? I wish I hadn’t read Lonesome Dove already, that was a good first read; I’d like to experience reading that for the first time again!

Now I want to go through all those lists and make a master reading list — all the books I’ve read (now THAT’S a challenge) and a big wish-list of books to read. Right. When I have, oh, six months of free time and the world’s largest library. Still, would be fun.

Anyway. Stay tuned, if you’re a reader, do the challenge!

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