Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday, er Thursday

This week the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish have asked us to share the top ten books we read before we were book bloggers. Since I've been blogging for almost four years and have read over 300 books in that time, there would certainly be some shakeups on this list. But here, in no particular order, are my top ten books from pre-May 2009.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. No surprise here, I'm sure, since I'm forever telling you how much I love this book. In fact, I think it's time for a reread soon.

2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. My favorite non-classic book prior to blogging, by far and maybe the book that pushed me to reading more literary fiction than anything else.

3. Sophie's Choice by William Styron. This might be the first book I ever read because of the movie. And maybe the first time I really was aware that as great as a movie is, the book is almost certain to be better.

4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. My favorite Austen; it stands in for her entire body of work.

5. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow. Now this one I read first and then saw the movie. It may have been one of the first times I was aware that a movie after a book might not disappoint.

6. Little Women/Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. I got Little Women when I was eight so you'll have to forgive me if I'm more than willing to overlook the preachiness. I wanted to be Jo; I knew I was more like Beth.

7. Chesapeake by James Michener. Never in a million years could you have convinced me that I would love a book that opened with an scene of Canadian geese moving south in the spring before white men ever set foot on this continent. But that's exactly where Michener hooked me on this one.

8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Until I read this one with my son, I might have thought my opinion about this book was colored by the wonderful memories of my dad reading it to us when we were children. But this one stands up to reading as an adult; a brilliant commentary as well as wonderful story.

9. David Cooperfield by Charles Dickens. I'm sure this one had the same drawbacks I found in Bleak House, but I don't remember them. I just remembering loving the characters.

10. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Wharton is a master of writing detail into her books that you will not want to skim over; her descriptions of a dinner party tell the reader as much about society as they do about the meals.

That was a bit painful, I must say. I could easily make a list of top ten favorite childhood favorites, leaving me a couple more spots on this list and it still would be enough room for the books that I feel had the greatest impact on me as a reader pre-2009. Bloggers, what books would be on your list?


  1. LOL. I'm impressed you were able to keep the list down to ten. I wouldn't even know where to start, nor would I want to! Great list though. I adore CHESAPEAKE and JANE EYRE. Granted, I think GONE WITH THE WIND and WUTHERING HEIGHTS would be on my list.

  2. Such great TTT posts this week! I loved your first eight (well, maybe not Ragtime). David Copperfield will be my next Dickens. Given how much I love Edith Wharton, can you believe that I still haven't read The Age of Innocence? It's embarrassing, really.

  3. A lot of these books were on my pre-blogging list too. But a few of them were during blogging. I just finished Little Women, for the first time, and I wish I had read it when I was younger. I liked it, but for some reason, I think I would have loved it more had I been a younger reader. Luckily I gave it to my daughter to read, and she loved it!

  4. I ALMOST made Sophie's Choice my 2013 read but then everyone yelled at me for being too depressing. It's on my shelf but just so damn long! ;)

    I love this week's topic. Think Cold Mountain, The Bone People, and Midnight's Children would be at the top of my list. I LOVED Bel Canto but my sister hated it and still won't let me live down that recommendation. Sad!

  5. I'm a big fan of the Michener books and Micheneresque books, but I've never read Chesapeake. Now that you mention it, I'm sure I would love it. Must order.

    Likewise I've never read Bel Canto, but have heard such good things about it.

    Somehow I never read Huck Finn until I was an adult, but it is definitely one of the best books ever written.

    It's funny how if you read something like David Copperfield as a young reader, you're so much more forgiving than if you read it as an adult. I loved it when I first read it, and it remained a favorite because of that.

  6. Ah, I loved Chesapeake! Yes! I can't even remember when I read that one, but it was even before I was making lists, even before I had kids perhaps, like a really really long time ago! But it turned me onto family drama saga historical fiction-y type books, that's for sure. Love.

  7. Tuesday, Thursday...who cares, right? LOL! Great list! You know, Chesapeake should have been on my list too, but I tried not to include any I read over 20 years ago. Yes, I read Chesapeake in high school, but it has stuck with me all these years.

    It's a shame that I host The Michener Challenge and I haven't even read another of his books. I've been thinking of a read-a-long, or perhaps doing one of his books for TuesBookTalk. What do you think?