One of the Facebook things going around right now is to share 10 books that you love for one reason or another. They are books that have special meaning, so I will list mine and explain why. Here they are.
They are in no particular order.
1. Yes, the Bible. I am not listing it because it is "cool" to do so, or because…I mean, who doesn't? The Bible makes my top ten list because for the past 10 years or so I have been going to a weekly Bible Study class and I have read it and discussed it…and I learn something about it at each and every class. And, I'm not done learning from it. What other book can you study for that long? It is a book written by many people "inspired/given" by God, written a long time ago, and it still pertains to life now and gives hope to the world now. I won't go into my personal beliefs but I will say it truly influences me and how I live, and I know it does for millions of others.
2. Wuthering Heights. Ok. I saw the movie first - the version with Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff. I was in middle school and went to the movie with my girlfriend, and I think we sat through the showing of it twice. We fell in love with the characters and the emotions of total love and loss. So, I bought the book and I have read it from front to back a few times, and I keep it around because every so often I just love to open it up to a section and read it. It's the only English classic book to make my list!
3. Ernie's Big Mess and 4. Cinderella. These childhood books hold a very special place in my heart for they were favorites of my daughters. I can still hear my 2 year old Lauren saying "Ernie is messy" as we turned each page and saw everything he left on the floor of the bedroom he shared with Bert. We looked at that book over and over and over - and each time Lauren said "Ernie is messy!" at every page turn. "Cinderella" was Kristen's favorite book for awhile during her toddler years and I can hear her Nannie saying "cinder-ellla" as each page was turned and Kristen pointed to her picture on the page.
5. Back to me… The Book Thief. I have been in a Book Club or two for 8 years here and a good 5 or more years before that in Sparta, NJ. This book stands out for me because it was so well written about living during the Nazi occupation - written from a child's point of view. It was about how her love for books helped her escape the real horrors, and how she eventually slipped in a out of a mansion filled with books - with the help of a stranger.
6. I Am Malala. Another book written by a child. But it's not fiction! This is the true accounting of life in a town taken over by the Taliban, and one young girl's determination to speak out for herself and for all girls in Pakistan. She was on the news a few years back, and therefore I had known a bit about her. I found the book fascinating to read, her love of family and her fear for them, and the community - knowing the value of education and freedom. We so often think of the wars all the way around the world so removed from us and our way of life. This book shows how much alike we are in so many ways! I was surprised at some of the tactics the Taliban used to infiltrate the town. We are seeing it happen right now with ISIS. I think this should be read by all American students to realize what young people in other parts of the world have to go through to get to school.
7. The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks. I read this on my own and then suggested it for Book Club because I believed this true story all women needed to know about. Henrietta and her family were from Baltimore and I have connections there so I loved reading it for that…BUT most importantly it shows what science can do with genetical mutating, cloning, etc. and the moral consequences that have to be considered. The world has Ms. Lacks to thank, even though she never knew her genes would be used. Her family had to deal with the joy of helping but also no recognition for the sacrifice. Again, interesting moral issues at play.
8. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife. There have been a few autobiographies in recent years written by those who have had "near death experiences", or have truly died and seen beyond, and then have come back. I have been fascinated by them all. As a Christian I believe in heaven and I love reading about personal experiences from those who have seen it. This book in particular I recommend because it's written by a doctor who studied the physical workings of the brain, but knew nothing about the soul within. He was a doubter until his own experience turned him around. It's pretty cool to read - and confirming for me.
9. History of Art. Believe it or not, it's a college textbook! Well, not specifically only for college use, but it is the book that I was required to get when I took my first Art History class at Capital University. I have held on to it since then (and that was a long time ago… 1975.) It's thick and it full of history and beautiful photographs of art throughout time, from all parts of the world. It was the book, and the class, that turned me on to art. My prof helped bring it all to life - so credit goes to Dr. Bauer. But this book is a beautiful resource for all things in the art world.
10. Last book choice…. What's life without a simple but thoughtful book? Easy to read and a great little paperback to keep for a quick little dose of perspective: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff…*and it's all Small stuff."