The 10 Books I Couldn’t Imagine Not Having In My Life

Below in no particular order are 10 of the books that shaped my world, and not just the literary world that I fall mindlessly into. These books have formed an irreplaceable part of my being. Effecting my views on people, places, and what is morally reprehensible. I tote these books around in my head and shove their existence into the face of any reader that I run across. So while I have you captive here have you read these yet (and if not what are you waiting for)? Please tell me your favorite reads on

  •  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Ironically I never read this book until around six months before I heard that Go Set a Watchman was being published. This book idealizes all the things family is supposed to be. What can I add to a book that has millions of reviews and is occasionally mandatory reading in high schools around the county. There is so much fortitude in this author and her characters.
  • Life in a Jar: The Irene Sendler Project by Jack Mayer. World War II novels speak to me in a way that I find hard to describe. Horror and amazement can find ways to overwhelm your heart in each chapter. Irene and those like her should be household names, riveting us to a past that should never be forgotten. Three high school girls ground the novel in the present and show us how the present and history weave together.
  • Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara. I will admit you have to be in for the long haul with this series of 15 books. Character development and plot lines really form in the first book. A whole new world of fantasy and magic. The main character is strong yet flawed. Deals with a large set of races which can lead to some confusion if you are not a reader who sinks into novels.
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry. All the world is a black and write stage. In Lowry’s Giver the world is a solid mask of sameness. Every child gets a bike at the same age and is assigned a career at a particular age.This world holds no history, no worries, no war, and no childish joys. Except for one man who holds the secrets to a society that is one misstep from crumbling.
  • Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel. One of the first large books and series I ever read at around 13 years old. I have read this series in entirety twice. Follow the dawn of modern humans with Ayla and experience what the world brings for mankind in the way of relationships, love, and betrayal. An interesting view on the birth of society.
  • Feed by Mira Grant. This book noted the beginning of my zombie and dystopian novel obsession. Please don’t consider this a typical zombie novel as I believe the plot would have survived if the zombies had been aliens or a virus. This book speaks to the news industry and peoples tendency to believe what they are told rather then going to experience it themselves. I would give this book to individuals that hate zombies.
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T Sullivan. Based on the true story of a forgotten hero. Pino Lella is thrust into adulthood at an extraordinarily fast speed. He wants to date and laugh; yet instead he is sneaking Jews over mountains and joining the Nazi army as driver for one of the most powerful commanders. How can he or his family truly understand all that is being risked until it is to late to change the outcome.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Imagine the world turned on it’s heels. No longer do firemen save us from a burning building but start the fire to destroy books wherever they may find them. Firemen Guy is about to have a crisis of conscious as he peeks behind the cover and discovers that you really can not judge a book by it’s cover. We all hold inside of us the memories and truth of what is written. Join me in being a stop on that underground railroad.
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Generations of trials and stepping forward. Minnesota to Maine this novel shows unexpected relationships and friendships. Centering on a woman of more than 90 years who boarded an orphan train into the sunset from New York. This woman, Vivian Daly, with trucks full of memories hidden in her attic is thrown into the past when a seventeen year old girl shows up on her door looking to fulfill a community project in order to avoid jail time. A fantastic way to introduce little known pieces of American history to a class room or book club through excellent fiction.
  • The Breakdown by B.A. Paris. Cass passes a car one evening and the next morning finds out the driver was someone she knew and who is now a murder victim. There were so many reasons Cass was afraid to stop on a dark, rainy, back road. How do you live with yourself knowing that your choice to not stop lead to a horrible demise. If you can’t tell your husband that you saw this car on your way home, then who do you tell about the silent calls, being watched and your items being moved. The pills don’t make you forgot that night but they may be wiping other memories.

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