Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Cannot Live Without Books

Thomas Jefferson said: "I cannot live without books!"

At least I think he said it.  The internet never lies.  Ask Abraham Lincoln.

I have trust issues.  That and I'm very easily distracted... what were we on about?

Books.  Like TJ, I can't live without 'em.  I have an irrational fear that I might someday run out of good books to read... I really do!  There are only so many classics... my heart hurts just thinking about it.

My love of reading started as a little tike.  Mom took us to the library all the time... I can remember grabbing stacks of Beatrix Potter books.  They were my favorite!  Especially the one where the mice break into the doll's house... I stared at those pages with absolute wonder.  I think that book is one of the reasons I have an insane desire to make miniature doll houses someday. 

I couldn't get enough of Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L. Frank Baum... I could go on all day. 

I checked out a book from Maurice Sendak every time... Those illustrations!  Those simple, yet powerful stories!  He was one of the greats.  Rest in peace.

One day I was at the WJHS library scrounging around for something to read.  A book with what I thought had an AMAZINGLY good title popped out at me: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  I grabbed it... had no idea what it was about.  I figured with a title that good, how could I go wrong?  I thought I loved reading before that day.  Not. Even. Close.  That was a defining moment for me.  Since that day, I have never been without a book. Ever.  I always have a book ready to go for when I finish the one I'm currently reading.  I cannot live a day without books!!!  I read three books at a time.  Currently reading: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Cold Comfort Farm, and The Buccaneers.

I admit to being a classic's snob.  Nothing in the world like a good Dickens.  Nothing.  I do enjoy contemporary novels once in a while (Hello World's biggest Harry Potter Fan!), I just like the oldies soooooo much more.

My top three favorite books of all time:

1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Changed. My. Life.  Don't take my word for it... read it!

2. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Scriptures aside, War & Peace is the most spiritually uplifting book I've ever read in my entire life.  Read it, you'll thank me and Tolstoy.

3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I'm sitting here trying to put into words why I love this book so much, but I can't.  I just love it.  Like David Copperfield, it simply changed my life.  Taught me how to be a better person.

Yep, that's Mrs. Potts & Chip sitting next to my War & Peace collection.  Beauty & the Beast is my favorite movie of all time... But that's a bloggie post for another day :)

My heck & sakes alive, this is turning out to be a lengthy post.  I'm not even remotely surprised.  So anyway... I thought I'd do ya a solid & post my book list.  These are all the books I've read.  Well, most of 'em... I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch, and this doesn't include all the books I read as an iddy bitty (those books don't make it on the list till I give them a re-read as an adult) but it's a pretty decent list, and I figure it might help you figure out what you want to read next.

Now do me a solid:  Look over my list.  If there is a book missing that you simply can't BELIEVE I've not read yet, please tell me!  A friend noticed a couple years ago that I hadn't read Gone With The Wind... I was so ashamed.  

As a cute little girl named Matilda once said, "I'm wondering what to read next...."

Beckys Book List
(**Denotes my Favorites)
Agatha Christie- And Then There Were None
Aldous Huxley- Brave New World
Alexandre Dumas-The Count of Monte Cristo **
Alexandre Dumas- The Three Musketeers
Anne Radcliffe- The Mysteries of Udolpho
Bram Stoker- Dracula
Brandon Mull- Fablehaven Series
     Rise of the Evening Star
     Grip of the Shadow Plague
     Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
     Keys to the Demon Prison
C.S. Lewis- The Chronicles of Narnia **
     The Magicians Nephew (Book 1)
   The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (Book 2)
     The Horse and His Boy (Book 3)
     Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (Book 4)
   The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Book 5)
   The Silver Chair (Book 6)
     The Last Battle (Book 7)
C.S. Lewis-Mere Christianity ** 
C.S. Lewis-The Screwtape Letters **
Candace Thomas- The Vivatera**
Candace Thomas- The Conjectrix**
Charles Dickens- A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens- A Tale of Two Cities **
Charles Dickens- Barnaby Rudge
Charles Dickens- Bleak House **
Charles Dickens- David Copperfield **
Charles Dickens- Dombey and Son **
Charles Dickens- Great Expectations **
Charles Dickens- Hard Times For Our Times
Charles Dickens- Little Dorrit**
Charles Dickens- Martin Chuzzlewit
Charles Dickens- Nicholas Nickleby **
Charles Dickens- Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens- Our Mutual Friend**
Charles Dickens- The Life of Our Lord
Charles Dickens- The Mystery of Edwin Drood**
Charles Dickens- The Old Curiosity Shop
Charles Dickens-The Pickwick Papers** 
Charlotte Bronte- Jane Eyre **
Charlotte Bronte- Vilette
Clive Cussler- Atlantis Found
Dan Brown- Angels & Demons
Dan Brown- The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown- The Lost Symbol
Daphne Du‘Maurier- House on the Strand
Daphne DuMaurier- Jamaica Inn **
Daphne DuMaurier- Rebecca **
Daphne DuMaurier- Tales of the Macabre
Daphne DuMaurier- Frenchmans Creek
Daphne DuMaurier- Hungry Hill
Daphne DuMaurier- The Kings General
Daphne DuMaurier- The Scapegoat
Daphne DuMaurier- The Glass Blowers
Daphne DuMaurier- The Flight of the Falcon
Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson- Peter and the Starcatchers Series
     Peter and the Starcatchers
     Peter and the Shadowthieves
Douglas Adams- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy**
Elizabeth Gaskell- North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell- Wives & Daughters
E.M. Forster- A Room With a View
E.M. Forster- Howards End 
Edgar Allen Poe- Tales
Edith Wharton- Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton- The Age of Innocence
Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights **
Emma Orczy- The Scarlet Pimpernel **
Ernest Hemmingway- A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemmingway- The Old Man and the Sea
Frances Hodgson Burnett- The Secret Garden
F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
Fyodor Dostoevsky- Crime and Punishment
Gaston Leroux- The Phantom of the Opera
George Elliot- Daniel Derona
George Elliot- Middlemarch
George Kaufman- You Can’t Take it With You **
George Orwell- Animal Farm
George Shaw Bernard- Pygmalion
Gerald Lund- The Kingdom and the Crown Trilogy
  Fishers of Men (Book 1)
     Come Unto Me (Book 2)
Behold the Man (Book 3)
Gerald Lund- The Work and the Glory Series
  Pillar of Light (Book 1)
     Like a Fire is Burning (Book 2)
Truth Will Prevail (Book 3)
Thy Gold to Refine (Book 4)
     A Season of Joy (Book 5)
Praise to the Man (Book 6)
No Unhallowed Hand (Book 7) 
     So Great a Cause  (Book 8)
H.G. Wells- The Invisible Man
H.G. Wells- The Time Machine
H.G. Wells- War of the Worlds **
H.G. Wells- Complete Short Stories
H.G. Wells- The Island of Doctor Moreau
Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird **
J.R.R. Tolkien- Lord of the Rings **
     The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 1) 
     The Two Towers (Book 2) 
     The Return of the King (Book 3) 
J.R.R. Tolkien- The Hobbit **
Jack London- The Call of the Wild
Jack London- White Fang
Jack Weyland- Charly 
Jack Weyland- Sam
Jane Austin- Emma **
Jane Austin- Lady Susan
Jane Austin- Mansfield Park **
Jane Austin- Northanger Abbey
Jane Austin- Persuasion **
Jane Austin- Pride and Prejudice **
Jane Austin- Sense and Sensibility ** 
JK Rowling- The Harry Potter Series ** 
  Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Book 1)
     Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) 
     Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) 
     Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) 
     Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
     Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Book 6)
     Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
JK Rowling- Tales of Beedle the Bard **
John Knowles- A Separate Peace
John Steinbeck- East of Eden
John Steinbeck- Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck- The Pearl
Juanita Brooks- John D. Lee Biography **
Juanita Brooks- The Diaries of John D. Lee
Lemony Snicket- A Series of Unfortunate Events
  The Bad Beginning
     The Reptile Room
     The Wide Window
     The Miserable Mill
     The Austere Academy
     The Ersatz Elevator
     The Vile Village
     The Hostile Hospital
     The Carnivorous Carnival
     The Slippery Slope
     The Grim Grotto
     The Penultimate Peril
     The End
Leo Tolstoy- Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy- War and Peace **
Lewis Carroll- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll- Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There
Lloyd Alexander- The Chronicles of Prydain **  
  The Book of Three (Book 1)
     The Black Cauldron (Book 2)
     The Castle of Llyr (Book 3)
   Taran Wanderer (Book 4)
   The High King (Book 5)
Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
Lucy Maud Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables Series
     Anne of Avonlea
     Anne of Green Gables
     Anne of the Island
     Annes House of Dreams 
Margaret Mitchell- Gone With The Wind**
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn**
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer**
Markus Zusak- The Book Thief**
Mary Ann Shafer/Annie Barrows- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society**
Mary Shelly- Frankenstein
Mary Stewart- My Brother Michael
Mary Stewart- Madame Will You Talk
Mary Stewart- Nine Coaches Waiting
Mary Stewart- The Ivy Tree
Mary Stewart- This Rough Magic
Mary Stewart- The Gabriel Hounds
Mary Stewart- The Moon Spinners
Mary Stewart- Rose Cottage
Mary Stewart- The Merlin Trilogy **
  The Crystal Cave (Book 1) 
     Hollow Hills (Book 2) 
     Last Enchantment (Book 3) 
     The Wicked Day (Sequel to Trilogy) 
     The Prince and the Pilgrim (Sequel to Trilogy)
Mary Stewart- Wildfire at Midnight
M. Russell Ballard- Counseling With our Councils**
Nathaniel Hawthorne- The Scarlet Letter **
Orson Scott Card- Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card- Speaker for the Dead
Ray Bradbury- Dandelion Wine **
Ray Bradbury- Something Wicked this Way Comes **
Ray Bradbury- The Illustrated Man
Rick Riordan- Percy Jackson and The Olympians**
     The Lightening Thief
     The Sea of Monsters
     The Titan’s Curse
     The Battle of the Labyrinth
     The Last Olympian
Roald Dahl- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory**
Roald Dahl- Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Roald Dahl- Danny the Champion of the World **
Roald Dahl- James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl- Matilda
Roald Dahl- The BFG
Roald Dahl- The Twits
Robert Louis Stevenson- Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Shannon Hale- Austenland
Shannon Hale- The Goose Girl
Stephenie Meyer-Twilight
Stephenie Meyer- New Moon
Stephenie Meyer- Eclipse
Stephenie Meyer- Breaking Dawn
Stephenie Meyer – The Host
Suzanne Collins- The Hunger Games **
Suzanne Collins- Catching Fire **
Suzanne Collins- Mockingjay **
Terry Brooks- Magic Kingdom of Landover
  Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold! (Book 1)
The Black Unicorn (Book 2)
Wizard at Large (Book 3)
Tangle Box (Book 4)
Witches Brew (Book 5)
Terry Brooks- The Shannara Series **
     First King of Shannara (Prequel)
     The Sword of Shannara (Shannara Book 1)
     The Elfstones of Shannara (Shannara Book 2)
     The Wishsong of Shannara (Shannara Book 3)
     The Scions of Shannara (Heritage Book 1) 
     The Druid of Shannara (Heritage Book 2)
     The Elf Queen of Shannara (Heritage Book 3)
     The Talismans of Shannara (Heritage Book 4)
     Isle Witch (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 1)
     Antrax (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 2)
   Morgwar (Voyage of the Jeryl Shannara Book 3)
     Jarka Ruus (High Druid of Shannara Book 1)
     Tanequil  (High Druid of Shannara Book 2)
     Straken (High Druid of Shannara Book 3)
Terry Brooks- Word and the Void Series
     Running with the Demon (Book 1)
     Knight of the Word (Book 2)
     Angel Fire East (Book 3)
Terry Brooks- Genesis of Shannara Series
  Armageddon’s Children (Book 1)
     The Elves of Cintra (Book 2)
     The Gypsy Morph (Book 3)
Terry Goodkind- Wizard’s First Rule
Thomas Hardy- Far From the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy- Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy- The Mayor of Casterbridge 
Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black- The Spiderwick Chronicles
  Book One: The Field Guide
Book Two: The Seeing Stone
Book Three: Lucinda’s Secret
Book Four: The Ironwood Tree 
     Book Five: The Wrath of Mulgarath
Victor Hugo- Les Miserables **
Victor Hugo- The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Wilkie Collins- The Moonstone **
Wilkie Collins- The Woman in White **
William Golding- Lord of the Flies
William Goldman- Princess Bride **
William Makepeace Thackeray- Vanity Fair
William Shakespeare- A Midsummer’s Night Dream**
William Shakespeare- Hamlet **
William Shakespeare- Macbeth
William Shakespeare- Much Ado About Nothing**
William Shakespeare- Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare- The Comedy of Errors**
William Shakespeare – The Merry Wives of Windsor**
William Shakespeare- The Sonnets
William Shakespeare- The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare- The Tempest**
William Shakespeare- Twelfth Night  


  1. Hated The Buccaneers, Loved Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and never read Cold Comfort Farm - I'll have to give it a try. One book you don't have on here that I just read and LOVED was ROOTS by Alex Haley. It was well worth the 900 pages! I'll have to go through your list and compare it to my list and let you know if there are any others I think you have to read! :)

    1. The verdict is still out on Cold Comfort... I'm about 3/4 of the way through & I don't love it... I'll let you know :) I'm not far enough into Buccaneers to call it yet... too enthralled in Wildfell... it's the one I'm favoring with more attention :) Thanks for the ROOTS recommendation! It's officially on my to-read list!

  2. Fun list! I am an avid reader, but most often what I read would qualify as drivel! :D I love me a quick read, usually just something wildly entertaining and not SUPER thought provoking. But I find myself over the last year of so picturing myself re-reading all the books I was assigned in school because I'm sure I'd love them so much more without it being assigned. Many of the books on your list are marked (well, in my head at least. I've never made an actual list...thus, not read any!) as "To Read"s. I've decided to commit myself to making an ACTUAL list...Step one, right?

    Dan Brown also wrote "Digital Fortress", and I noticed "Wizard's First Rule"...am I to assume it wasn't a favorite since the rest of the series didn't make your list?

    I think in addition to your ** showing favorites, there should be some note for "Meh...Not great"!

    (PS...I love that you have Mrs. Potts and Chip sitting in your library!)

    1. You can't go wrong with wildly entertaining :) I always grab those to read in-between the big 900 pagers cause my brain needs a break!

      Wizards First Rule... "Meh...Not great!" Way too much garbage for my taste... I'm not a prude, but that one pushed the limits.

      Speaking of Mrs. Potts, my daughter is watching "Belle" as we speak :) For the third time today! It's great, cause I don't ever get tired of listening to it!

    2. I may enjoy a little too much of the garbage for my own good! (Blame it on my mom...She got me reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King.) Determined, however, to delve into a classic or two! :D So inspired now!

  3. We really are BFF's when it comes to books! It is so nice to know someone else who loves the classics like I do. I am admittedly a Classics book snob as well! :) So many of your favorites are mine as well.

    1. Yay for being Classic book snobs! I'm gonna need to add that to my tags for this post ;) The Classics are where it's at!

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  5. I too am a book reader, my goal is always at a book a week. I always have a stack of them waiting like little soldiers for me to pick up and devour. Just one thing though, I HATE classics. They bore me to death. The only classic I have read and loved was Jane Eyre. Jane Austin drives me nuts, uggg gag me with a spoon, Dostoevsky, well the name says it all. This could be interesting. I love you already.

    1. Hey, to each their own, right? I could probably change your mind with a little Dickens though haha :) Tell ya what, I'll read one of your contemporary favorites, and you read one of my classic favorites... How about Count of Monte Cristo? It's not boring at all... high adventure the entire book :)

    2. I like the author sandwiched between C.S.Lewis and Charles Dickens - I hear she's fantastic! She'd have to be to be considered such amazing famous names.