N is for Novels

Above: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson, Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson, The Conferacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson, and A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel...all outstanding and any I would be happy to loan to you to read.

I love to read. I grew up in a house that was blissfully full of books. My dad read espionage novels. (We used to joke that he would read any book with a swastika on it.) My mom read epic historical romance novels. (Not Harlequin romances.)

I remember my mother reading the Little House on the Prarie books to me and I seem to remember, in turn, reading them to my sister and also rereading them myself.

I remember having lots of classics in the house. Tom Sawyer. Black Beauty. The Last of the Mohicans. All of them really beautiful books with marbled endpapers that just made me want to curl up in my favorite chair and read.

I remember when I got my own room, there was one panelled wall that had bookshelves on it and the books that were there just stayed when I moved in. One whole shelf was full of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot novels. I devoured those.

I always read before bed and, in fact, can't get to sleep if I don't. Currently reading: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A Novel. (My dad would be proud, huh?) Book I'm most looking forward to: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. (Joshilyn Jackson is amazing. I repeat: amazing.)

Anyway, when I was making my life list, I knew I had to pick one of the many, many book lists and work on reading as many books as I could from it. The one list I kept coming back to was one I had done a Facebook meme on: the BBC's The Big Read list. So, that is the list I've put a pin in on my life list.

I've been able to cross off quite a few books already. While I'm thinking about all those books I have read, let me say thank you to Ms. Dodd for that AP English assigned reading of Crime and Punishment...I don't know that I would roll up my sleeves for that one now. And, as much as we love Les Mis in our house, that book is a doozy, too. So, thanks for that one, too.

This list is great, in my opinion, because it has such a hodge podge of things on it:

1) It has a lot of books I would consider to be "should reads". Things like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath. (Where is Huckleberry Finn, though?)

2) It has some great recent young adult books like the Harry Potter books and the Alex Rider series as well as older classics like Treasure Island. I love young adult novels, so I respect a list that includes some from the genre.

3) It has some quirky picks like Bridget Jones's Diary and Flowers in the Attic. I like a list with stuff like that because it keeps it interesting.

4) Since the list is a BBC list, it has a plethora of books by certain British authors. Some of those are fine with me (Roald Dahl is wonderful); some are staring at me just daring me to try again (more Terry Pratchett...really???); and some I've never heard of so I'm hoping to find someone new I love (Jacqueline Wilson?).

I would love to hear from any of you about what books on this list are ones you love...particularly if they are ones I haven't crossed off yet! Or, let me know if there is one neither of us has read and you would like to tackle together...maybe something meaty like War and Peace (ack!). Heck, on the list or not, I love to hear about books other people love, so leave me a comment!

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