Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
I’ve never participated in a meme before and thought it was high time I give one a shot.
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker: My favorite novel and the book that truly triggered my reading addiction. I’d pack the New Annotated edition by Leslie S. Klinger because of all the fun & fascinating information it contains. Plus it has pictures.
2. One of Ours by Willa Cather: for the last few years this has been my favorite Cather novel. Some readers think Claude Wheeler is a whiner, but I love the way Cather writes this story of a misunderstood boy who grows up without anyone around him having a similar temperament or who could provide the stimulation that would support his sensitivities and natural inclinations. If you read this novel on the surface level, it’s still a good story, but you miss so much.
3. A Sense of Honor by James Webb: my favorite Marine story. The opening scene of Chapter One where Bill Fogarty runs the seawall is one of my favorite scenes in fiction. This scene alone would motivate me to stay in fighting shape for whatever may come on my desert island.
4. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia: because I still love flipping through the editon I’ve been carrying around for twenty-five years now. May have to rethink this one as I might be driven mad by knowledge of books and authors I may never get to read, but it would certainly help me read the books avavailable to me at a much deeper level.
5. The Hammonds of Redcliffe by Carol Bleser: a history of my partner Laura’s family that I’d like to read one of these days. In the copy we have someone stuck a review by Jean Strouse ripped from the pages of Newsweek (dated September 28, 1981) that says the book is “social history that reads like a novel.”
6. The Swarm by Frank Schatzing: I’ve had this one on my shelves for about two years and need to get to it already. It’s a big, thick thriller about something bad going down in the world’s oceans. I’m sure it would scare the crap out of me even more if I were on a desert island. May have to rethink this one, too, as it might inhibit me from swimming out to the ship that will eventually anchor off my island….
7. Typee by Herman Melville: for obvious reasons. Melville’s best-seller, loosely based on his real life experiences as a sailor held captive on an island in the South Seas for several months. Its one of those books I had to speed-read in grad school (i.e., skim in my case) and only remember the vaguest details.
8. War & Peace by Tolstoy: because I’d probably finally read it. Or use it for insulation if my desert island happens to be cold.
9. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson: I don’t read much poetry but I regularly read Emily Dickinson. On the island I could aim to memorize a poem a day or something like that.
10. Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng: I read this memoir in the late 80s and was deeply moved by Cheng’s experience and her spirit. She lost everything in China’s cultural revolution and spent six years in solitary confinement. I was thrilled to hear her speak a few years after having read the book. I’ve often wanted to re-read it, but am afraid of my first impression being tarnished, but I will probably keep it on my shelf forever. Just seeing her face on the cover makes me feel good and like I can overcome anything.
What books would be on your list? Leave a comment and let me know!