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Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Top 10 Books

But you see, I'm a writer...wait, I'm sorry, now I get to call myself an author.  Weird.  So, I'm an author, and as much as I've loved talking movies, tv, and food, it's back to the books for me!  SO...Without further ado, my top 10 books.  (FYI, these include those books I just plain loved for fun-factor, those that touched me deeply, and those that are my favorite literary fall-backs.  If they don't seem to go together, well, tough.)
  1. Night Shift, by Stephen King - Strictly speaking, it's a short story collection, but I love it so much that I performed one of the stories as a monologue in high school, and referenced another of the stories in my book.  Some of them are chilling, some are terrifying, some are just plain weird, but they're all wonderful and wonderfully quick reads.
  2. Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales - Again, more story collection than novel, but WOW.  All those sweet Disney fairy tales you grew up with were BUNK.  The Little Mermaid DIES.  Snow White chokes to death, but the prince's kiss dislodges the apple chunk from her throat and she sputters back to life.  And my personal favorite, the one about the step mother who hacks off her stepson's head when he looks into her wooden trunk and then balances it back on his body so that when her daughter, who she orders to slap him, hits him, his head falls off and her daughter thinks it's her fault.  Read them at your own risk, but they're a goth dream.
  3. All the Harry Potter books, but most especially # 4 - I lose myself in them.  They first inspired me to write my own stuff...including an HP 5, which I ain't never sharin' with nobody.  Total escapism.
  4. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan - If you can't wade through the Jungle-like intensity, pick up In Defense of Food, but if you really want to know where your food - and your health - come from, there is nothing, NOTHING like this book, and it will scare you far worse than any King book could...and motivate you to make SERIOUS changes.  If not for your sake, for your kids'.
  5. Persuasion, by Jane Austin - Everyone loves P&P or S&S, I know.  Persuasion is still my favorite.  If you can't slog through REAL English, rent the movie.  I find very few romantic characters to be so real or so relate-able, and I LOVE this book.
  6. Altas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand - I talked about Rand a few days back, and I can only reiterate here:  you will think.  You MUST think.  You are FORCED to think.  It's good for you.  I don't actually want to tell you any more than that.  Just gear up and get the book.
  7. Romeo & Juliet, by Billy Shakespeare - FYI, I HATE THIS PLAY.  But I hate it wholeheartedly and passionately because it's so damned ACCURATE.  Remember reading it in junior high?  Yeah, try it again as an adult.  Totally different play.  I hated it then because I couldn't relate to Juliet, and I hate it more now because it rams teenage emotion down your throat and then pulls you back to look at it all from a parent's perspective.  In other words, he did a TRULY...GREAT...JOB.  How many novels can you think of off the top of your head that change as you age without ever altering a word?
  8. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton - This changed my paradigm the way War of the Worlds changed the paradigm of everyone tuned in to the WotW radio broadcast.  Just read it.
  9. The Clown of God, by Tomie de Paola - My favorite children's book EVER.  It's the opposite of Rand.  It is pure, unadulterated, beautiful faith and redemption.  The illustrations are gorgeous, and the ending will leave you in tears, no questions asked.  Plus it's set in Sorrento, Italy.  Can't beat that.
  10. The Unbound Series, by Jessica Bradshaw - Yes, it's horrible egotistical, but it has nothing to do with my dedication and hard work, or even my story.  The bottom line is this has been a life-changing thing for me:  I can write.  I do write.  I did write, and will write again, and I can share my story with others.  These books have been my world (outside my day job) for 2 1/2 years, and undoubtedly will be for at least a couple more.  By the time I'm done, we're talking half a decade or more, here...and that makes these book significant enough for me to include them in my top 10.  No pressure intended...just sharing.
So, what have I missed?  Fill me in!  Make some recommendations!  I'm going to need something to pull me away from writing Book 2, and I'm going to need it SOON!!!!!!!

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