Thursday, June 04, 2009

15 Books

So I got tagged over on Facebook with a meme entitled "15 Books." The directions were as follows:

Don't take too long to think about it. List fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you, the first fifteen you can recall. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends came up with.

I am going to amend the rules because I can. I don't tag people, so I won't. I am defining this as general books of nonfiction and literature. I am also adding a bit of commentary as to why I picked a work. I am also picking books that stick out in my mind from when I was little to my early teenage years, not necessarily because I recommend them, but because I remember them for whatever reason, be that good, bad, or indifferent.

15. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. (Read it in 4th grade, great little fiction book about a mouse who comes across these advanced rats that have escaped from a laboratory.)
14. The Green Door. (I think that was what it was called. I have no idea who wrote it. My grandmother gave it to me. It was about 100 years old. I remember it was about a girl who stepped through a green door (or something like that) and ended up in Puritan New England. It was just a wild, Victorian era children's story. It had a great kicker at the end, as I recall.)
13. "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare. (I remember reading this in 9th grade and thinking that I must, indeed, be a "big kid" because we were reading Shakespeare.)
12. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. (I remember learning to read that in kindergarten and then the teacher actually had us make green eggs and ham.)
11. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. (I didn't know what to make of it when I originally read it in 10th grade, but it opened my eyes to the fact that there were Southerners who could write well.)
10. 1984 by George Orwell (A brilliant prophecy on the dangers of politically correct speech gone awry.)
9. The 3 Investigators series. (I don't think they are in print anymore, but they great mystery books for middle school kids who couldn't stand the Hardy Boys.)
8. Some oversized book about the US presidents that was in the Elementary School library. It had the portraits of all the presidents up to Ronald Reagan and a bit of biography on each one. I loved that book. It had a white cover.
7. My kiddie American Standard Version of the Bible. It had a tan cover and hideous depictions of serpents biting people in the desert and such. Great fun for an 8 year old.
6. My 7th grade world history book. (I have no idea who published it or what else was in it other than a chapter entitled "Mysterious India" that talked about the Indus River Civilization. For whatever reason, I was fascinated by that chapter. It fueled my interest in history later in life. I can still see the opening page of that chapter in mind with the picture of a temple ruin.)
5. Where the Red Fern Grows. (Can't remember who wrote it offhand, but also had to read this one in Middle School. I remember liking it because it was set in the South and people talked like I did.)
4. The Roots of American Communism by Draper. To this day, I have no idea what it was about or why my grandfather gave me this book when I was 5. It was a serious history 1950's era anti-communist tome. But it was a gift from my Grandpa, who died about a year or two later. I am sure it amused him at the time, probably thinking I wouldn't actually take it and try to read it.
3. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. (I had to read this when I was in 7th grade-great story about the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Probably planted the seeds for my Military history major years later.)
2. Beautiful Joe (I have no idea who wrote it, but it was this great kid's book that I had when I was little about a dog.)
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (How can you not like Aslan?)

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