Monday Musings: Ten Books that I Can’t Forget


by Kathleen Valentine

imagesThere is a game going around Facebook now in which people list ten books that they cannot forget and challenge other friends to do the same. It took me awhile to get around to making my list but it didn’t take me any time at all to come up with 10 books (actually, 11) and I could probably list 10 more. So I thought it might be good to share that list here. All but one of my books are fiction and all of them were read at least five years ago and still linger in my memory. And, as part of the challenge, I challenge you, Dear Reader, to post your list in the Comments section:

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – it made me want to be a writer, like Jo.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – it taught me that just because you are poor and plain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick up for yourself and demand respect.
  3. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – taught me that writing can be beautiful, rich, and evocative with simple sentences and an economy of language. 
  4. Possession by A.S. Byatt – taught me that a mystery can be highly literate, brilliant, with scenes that stay in your head forever.
  5. Jolie Blon’s Bounce by James Lee Burke – any of Burke’s books can stun me with the internal development of a highly complex character but this one stands out because it has one of the most purely evil bad guys I’ve ever encountered.
  6. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker – a book about something HORRIBLE (female genital mutilation) written with great beauty
  7. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – one of the very few science fiction books I’ve liked and read over and over.
  8.  The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – utter poetry with timeless imagery, especially “There Will Come Soft Rains.”
  9. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – this book had everything–great characters, great language, great plot, great beauty and great pain
  10. The Woman Lit by Fireflies by Jim Harrison and Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport – two more books that left pictures in my head that will never go away.
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