50 things: books i’ve loved

So many books, so little time. Recently a friend on twitter, the lovely uncletypewriter, threw out a question asking us to name our three all-time favorite books.

After much discussion, we decided it was too hard to pick just three, and we came up with the idea of listing 50. Which kind of ties in to this being the year that I am 50. So we decided to start a little blog meme, she went first, and now here I am. I have to say, even choosing 50 was hard, and meant that I left out some really great books.

Many of these made me weep. Some of them made me laugh. Still others struck me with their originality. All of them touched me deeply in one way or another. And I wouldn’t say they are in any particular order. I loved them all equally, like children.

  1. The Moon and Sixpence ~ W. Somerset Maugham
  2. The Book Thief ~ Markus Zusak
  3. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle ~ David Wroblewski
  4. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant ~ Anne Tyler
  5. Of Human Bondage ~ W. Somerset Maugham
  6. The Lovely Bones ~ Alice Sebold
  7. Landscape Painted with Tea ~ Milorad Pavic
  8. She’s Come Undone ~ Wally Lamb
  9. The Sheltering Sky ~ Paul Bowles
  10. Love Warps the Mind a Little ~ John Defresne
  11. A Thousand Acres ~ Jane Smiley
  12. See Under: Love ~ David Grossman
  13. House of Leaves ~ Mark Z. Danielewski
  14. Winter’s Tale ~ Mark Helprin
  15. The Secret Garden ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett
  16. Ethan Frome ~ Edith Wharton
  17. Bag of Bones ~ Stephen King
  18. Close Quarters ~ Larry Heinemann
  19. The Fault in Our Stars ~ John Greene
  20. Dictionary of the Khazars ~ Milorad Pavic
  21. Their Eyes Were Watching God ~ Zora Neale Hurston
  22. The Last Temptation of Christ ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
  23. The Shipping News ~ Annie Proulx
  24. Kitchen ~ Banana Yoshimoto
  25. The Mermaid’s Chair ~ Sue Monk Kidd
  26. The Night Circus ~ Erin Morgenstern
  27. A Dog’s Purpose ~ W. Bruce Cameron
  28. The Art of Racing in the Rain ~ Garth Stein
  29. Love in the Time of Cholera ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  30. Nickel Mountain ~ John Gardner
  31. Song of Solomon ~ Toni Morrison
  32. Of Mice and Men ~ John Steinbeck
  33. The Sound and the Fury ~ William Faulkner
  34. The World I Made for Her ~ Thomas Moran
  35. Affliction ~ Russell Banks
  36. Stones from the River ~ Ursula Hegi
  37. Little House in the Big Woods ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
  38. September ~ Rosamunde Pilcher
  39. The Catcher in the Rye ~ J. D. Salinger
  40. Mother Night ~ Kurt Vonnegut
  41. Anywhere But Here ~ Mona Simpson
  42. The Hours ~ Michael Cunningham
  43. Mists of Avalon ~ Marion Zimmer Bradley
  44. Like Water for Chocolate ~ Laura Esquivel
  45. Madame Bovary ~ Gustave Flaubert
  46. Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy
  47. Ironweed William Kennedy
  48. Atonement ~ Ian McEwan
  49. The Corrections ~ Jonathan Franzen
  50. The Temple of My Familiar ~ Alice Walker

So there you have it.

A few others I read recently that could have made it onto this list: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman, Nightwoods by Charles Frazier, Sea Change by Jeremy Page. Only time will tell if they will bump any of those above off this list.

Okay, so now it’s your turn. Would love to see your list if you feel so inclined… come back and leave me a link to your post if you do!



16 Responses to “50 things: books i’ve loved”

  • honey Says:

    how generous of you to share this…

  • Debi Says:

    we have a few in common. one in particular is all your fault, and i thank you for that. i thank you for these as well, and add them to my ever growing list. even the ones i know will break my heart.

  • brian miller Says:

    nice…i love books….have read quite a few of these…many i havent though…will peruse you list on amazon after work….

  • Barbara Says:

    I love lists and I love books, so, sigh, I’m going to have to do this. It looks like our tastes weave in and out. I’ll let you know when I post it.

  • Audrey Howitt Says:

    Let me think on this! What a task it must be to pare it down to 50–

  • Kate Says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I see several here that I have read and loved.

  • tilda Says:

    ok? so when do you make the bed and do dishes and laundry?

  • Mama Zen Says:

    I love that you included Laura Ingalls Wilder! I can’t even imagine how many times I read those books.

  • Missing moments Says:

    A great list. I’ve read quite a few of these and some ill look forward to reading.

  • Diane Says:

    wow, so many novels on there I too have read and would agree with. For some reason, it seems there are several bloggers talking about books. The Book Thief is one I too hold right up at the very top of my all-time list (my most current blog post talks about some favourite books but I didn’t tackle 50 — you guys are really ambitious!

  • allison Says:

    I have many of the same favourites and, admittedly, a couple where I’m stopping myself from going ‘___ – seriously?’ I find it almost impossible to make this kind of list and not have it feel kind of arbitrary and probably heavily influenced by whatever I’ve read most recently, but it’s an interesting and lovely exercise anyway.

  • little light Says:

    I have to tell you , my daughter was looking at this list over my shoulder and she and I at the same time said ” really?” so we giggled and then went back to reading and then I said ” no way!” and she said “ew” WE both burst out laughing. it was fun, thank you. She, my daughter ( who is 13) agrees with little house & mists of avalon.

  • 50 books | Canopy in the Sunlight Says:

    […] When you are done perusing my list feel free to make one of your own, and go check out Mrs. Mediocrity’s list! […]

  • Allison Says:

    Great list! I am really looking forward to reading A Dog’s Purpose!

  • Stereo Says:

    Oh so many of these that completely escaped my mind when I was writing! And because of you, The Moon and Sixpence is sitting on my Kindle ready to read. I’m so glad you did this; your list is magical and I certainly will be adding quite a few of these to my own list ♥

  • Jeannine Says:

    Oh what a lovely list! There are a few on here that I have marked previously as “to read” (Night Circus, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Anywhere But Here). Your endorsement here makes me more excited about reading them. Our lists share Little House in the Big Woods and Stones From the River and I felt exactly the same way as you did re: The Snow Child. 🙂

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