I was tagged in a Facebook meme asking one to list his or her top 10 books that have made an impression. Since I really did not want to go back to the beginning of my reading life, I decided to take a look at the books I‘ve read since keeping track of them on my blog for a few years and make a post of it. These are presented in no particular order:
- Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio—Written by one of my friend’s early newspaper cohorts, I was reminded about how Dallas really was the city of hate. Reading this book also made me reflect on how things have changed, and how things have remained the same after so much time has passed.
- A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards—just an all-around excellent writing effort from this British woman. Her novel was in the running (long-listed) for the Man Booker Prize in 2011.
- Royal Blue by Christina Oxenberg—Christina Oxenberg is a princess by birth, hence the title, and she is so clever and funny in her writing. Royal Blue is a fictionalized account of her life and half the fun is trying to decide what is true, what isn’t, and who she is really talking about. There is great sadness and tragedy in the story, juxtaposed with hilarity and hijinks. Unfortunately, I missed having coffee with Ms. Oxenberg in Key West by a day. Damn.
- Voices of Women Singing by H.R. Stoneback—I regret that I don’t read much poetry, but this entire book is poetry. Mr. Stoneback is an author and Hemingway scholar, so how could I go wrong? I actually read this book at the suggestion of Mr. Stoneback, whom I met in Michigan at a Hemingway Society Conference.
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King—this gigantic tome was an exceptional read. When I was reading this novel, all the fantastical parts seemed so believable. I enjoyed the protagonist’s story as much as the Kennedy/Oswald tragedy.
- Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny by Mark Spilka—extremely scholarly, this book shed much light on one of the greatest writers of all time. Along with Carl Eby’s Hemingway’s Fetishism: Psychoanalysis and the Mirror of Manhood, I have come to a new understanding of the author.
- Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear—Ms. Winspear has created an exceptional sleuth who solves cozy mysteries and is a strong female character, holding her own in the first part of the 20th century. Her series now has 10 books and this author has also written another standalone novel with different characters focusing on World War I.
- Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell—after viewing the British TV series, I had to know more about Richard Sharpe, rifleman in the Peninsular War serving under the Duke of Wellington. This led to my reading of approximately 23 of Mr. Cornwell’s Sharpe books. I have one left that I read a paragraph or two of occasionally. I never want to finish because I love the character so much.
- The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood—this novel set on an island in which church is forbidden and teens have their own social codes was just intriguing to me. The author was not brought up in a religious atmosphere as I was, so I was very curious.
- Junkette by Sarah Shotland – I appreciate this look at drug addiction because it is written by someone who grew up in close proximity where I did (same schools and church). I also was enthralled with Ms. Shotland’s characters and setting of New Orleans post Katrina.
Many of these books I have previously written about on the blog.