10 Books That Have Stayed With Me

This list has been going around Facebook and I knew I wanted to put together my list. However, I also knew I needed a bit more time than a quick status update to put together just ten books!

  1. La casa de los espiritus by Isabel Allende: I read this in English in high school and in Spanish in college. This is book that made me fall in love with Allende and magical realism.
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: My first thick Russian novel, but not my last. What a desperate, passionate love story and a wonderful entry point to Dostoevsky and Pasternak.
  3. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: This is a radical re-telling of part of the book of Genesis, from Dinah’s perspective. I fell so hard for this book I devoted a 1000 word essay to it (no, you may not see it) and have sought out everything else by Diamant.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: What a beautiful voice. Hurston is incredible at building a real world with her writing.
  5. The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin: While I did read this recently, this non fiction book really challenged me to relish my blessings and make room for more of what makes me happy.
  6. Power and Powerlessness by John Gaventa: This is an academic look at why social movement spring up in some times and places but not other with ‘worse’ oppression. It is also the only time I devolved into a pile of angry tears in class because my rich suburbanite classmates just did not get it. [They still don’t]
  7. The Unconquerable World by Jonathan Schell: This exploration of the history and place for non violence to make the will of the people known was essential for shaping some of my most deeply held beliefs. There is a way forward, one that does not include violence to solve all the worlds problems.
  8. The Giver by Lois Lowry: This was probably the first ‘sci fi’ book I picked up on my own and I adored the story. Something about ‘watching’ the world turn to color spoke to my pre-teen self.
  9. Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Diary of Hattie Campbell, The Oregon Trail, 1847 (Dear America Series) by Kristiana Gregory: This is the only book I have ever reread over a 100 times. I broke the binding.
  10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: ‘nough said.

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