I love to read and I am always drawn to beautiful writing. Most every book has something good about it, something that I can remark about. Those that don’t, well, I generally don’t finish reading them. But that’s not often. Usually, like most savvy readers, I choose carefully, and once I get into a book, I’m usually glad to stay until the end.
I’m also a eclectic reader and will tackle just about any genre, although I’m not a great fan of fantasy, science fiction or horror. Actually, I’ll never read horror; I don’t invite nightmares.
Out of all the books I’ve read, some stand out—and like every enthusiastic reader, I love sharing my favorites. So here’s my own favorites list.
(Fair warning: I suspect I’ll revisit and modify this list regularly.)
Change Me Into Zeus’ Daughter by Barbara Robinette Moss
In this beautifully written book, the author opens with children hovering around their mother as she prepares to eat poison.
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Grandpa Tweedy has just been widowed and announces that he’s going to marry Miss Love, and scandal ensues.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I won’t tell you the ending, but it’s worth the read.
Favorite Creative Non-fiction
That’s a toughy and a toss up: Either The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson or Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (I need to think about this one some more.)
Favorite Children’s book
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Favorite inventive book
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (One of the cleverest books I’ve come across.)
Favorite book with delicious language
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I think this is the most perfectly crafted book I’ve ever read. It is simply beautiful.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson
Heartbreaking and illuminating
Those Angry Days by Lynne Olsen
Great primer on modern politics
Endurance by Alfred Lansing
Just one incredible story!
Truman by David McCullough
Truman was a man to emulate.
John Adams by David McCullough
I never fully understood the American Revolution until I read this book.
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Based on a true event, this should be a must-read for every American boy.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A family story with heart and hope, as well as sadness
Favorite book by a Virginia author (other than my own)
Wish You Well by David Baldacci
A true portrait of the spirit of Southwestern Virginia
Favorite book on writing
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King