I don't participate each week, but when the mood strikes, I go for it. That has worked out for me, since this week's topic is "rewind." Participants get to pick a topic that they may have missed and post their list. You can find a list of past topics here if you are interested.
I decided to go old school and complete the second topic they hosted, "Top Ten Books I'd Want on a Desert Island." So, here they are in all their glory (not in any kind of numerical order).
10. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz: Hand's down, this is my favorite YA novel of all time, and it has dawned on me that I have not mentioned it nearly enough. It is a story about a group of teenagers who live in a barrio in New Mexico. The story is mainly about Sammy, but connects to the issues he has with his friends and growing up in a racially tense area. It is a beautiful piece of Chicano literature and if you have never heard of it or read it, you need to.
9. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman: I own the "death-bed" edition of this collection of poetry and it travels with me all the time. I find something insanely comforting in Whitman's words and there is enough depth here to last me forever. Whitman weaves so much complexity into his poetry that I would never be bored. (fun fact: I wrote my senior thesis in college on Whitman's "Song of Myself")
8. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: Wharton has long been a favorite of mine and this is my favorite. It is so heartbreaking and sad, but I love every word. Again, it has emotional depth that I don't think I would ever tire of it.
7. Complete Novels of Jane Austen: First of all, this is not cheating because such collections exist in one volume. :) But really, I would want all of Austen with me. There is an Austen for every occasion. Romance? Pride and Prejudice. Fun and silliness? Emma. Deep-rooted passion? Persuasion. Plus, I would be able to read the world's greatest love letter any time I wanted to (and if you are unsure what letter I am talking about, clearly you haven't read all of Austen. Go do that. I'll wait).
6. The Odyssey by Homer: I love the drama and intensity of this one. I love the lyrical style and interference of the Gods in mortals' lives. I love the trials and tribulations of Odysseus and Telemachus. And since I am on a desert island, I can read this the way it was intended: out loud and at the top of my lungs.
5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Just like Jane Austen up there, this one isn't cheating either. I own a one book collection of his complete works and while heavy, it is necessary as well. At this point in my life, I am maybe a third of the way through his works. I have a lot further to go and a desert island would offer plenty of opportunity to chug my way through some Shakespeare. Plus, I could work on my acting. :)
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Aren't you glad I can finally add this to my list? This is such a beautifully romantic story that I absolutely adored (I can't give away too much since my posts aren't up yet). I can't wait to read this one again and soon.
3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: SURPRISE! A sci-fi novel! But this is the book that got me started on my journey through that genre and my life wouldn't be complete on that desert island without it. This book has truly shaped me as a reader and I wouldn't feel whole without it there.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This might challenge that other YA book up there for my favorite YA novel of all time, but it has been so long since I have read it, that I can't give it that title. This one is also beautifully written and narrated by the sarcastic and grim character of Death. It is a haunting and moving story that I knew I would cherish in my island solitude.
1. The Bible: There is lots to read here-history, poetry, inspiration. This is the book to beat all other books and would offer me hours of patient and quiet study.
Other books I would love to have with me include:
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- The Complete Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (this was the hardest one to leave off the list up there)
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Beauty by Robin McKinley
- The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
- The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
- The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott