My 10 Favorite Books

Here they are, in no particular order: 
  1. Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury.  I make a point of reading this book every 1-2 years to remind myself that being alive is about so much more than living - and that magic is everywhere, if only you remember to look for it.
  2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkein.  Everytime I read these amazing novels I discover some new universal truth.
  3. Into the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead, James Lee Burke.  Lush, evocative, lyrical, gritty, intimate, heartbreaking, nobel, disturbing, seductive, and mythic ... in short, just what you'd expect from a book with such a breathtaking title.
  4. Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers.  Superbly written mystery that just happens to include as a subplot one of the most exquisitely-rendered courtships in literature.
  5. The Three Muskateers, Alexander Dumas.  Swashing AND buckling, all in one deliciously exuberant read!
  6. Sherlock Holmes short stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you haven't read them in a while (or only ever read The Speckled Band in some anthology of short stories), read them again - astonishingly clever, hugely entertaining, and surprisingly timeless.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.  Amazes me that teachers have to MAKE kids read this - what an astonishing book about the enduring relevance of humanity, compassion, tolerance, courage and personal honor in our everyday lives.
  8. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.  It's probably petty of me to wish the world hadn't suddenly "discovered" this novel over the past decade ... for a while there I could pretend I had Mr. Darcy all to myself!
  9. Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott.  What can I say - I'm obviously a sucker for swashbuckling yarns! The scene where Ivanhoe arrives, battered and weary, just in time to save Rebecca's honor from the designs of the evil Brian de Bois-Guilbert still has the power to give me goosebumps!
  10. The Princess Bride, William Goldman.  The book has all the sweetness of the movie version but is 10 times as funny - honestly! 

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