1. “The Catcher in the Rye” – J.D. Salinger
This book may seem phony at first, but trust me when I say it’s the real deal.
2. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” – Mark Twain
This book tugs at the adventurer within me, and growing up next to the Mississippi River doesn’t hurt either.
3. “The Scarlet Letter” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
We all love a good adulterous story, and the language of Hawthorne leaves me wishing for a purification of the English language.
4. “Horatio Hornblower” series – C.S. Forester
This Napoleonic nautical adventure series has been the wind behind my sails of enjoyment for years!
5. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien
My only critique is that when I read them, I can’t put them down.
6. “The Bro Code” – Barney Stinson
This book is legen, wait for it…
1. “Atonement” – Ian McEwan
Way better than the movie. I feel that linguistically, McEwan is one of the great writers of the 21st Century.
2. “Wait For Me!: Memoirs” – Deborah Mitford
This emotion-ridden memoir about wealthy, British sisters is like if you take Little Women, throw them across the pond, make them wealthy and add in Nazi-occupied Europe.
3. “A Moveable Feast” – Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway is famous for saying, “Write drunk; edit sober.” Here his descriptions of 1920’s Paris are so good that I’d wager he either was sober for both or is a really articulate drunk.
4. “Candide” – Voltaire
It’s 18th century satire perfection, but I also kind of like the idea of a political novel where the characters go to El Dorado and feast on the delicacy of hummingbird eggs.
5. “A Room With a View” – E.M. Forster
Plot is good, but the language is great. Seriously, I-have-quotes-from-the-book-on-my-wall great.
6. “A Year in the World” – Frances Mayes
This book took me two and a half months to read, but not because it was difficult or boring. As a travel memoir, it’s literally like taking a tour around Europe, which makes it perfect to pick up wherever you left off whenever you want to.
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- “1984” – George Orwell
I read “1984” for the first time when I was a senior in high school. Mostly what I loved about this book was the way Orwell crafted the narrative.
- “Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” – Edgar Allan Poe
He’s a “dark” poet, but I still find his work beautiful.
- “The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson” – Emily Dickinson
Roses are red/Violets are blue/I love Emily Dickinson/And so should you.
- “The Associated Press Stylebook 2011” – Edited by Darrel Christian, Sally Jacobsen and David Minthorn
What can I say? I’m an editor and writer at heart.
- “The Help” – Kathyrn Stockett
The characters in this book captured me; I loved their depth and the way Stockett was able to write so that it felt like you could distinctly hear each one’s voice when you read it.
- “Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz” – Lucette Matalon Lagnado and Shelia Cohn Dekel
This powerful collection of stories from children who were experimented on by the doctor of death at Auschwitz moved me to tears the first time I read it; the stories of what happened to them during their stay is not something for light reading. These are the type of stories that you can’t forget after you read them.
- “Great Divorce” – C.S. Lewis.
I’ve read a lot of C.S. Lewis. His writings always make complete sense to me, relationally and spiritually.
- “Jane Eyre” – Charlotte Bronte
One word. Rochester. Enough said.
- “Shadow of the Winds” – Carlos Zafon
The cliche is true with this book. It’s a book you cannot put down once you start reading it.
- “The Hobbit” – J.R.R. Tolkien
I read this book as a kid. It has always been my favorite of Tolkien works.
- “Return of the King” – J.R.R Tolkien
This was the first book I had ever cried while reading. Believe it or not, it was when King Thoeden’s horse dies. Tragic.
- “The Shipping News” – E. Annie Proulx
I don’t really know why. I just loved this book.
- “Rebecca” – Daphne DuMaurier
DuMaurier is a master at making language romantic and whimsical. The way this book is written could be read as poetry. The plot is classic and intriguing. I’ve read this book nine times and it never ceases to get old.
- “Stories in an Almost Classical Mode” – Harold Brodkey
Brodkey’s short stories are full of complexity, complication and a bit of a dark sense of truth.
- “The Essential Rumi” – Rumi
A book of poetry from the 12th century, many of which are written in the likes of a psalm or a parable. Rumi holds the power to create poems that hit you with a force of pure love, sorrow and mysticism of the spiritual realm. One of my top poetry books of all time.
- “The Bell Jar” – Sylvia Plath
This book is a classic on its own and for good reason. Sylvia Plath’s only novel was a beautiful, haunting and slightly humorous cry from a troubled mind.
- “Great Expectations” – Charles Dickens
A true classic. The ending always has stuck out to me as one of my personal favorites in regard to novels. It always seemed a bit haunting.
- “Arise: Live Out Your Faith on Whatever Field You Find Yourself” – Clayton Kershaw
Baseball and Zambia. It’s a must read for anyone. Check out the February issue of the Pulse and saupulse.comfor more of my thoughts on the book.
- “Pride and Prejudice” – Jane Austen
It may not end the same way as the movie version, but the tension between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett makes the book enjoyable. A little drama, a little romance and England – everything a girl could want in a book, right?
- “100 Things Tiger Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” – Terry Foster
If you’re a Tiger fan, go out and read it. If you’re a fan of another team, go out and find the book about your team. You won’t regret it; it’s filled with facts and stories.
- Online Sports Articles
I know it’s not a book, but most of my knowledge about sports and players comes from reading online.