Saturday, February 13, 2010

" My Top Ten Favorite Reads "

Yesterday I got a e-mail from a lady in Mobile, Ala named Twila. She ask me if I would tell her my all time favorite top 10 books.......

For someone who has read thousands of books over the last half century,( I started reading at 7 years old) that is not an easy thing to do! So I walked around "the porch" and gazed at my hundreds of books. I was a hundred pages shy of finishing one of the best books I've ever read, so I'm really glad she didn't pose this question to me last week. I thought long and hard about it and unless my memory is in serious trouble and I've forgotten one, here goes Twila...............

1. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was 22 when I read it the first time. I was 24 when I saw the movie and decided if I ever had a daughter she would be named Melanie after the sweet, compassionate and loving Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. I have read the book I believe 4 times!

2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Released in March 2009 this book has been on the NY Times best-seller list for 45 weeks and has for the last 3 weeks occupied the No.1 spot.

3. Heaven-high Hell-deep by Peggy Poe Stern. I just discovered this awesome NC author recently and bought five of her 17 books. This is the first book she wrote, I finished it yesterday and I'm 100 pages into the sequel, Above All.
THIS BOOK is awesome and should have been a number 1 best-seller years ago!

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have read this book 8 times and it just gets better!

5. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I first read this book in 1994. I have purchased 4 copies of this book over the years. I loaned out 2 that I never got back, which broke me from loaning my books. I currently have the 3rd and I ordered one for my daughter, it is her all time favorite book! This is a christian romance set in the California Gold Rush days based on the biblical story of when God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. This book is an unforgettable read for anyone!

6. Alex Stewart by John Rice Irwin. This is the non-fiction story of an incredible man. Alex Stewart lived on the Tennessee-Kentucky line in Appalachia in a county(Hawkins) that Irwin describes as 100 years behind times when he met him in the early 1970s. Irwin visited and tape recorded their conversations for 20 years.This book reads like a well written novel and you will cry when it ends and never forget Alex Stewart!

7. Christy by Catherine Marshall. Another book I've read several times. Set in Del Rio, Tennessee on the NC line, this is another unforgettable book about old Appalachia.

8. The Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb. Set in Appalachia the story is based on the first woman hanged in the state of North Carolina! An awesome read!

9. The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan. Another Appalachian story of the hard fought survival of a mountain woman...........

10. Forty Acres and No Mule by Janice Holt Giles is the personal account of the authors move from the city to the Kentucky backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains in the late 1940s. It too reads like a wonderful novel! I have read this book more than once and love it more each time.

So, there is my top ten favorites. It would take me days to list all the books I consider 5 star reads and all the authors I think are amazing writers. We live in a time when great writers and great books are everywhere!! Just look at a portion of my TBR stack, everyday it seems I hear about another book that I want to add to it! My greatest fear is not living long enough to read ALL the books I WANT to read!

So lets see.... 9 out of 10 are Southern writers, 6 out of 10 are Appalachian Writers , 6 out of 10 are Appalachian Mountain settings. We may not have won the Civil War but the South is the winner hands down when it comes to the Literary War in this readers opinion! :0)


merrilymarylee said...

I always feel guilty mentioning a book to you because I know your stack is hazardous. I love your list (several would be on mine, too)) and am embarrassed that I'm not familiar with the NC writer; I'll remedy that!

One of the books that has stayed with me is called Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith. It lets us walk with this Appalachian woman, see the struggle between her heart and her brain. It's beautifully written-- almost like poetry-- because of the cadence of her speech. It is unlike any of her other books.

And you still haven't read ZIPPY! (talk about a different book!) I know you haven't because we'd hear you chuckling!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

You've named some good books. I had forgotten about Christy, it was an old favorite of mine. Great list, thanks for sharing.

Pat in east TN said...

I am with you on all the books on your list but for the "40 Acres ...", that is on my 'wish list'. My TBR pile is so big that I must catch up on reading some of them before adding more, and my husband says something very similar to me like your quote ... "Will you live long enough to read ALL those books?" HA!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Cool... and sad for me to say, I haven't read any because I mostly read British Literature. My top ten would be quite different.


Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

ML...yes, I am a Lee (NC) Smith fan! F&T Ladies is a 5 star!

Elizabeth...thanks for stopping in!

Pat...I've learned you and I are literary twins! :)

Ann...thank you for coming by! I'm a Charles Dickens,Jane Austin and Thomas Hardy fan also!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great list, Carol... Many of those Appalachian books were from the area where I grew up. I grew up in Big Stone Gap, VA (Southwest VA) --near the VA/W VA/KY line--in the Appalachian Mountains. Lots of great history there!!!!!

I love "Christy" also, Carol.

Great list!!!

lakeviewer said...

Quite a few I'm not familiar with. I shall check them out. Thanks.

Callie said...

I have read several of these books too and consider them keepers. I will check out the other books. Thanks for the list.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I know what you mean about not getting to all those books before the big end comes. I think about that too.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day, Carole.


Elizabeth said...

These are great books!!

I STILL have "The Help" on my nightstand! I have got to get cracking on that book...I've heard so many wonderful things about it!


Tipper said...

Great list! 5 of yours-would be on my top ten list too-The Help, Frankie Silver, Christy, Reedeming Love, and Heaven High Hell Deep.

Have you ever read The Sin Eater by Francine Rivers? If you haven't I think you'd like it too.

Janet, said...

I'm sorry to say that I've only read 3 of those books. Christy is my all time favorite book! The others on your list sound like ones I would like, also.

Vicki Lane said...

I too have read GWTW multiple times -- but not recently. It's a doozy, all right!

And I agree with Merrilymarylee about FAIR AND TENDER LADIES -- a beautiful, beautiful book!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nezzy said...

A great compiling of wonderful reads my friend. I can't imagine how hard it would be to pick the top ten, or even thirty all time fav's.

You have a great weekend enjoying all your wonderful reads and finding new ones!

Jen Chandler said...

What a to be read stack!! I love hearing other's favorite books. To me, it's a way to get to know someone. I feel like there's so much about a person you can learn from looking at their bookshelves. A house without books is kind of creepy to me. It's as if the person inside is afraid to be seen.

Hope you enjoyed that snow!

Morning's Minion said...

Several of your favorites would be on my short list also.
I cherish anything by Janice Holt Giles, Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad Series, and of course few books are the equal of "To Kill a Mockingbird."