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)
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE and READ A GOOD BOOK !!!