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I’m a bit behind, but last week, S.M. Boyce awarded me the Booker Award.   Excitement!  Y’all know I love talking about books: it’s the curse of the avid reader.

 

This book-centric award gives me a chance to:

Post my top 5 books of all time

Add the booker award icon, and

Nominate 5 other bloggers to do the same, if they feel like it.

First, I’ll start with my nominations.  I’m going to break with tradition on this one!

If you love books, blog about books, or just like this topic, then I nominate YOU for this award.  Take it and run with it, my friends!

Now.  Onto my top five books of all time.

*Pause*

That’s really hard.  Every semester, I am wicked and ask my students to write their first journal about their favorite book, and every semester, I ignore the topic for myself.  It’s just that there are so many books that have shaped me: how can I possibly pick five?

Hmm.  I think I’ll pick the top five books I love to re-read, and call it good.  Yes?

1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I love this book.  When I first read it, I was a young teen, and over the years, my appreciation for both Mitchell and Scarlet has grown.  As an adult, I can even look fondly at Melanie, and I’ve realized that the reason I love this novel is the fact that Mitchell floods her book with strong women.  Scarlet is raw and sharp, Melanie is tempered steel, and between the two of them, they control the story.  Add into the mix Belle, the prostitute with a “heart of gold”, and you’ve got a third foil for the two protagonists.  Mitchell was herself a strong woman, and although there’s a lot about this book that makes it, um, questionable, her characterization of feminine power still thrills me.

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker

I could wax poetic about Stoker’s genius (in fact, if you check out the annual Murders, Monsters, and Mayhem extravaganza next month, you’ll see me do just that), but the real reason I love this book is the way it plays on human emotion.  I LOVE reading this in the fall, when the nights have turned cold and it’s easy to believe that things unseen lurk in the shadows.  I also love the multi-voice, multi-genre storytelling technique that Stoker uses.  All in all, this is my favorite book to read for a good scare.

3. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

When Mr. Moundshroud takes the boys on a whirlwind tour of Halloween traditions, they learn more about the nature of death and things that go bump in the night.  In classic Bradbury style, this novel is an ode to boyhood, but it’s more than that: it’s an ode to my favorite holiday.  Every time I read this, I catch more beautiful Bradbury phrasing and details that I’ve never seen before.  Current favorite line? “Sweet candy-corn soul”.

4. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

I’m noticing a trend here: many of my re-reads are seasonal!  This is a book that I love to read in the depths of winter (although winter doesn’t really get that deep here in North Carolina, but still).  When Will Stanton turns eleven, he discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortal beings whose purpose on the earth is to fight against the Dark.  But the Dark is rising, and Will’s powers are still weak.  Will he tip the balance in the eternal struggle between Dark and Light?  This book is the second of a series, but can easily be devoured on its own.  Love it!

5. American Godsby Neil Gaiman

Who doesn’t love this epic tale of myth and magic?  I adore Gaiman’s work, and this is my favorite.  When Shadow is released from prison, he stumbles into a world where the old gods are dying and the gods of technology and commerce are struggling to take their place.  Remember: it’s a two-man-con.

And that’s it for me today.  What are your favorite books?  Remember, I’ve given you the option to tag yourselves, so if you want the Booker Award, it’s yours for the taking!

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