Five Books

When a call went out from my Write Group buddies for five books that I really enjoyed and wanted to recommend for a group reading list, I decided to jot down a quick selection. Off the top of my head, these are the five I came up with:

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder: I just love this book! It’s spare, lyrical, and elegant, yet it pulses with emotion. The character studies it is built around are like jewels in a crown and it swings gently from universal themes to personal stories.

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather: Willa is one of my all-time favorites and this book is beautiful. It expresses so much so poetically, balancing economy with emotion. It’s a haunting, inventive story created out of wind, air, and water.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I am a major Dickens fan. For me, the characters he creates are unforgettable and profoundly human. Here, he spins a story out of turmoil of the French Revolution, expressing universal themes through tangled lives and a rip-roaring plot.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Not sure why this popped into my head, but it is a beautiful little gem. It is like a prose poem and has a comforting, timeless spirit. It is a moving meditation on the power of nature to soothe and restore.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: This is a new favorite of mine, which I’ve discovered and delighted in several times recently. There’s so much to admire in this magical story, which has survived as a beloved classic for more than 100 years.

As soon as I wrote my list, needless to say, other books popped into my head, but I decided to stay true to my first five.* How about you? If someone asked you to pick five books to share with other writers, which would you choose off the top of your head — and why? Just pondering this is not only inspiring, but instructive. Write on!

*Curious about my choices? Just search the author names for earlier posts.

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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4 Responses to Five Books

  1. David Holmberg says:

    Interesting picks, Karin. Haven’t read any of these. My instant top two are “Middlemarch” and “Lie Down In Darkness.” Okay: “So Long, See You Tomorrow,” by William Maxwell”, “All The King’s Men,” and Robert Stone’s “Damascus Gate.” Fun exercise! Btw glad you liked those damn “poems” of mine. No one else did!

  2. Karin, I responded to the same call for five titles. I’m a sucker for lists. Decided to name books important to me as a writer, and avoid “classics” and “top 100 books.” Here goes: “Dog Soldiers” by Robert Stone. My “model book” that I read before I start a new book. “Weekend in Dinlock” by Clancy Segal. The book I wish I had written and the kind of book I think I can write. “The Furies” by Janet Hobhouse. Is there any other book with an ending like this? “Golden Days” by Carolyn See. Audacious, in that time, to write a comic novel about nuclear holocaust. I love all her books and also her book reviews. There’s an old review of hers in the Washington Post of a coffee-table book featuring Robert Gottlieb’s collection of ladies’ plastic purses (he was editor of The New Yorker then). She said she didn’t expect to be published by the New Yorker and so had nothing to lose. “The Edible Woman” by Margaret Atwood. My favorite of Atwood’s books. There’s one scene I laugh at out loud every time I read it.

    • Hi Martha,

      Thanks so much for sharing your five books! I have to confess that I haven’t read any of these, but after your great reviews, I’ll have to check them out. This is one of the wonderful aspects of sharing our book enthusiasms — it’s catching!

      Write on, Karin

      Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 20:26:08 +0000 To: kmja_w@hotmail.com

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