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Fifteen books in fifteen minutes

This is currently a Facebook meme, but I felt like doing it here instead. Because I can. ๐Ÿ˜›

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you, for whatever reasons.

This isn’t your top 15 canon or even books you’d necessarily recommend, just books that have made their mark on you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Here’s my list of 15 books:

  1. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein. I probably stole my brother’s copy to read. ๐Ÿ™‚ I first read them when I was 8 or maybe 9, and it was my first introduction to serious fantasy. Since then, I’ve read them, oh, at least another dozen times. Despite the flaws in the book (as in, it could have used a serious editor to chop huge chunks out of it :)), it was highly entertaining and captivating. Plus the message that one little insignificant person could make such a difference.
  2. Dragon Song by Anne McCaffrey. The whole series, really. Read these before I was even a teenager, if I recall correctly, and these got me firmly implanted in being a huge fantasy fan. Besides, they’re very happy books. ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Got me hooked on OSC books. And Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. A reworked fairy tale that expanded my horizons of what a book, a story, was capable of. Absolutely brilliant.
  4. The Postman by David Brin, one of my favourite authors. Yes, I’m well aware that most people thought the movie was hokey and very badly done. I don’t care. I loved it. The book was better, though. One insignificant man making a difference so far reaching… Inspiring.
  5. Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare. A play, but so what? ๐Ÿ˜€ Fun, fun, fun. Read it not for school but because I felt like it and I loved it.
  6. The Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilman. Light and fluffy, perfect reading for when I was sick, which was a lot. Entertaining, fun, the good guy – or old lady, in this case – always wins. Lovely reading. And I blame my brother for her. ๐Ÿ™‚
  7. Just about anything by Mary Stewart. Again, fun reading, entertaining. Her books set in places like Greece or Spain or Italy. Plus the Merlin books, which are just a fascinating read. Airs Above the Ground introduced me to Lippizanner Stallions, which I saw perform in Edmonton in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Ah, with her books, I got to travel the world and experience it first hand. ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. The Far Pavilions by M M Kaye. How could I ever forget this book? Thick, lots of stuff. Set in India and full of Indian culture. Tale of a boy, then a man, born to British culture, raised in the Indian culture, torn between the two. Chock full of the mystery and romance that’s India, along with the violence of independence. Bought it at Value Village on a whim when I was 20ย and fell in love. I’ve since read everything else that M M Kaye wrote and loved it all, but that one, The Far Pavilions, is at the very top of the list. It made me want to live in India. And then I ended up in Sri Lanka instead. ๐Ÿ˜€
  9. The Pop-Up Book of Phobias. Hilarious. Lynn, one of my closest friends, gave it to me for Christmas one year. Another mutual friend thought it was bad taste on Lynn’s part because I had so many of the phobias in the book. No, Lynn insisted, she’ll get a kick out of it. I DID! I loved it! It’s easily one of the most hilarious, albeit short, books I’ve ever loved. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I threw the book on the floor less than a second after turning the page to the spider phobia… ๐Ÿ˜€
  10. Asterix and Obelix. Comics with intelligence and lasting humour. Funny funny stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€
  11. The Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis. Well worth reading if you haven’t already. Letters from an uncle (demon)ย to a nephew (tempter), teaching him how to better secure the damnation of a soul.
  12. The Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Yes, a book of poetry for children. I was given it when I was sick as a child – probably in either kindergarten or grade one. I knew how to spell my name, as evidenced by the bright orange lettering in the front of the book accompanied by an orange stick figure drawing of myself. Lovely, lovely poetry.
  13. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. Yep, not fiction, but so what? It’s a book that’s all about teaching the reader to get a better bread. It geeks out, and I love it!
  14. The Source by James Michener. Historical account of a fictional town in Israel. It taught me a lot about Judaism and Jewish history and also helped me understand the Bible better, putting events into proper historical context. Besides, it’s a brilliant read. Honestly, though, I love most of Michener’s books. The Covenant is another one of my favourites by him – putsย South African history and apartheid into context.
  15. Book of Mormon. Scripture for the LDS crowd. It tells us the history of Jews who left Jerusalem for North America long before Jesus was born, how Christ visited them after his death, and gives us direction on how to be better people and grow closer to God. The full extent of how this has influenced me is something that I couldn’t possibly express in one paragraph. It’s been life changing.
  16. The Bible. To explain how it’s influenced me is something that would take months to type up, like the Book of Mormon.

The weird part of doing this list? I’ve read, quite literally, tens of thousands of books in my lifetime. Before I came to Sri Lanka and was still living in Canada, I had bookshelves 8′ high and 12′ long that held just the paperbacks that I kept. I’ve been an avid bookworm my entire life.

And yet I had a difficult time naming books. Lousy memory. Ah, what a lovely lousy memory. And then I end up with 16 instead of the requisite 15. So sue me. ๐Ÿ˜›

My oldest brother is to blame for atย least a fewย of those books or comics or authors I mentioned above. I borrowed his books, after all. ๐Ÿ™‚ But then, he also introduced me to classical music and opera, which I ended up falling in love with.

I’m not tagging anyone – I’ve never been much into that. Instead, consider yourself tagged if you want to be. If you don’t want to play, you don’t have to. But please, if you tag yourself and do up your own list, please leave a comment with the URL to that list. I’d love to read what you come up with. ๐Ÿ™‚

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