The Life of Bon: Book Talk

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Book Talk

Let's talk books, shall we?  I was recently tagged by sister in law to list ten books that have had a profound impact on my life.  I was going to reply on facebook, but I thought I'd open it up to my blog to see what you all say are the books that have most influenced you.  I love nerdy book talk and besides that, I have way more time to read lately since I am only working part time and since I breastfeed six hours a day.  This is the perfect time to stack up my "To read" list.

Without further ado, here's my list: (In no particular order and excluding scripture)

1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
4. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
5. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
7. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
9. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Honorable Mentions:  A Thousand Splendid Suns, Their Eyes Were Watching God, East of Eden, Harry Potter, Great Gatsby

I'd love to hear what ten books have had the biggest influence on your life.  If you don't feel like listing ten, at least answer me these two questions-

1.  What one book do you think every single person should read sometime in their life? and
2.  What is the best book you have read this year?

My answers are:
1) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Seriously, there is not a person in this world who I don't think would enjoy this book.)
2) Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Comment it up!


  1. I love this. I just wrote a post about my some of my recommendations last week, but I haven't thought about my most influential list yet. I have so many books that influenced my life, it's hard to pick ten.

    As for your questions, 1.) Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. It's such a beautifully written book, and it's a poignant story for anyone in their 20s; and 2.) Love Illuminated by Daniel Jones. It's about what he learned about love and the various shades of the spectrum during his years as editor of the Modern Love column in the New York Times. Such a fascinating read.

    Eager to see the responses of others!

  2. I just wrote a post on my blog about books yesterday! I don't know that I could list my own Top 10... I'm not that disciplined. However, I found myself agreeing with so many on your Top 10 list as well as your honorable mention list!

    1. What is the one book everybody should read in their life time? I'm split between "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns." Both were life changing books for me and are now two of my favorites to teach.

    2. What is the best book I have read this year? I also read "Unbroken" and loved it! I also read John Grisham's "Calico Joe" and loved it as well.

    So many books, so little time!

  3. 1. What one book do you think every single person should read sometime in their life?
    I think for me, everyone should read "Captain Corelli's Mandolin". I learnt so much from this book. It taught me about love, compassion and friendship. It made me laugh and it made me sob. Thinking about it, I think it needs a reread.....

    2. What is the best book you have read this year?
    Ah man, I've read so many great ones. Probably I would split it 3 ways between "The Hunger Games" - simply because I was hooked on all three for 2 weeks. "The Cukoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith - I was addicted to this. I couldn't stop thinking about it, even when I wasn't reading it. Finally "A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness. It's the first in a trilogy, and it's like a grown up Twilight with vampires, daemons, witches and humans all living together. Brilliant. I can highly recommend.

  4. I love books so much. I love reading every genre out there so I have quite the random list. These are my favorites not because they are the most well written or because they are classic... But because they made me feel something when I read them. Ask me for a list of my favorite classics and it will look a whole lot different... But these I could read over and over because they make me happy.
    1. The Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd
    2. Harry Potter- JK Rowling
    3. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest- Ken Kesey
    4. Angels and Demons- Dan Brown
    5. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
    6. Equus- Peter Shaffer
    7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me- Mindy Kaling
    8. No Easy Day- Mark Owen
    9. Blood, Bones, and Butter- Gabrielle Hamilton
    10. The Man Who Ate Everything- Jeffery Steingarten

    And to answer the questions-
    1. Probably The Man Who Ate Everything. I adore food and cooking and this book really drove that home for me. It is funny and witty and just good.
    2. The Secret Life of Bees. I read this for the first time about 13 years ago and fell in love with it. I since been through 3 copies of it and have read each one countless times. It is simply written and beautifully developed. It teaches so much about love and respect and life. I cannot say enough good things about this book.

    1. I switched questions one and two! Everyone should read The Secret Life of Bees.

  5. I'm currently reading "The Bell Jar" and loving it. I love so many of the books on your list but have yet to read Unbroken, it seems that I must!

  6. What a great idea for a post! I'm gonna have to put some thought into my ten, I don't think I could rush into deciding something like that!

    As for your questions, I'd have to say
    1) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I don't know a single person who's read this and hasn't raved about it afterwards.
    2) I'm With You by Taylor Dean. I just loved it, everything about it. In fact, I've read 3 of her books this year and rated them all 5/5.

  7. I have only read like one or two from your list! I need to get to it!

  8. Please tell me what you liked about Angela's ashes! I read it and really didn't like it. But I'm open to trying again.

  9. 1. The Anatomy of Peace
    2. Fahrenheit 451

  10. And the books that I read that were the biggest disappointment this year were Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars! I finally read some John Green, and sadly I wasn't impressed.

  11. LOVED Unbroken! Such an amazing story. And I just finished Bringing Up Bebe and really enjoyed it! Gave me a lot to think about.

    I don't really know what books have had a profound impact on my life.....I guess I'm just not very deep, because fiction books don't really impact me. I love to read, and I have enjoyed hundreds of books, but I can't think of anything that stands out that has "impacted" me. Maybe you could explain how exactly those books have impacted you?

    Having said that, my favorite book of all time is probably Where the Red Fern Grows. I have read it a million times, and I cry every time. It's amazing.

  12. Oh, man. I hear you on Unbroken. Don't you want to just tie everyone down and force them to read it? I do, at least. Talk about a powerful ending. I still think about it fairly often. That would probably be my answer to number 1, too. Because as you said, I can't imagine anyone not liking it. As for number 2, I loooved The Glass Castle. Actually, I read Mystery and Manners this year by Flannery O'Connor. That is probably the best book I have read this year.

  13. So many books so little time

  14. I love this post! I second the Unbroken nomination for the book that every person should read. My parents both listened to the audio version, and loved the narration. I think I may have to listen to the audiobook before the movie comes out! East of Eden may top my list, with My Name Is Asher Lev not far behind. My husband and I actually decided on the Asher for our son because we were both so affected by the book. (Nevermind that now Asher is topping the boy names charts--we decided on it before its meteoric rise!) The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton may make that list as well. I read it this summer, and can't get it out of my head!

  15. East of Eden is my book everyone should read -- absolutely stunning! My favorite read so far this year has been "Empty Mansions."

  16. 1. To Kill a Mockingbird [Close second: East of Eden. Close third: The Book Thief (you didn't like this one?!?!?!!!) Close fourth: Unbroken (did you hear he died a month or so ago? and that there will be a movie this December? ) ]
    2. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years [Donald Miller] (this was actually a re-read for me), OR All the Light We Cannot See (the interweaving of the stories was done beautifully) OR Loving the Little Years [another re-read]

    Other books that have had a profound impact:
    - Grapes of Wrath
    - Traveling Mercies
    - Girl Meets God [Lauren Winner-- her books are all thought-provoking. "Real Sex" is phenomenal too]
    - In Cold Blood
    - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius [Dave Eggars- Opened me up to a whole new world of "edgy" writing and prompted me to try new "voice" in my own writing… Bill Bryson books kind of did this for me too at a different point in my life…]
    - Christy [when I was younger]
    - Mere Christianity [C.S. Lewis…many of his books have had impact, but this one over and above the rest]
    - Also, surprisingly, I read "Every Young Man's Battle" when I was in high school and it revealed a ton to me about why I should care about modesty and how I present myself to guys [and now how I raise daughters]

    … sheesh. I'm just gonna stop. You understand.