shadow castle coverI’m at work on the outline of the sequel to TOUCHED and beta reading a novel for an AW friend. (For those that don’t know, a beta reader scours through your manuscript or WIP looking for plot problems or glaring errors. Better than a workshop because it’s so in depth. And we do it out of the goodness of our hearts.) That didn’t leave me with a lot of time to blog today. Instead, I came up with my list of the Top 40 books I’ve read. There’s no rhyme or reason to my list as it crosses genres and subject matter. Childhood favorites sit next to Greek tragedy on my shelves, along with beloved romance novels.

SHADOW CASTLE is the book I read as a child that started my love affair with reading. I remember exactly where I was when I read it and how it captured my imagination so that I spun fantasies of my own using the story’s premise. Perhaps this was the beginning of my love affair with writing. I plan to post some book reviews of a few of these books over the coming weeks. What surprising books top your list?

Note: this list is not in any particular order. That would be impossible since my favorite changes with my mood. The list also doesn’t include any of the poetry books I hold dear.

  1. SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult
  4. JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
  5. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
  6. GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens
  7. SHADOW CASTLE by Marian Cockrell
  8. PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie
  9. EMPIRE FALLS by Richard Russo
  10. LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE by Laura Esquivel
  11. CHOCOLAT by Joanne Harris
  12. POSSESSION by A.S. Byatt
  13. THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  14. THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jasper Fforde
  15. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare
  16. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare
  17. HAMLET by William Shakespeare
  18. OTHELLO by William Shakespeare
  19. THE ILIAD by Homer
  20. FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
  21. PARADISE LOST by John Milton
  23. W;T by Margaret Edson
  24. BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by Helen Fielding
  25. SHORT CUTS by Raymond Carver
  26. OEDIPUS REX by Sophocles
  27. THE CANTERBURY TALES by Geoffrey Chaucer
  28. A DOLL’S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen
  29. TIGER EYES by Jude Blume
  30. THE OTHER SIDE OF DARK by Joan Lowery Nixon
  31. HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling
  32. TWILIGHT series by Stephanie Meyer
  33. DICTIONARY/THESAURUS – I admit this is sad, but I’ve spent hours looking through mine.
  34. ANY book by Jennifer Crusie
  35. BORN IN SHAME/CAROLINA MOON by Nora Roberts – it’s a tie between these thee because I love them equally
  36. NOW YOU SEE HER/MR. PERFECT/OPEN SEASON by Linda Howard – It’s a tie between these three because I love them equally
  37. FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale
  38. THE SHADOW AND THE STAR by Laura Kinsale
  39. TRUST ME by Jayne Ann Krentz
  40. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY by Jayne Ann Krentz