In the recent author profile by Steven McEvoy at Book Reviews and More and Catholic Dads Online, I was asked a few questions about my all-time favorite books.
- If you could only recommend 10 books to a reader looking to be a well-rounded and whole person what books would you suggest?
I would offer up a variety of genres. Narrowing it down to 10, I’m pretty sure I’m going to forget some great books, but here goes- To begin with, and I hate to be cliché, but I have to suggest the Bible, beginning with the Gospels, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Divorce, and Mere Christianity, Milton’s Paradise Lost, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Sr. Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking, Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
- Who were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?
I loved reading as a child and read a variety of genres, but the ones that had the most effect on me, as a person and a writer, were C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Kenneth Grahame, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Brontë sisters.
Other titles I neglected to include in the interview were Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, and Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I’m sure I’m still missing more great reads, but let’s move on.
In responding to these questions, I was reminded of how often I read as a child and how much I devoured each book. Little did I know back then that I’d build a deep connection with the classics.
You know a book’s great when it stays with you throughout your life.
These books were not only inspiring and motivating; they also challenged my subconscious-if not immediately then as a child, then at least in later years when I recalled them -when they were pertinent to a specific time or situation. I’m often prompted to think back on these novels from long ago. They were classics then, and have continued to maintain elite status, even as millions of new titles come on the market.
When I get the chance, I like to reread a favorite classic. It’s inspiring for me as an author. And it’s motivating as a reader. Chapters and scenes are randomly recalled throughout the pages of many. I just wish I was habituated to dog-earring and highlighting for future referencing and inspiration. Then again, a full reread is always worth the endeavor.
Lord, bless my words so that I glorify You in everything that I write.
Friends, feel free to share your favorite classics with me.
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