Friday Favorites - Books

I was sitting here this morning trying to decide what to write about and I happened to glance at the coffee table and saw the book I’m currently reading… and it gave me an idea. Why don’t I talk to y’all about some of my favorite books? I love to read and re-read books… I don’t know if I’ve always loved to read, but books have always been a huge part of my life. My parents used to read to me at night and I remember the very first book I ever read aloud - The Little Engine That Could. My Mom always had a half-read dog-eared book sitting on the table beside her and when I was a little girl, she and I would go visit this little used bookstore to see what we could find. Mom LOVED Catherine Cookson and collected her books, but she also loved to read the classics - Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc. I feel like I’ve always enjoyed sitting down with a good book, but I distinctly remember one book in particular that started my life-long passion for reading.

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The Runaways

When I was about 12 or 13, I checked out The Runaways from the school library and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVED that book. That book changed the way I felt about reading. After I finished it and turned it back in, I made Mom take me to the Georgia Square Mall to Waldenbooks (is Waldenbooks even still around?) to get my very own copy.It wasn’t a book they had in stock, so it had to be special-ordered… and it took FOREVER for us to get the call that it had arrived back at the bookstore. I guess The Runaways is out of print because the paperback version is like $40 right now, but you can get the Kindle version for around $5. 

 
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In The Runaways, Julia and Nathan have no friends, but when they discover a stash of money in a deserted house, instant popularity seems just around the corner. But so is trouble and the only thing the pair can think to do is run away!

I have read this book over and over again. In fact, I dug it out to take this photo - I think I might put this back into my rotation. 


Izzy Willy-Nilly

Izzy Willy-Nilly is another of the books I read as a girl and have re-read several times throughout my life. This book is about a young girl in high school the 80’s that gets into a car with a boy who’s too drunk to drive and it changes her life forever. 

 
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Jane Eyre

I don’t remember when I first read Jane Eyre and I honestly don’t know if I read it first for school or pleasure, but this is one of those books that I always go back to when I feel homesick for my Mom. She loved this Jane Eyre.

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Lust For Life

I read Lust for Life in one of my first years of college, but I don’t remember if it was an art history class or a literature course. I love Irving Stone and have read several of his other books, but Lust for Life about Vincent Van Gogh is just wonderful. You can feel the colors and emotions coming off the pages of this book. 

 
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Devil in the White City

I was first introduced to this book before a trip to Chicago about 15 years ago. Eric Larson weaves the most fascinating story between America’s first serial killer and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. From the sadistic behavior of H.H.Holmes to the intricacies of executing the construction of the fair against an “impossible” deadline - this book has something for everybody.

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You are a Badass

I ordered this book on a whim and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s the most badass self-help/motivational book I’ve ever read! This book is for everybody. Artist, entrepreneur, mom, office worker, teacher - everybody can find #truthbombs in this book. From Amazon’s site:  “Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love.”

 
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Women in Science - 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

I got a wild hair a few years ago at Christmas and bought my daughters 5 or 6 female empowerment books and Women in Science was one of them. I love the topic and the biographical text, but the artistry is what makes this one of my absolute favorite books. The illustrations are simple yet fantastic and the use of a dark background really makes this book POP! 

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Fortune’s Children - The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt

I grew up visiting the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC and have always been fascinated by the Vanderbilt family. Fortune’s Children explains how they made (and lost) their fortune in a matter of just a few generations. 

 
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11/22/63

I’m not a Stephen King lover. Horror is NOT my genre of choice. In fact, I don’t really like to be scared at all. Don’t ask me about the date I went on to the haunted house… let’s just say - it didn’t end well. ANYWAY, this isn’t your typical Stephen King novel. There are moments of suspense, but it doesn’t include anything REALLY scary. It’s the story of a man who discovers a time-portal and decides to go back to Dallas in the 1960’s to try and stop the assassination of JFK. Now if we learned ANYTHING from Marty McFly - if you meddle with time, BAD things happen. Just do me a favor and read the book. It’s really HUGE, but it’s an easy read. 

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Harry Potter

What kind of person would I be if I failed to mention the best book series of all time? I wasn’t an early adopter of the Harry Potter books, but my friend Shannon was. In fact, she tried to get me to read them for YEARS before I actually picked up the first book. I remember one conversation where she said, “I’ll give you $50 if you’ll just read the first one!” Thinking I had nothing to lose (I mean, what adult cares about a novel whose protagonist is an 11 year old wizard?) I borrowed her copy of book #1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and the rest is history. I immediately purchased the entire set and read all 7 of them in a matter of about two months. 

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My copy is very worn and I’ve taped the cover back on multiple times.

I wish my kids liked reading even half as much as I do. I had HOPED they would pick it up from me and reading a good book would come as natural to them as it does to me. I guess there’s still hope - maybe they just haven’t found “the one” yet. For me, it only took one book and I was off to the races

What about you? What are some of your favorite books?.




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