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There was buzz on Facebook this weekend about The BBC’s list of 100 books every one should read.


I’ve read 72 of the books on the list.  Some people were surprised, some were doubtful, and some wondered why I hadn’t read more.

I’ve been reading a long, long time. I read a lot of books every year…usually over 50.  It all started long ago at the Andrew Carnegie Library on the corner in Germantown.  It was a safe haven, quiet, peaceful, and bully free.

So, let’s say I’ve read 50 books a year since I was 12, that’s 50 years, which comes UP to 2,500 books.

I’ve probably read more, I have over 3,000 books in the house, and I don’t just stack them UP, I read them first.

For the life of me I can’t understand folks who say, “I hate to read.” or “I’ve not read a whole book since college.”


Reading is so much fun, makes a rainy day better, and helps you to grow and know!

Every one should read!

But, I’ll not be like the BBC and give you 100 books you should read before you die, only ten eleven.

These are my favorites, but not necessarily in this order.

1 – Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt. The Savannah set story based on a actual shooting and ensuing trial gripped me from the first sentence.  The best opening line in literature – EVER!

2 – Adam Bede by George Eliot.  A great story set in Merrie Olde England with a message for today.

Adam Bede

3 – Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Forget what you think about the book and the old south, the story is about a woman.  Scarlett O’Hara, a pre-feminist feminist, set the standard for strong female roles.  If you’ve seen the movie and not read the book, READ THE BOOK!

4 – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Just great writing and an English teacher’s dream.  Every literary trick in the book is in this book!

5 – Skeletons At The Feast by Chris Bohjalian.  A must for the historical fiction WW II nut.  Great story, great characters, great writing.  (He wrote Midwives, which every one raved about…this is better!)


6 – Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.  Yes, I know, she’s trying to ruin the world with her over zealous tree-huggerness, but the book is awe to the some.  Great characters intertwined in ways they didn’t even know. I’ve read it three times.  Every one said The Poisionwood Bible was her best, but that’s because they didn’t read Prodigal Summer.

7 – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  The movie was one of Hitchcock’s greatest, and the book is 500 times better. Melodramatic, yes.  Worth the time, absolutely.

8 – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. If you didn’t read this in the 7th grade, shame on you.  It’s a girls’ book, but guys can learn from it as well.  It will make you laugh out loud and wonder how you missed it.

9. – The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  All the Rand hype is true.  She was amazing.

10 – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.  An American classic by an American classic.  Disturbing, heart breaking, and a must read.

11 – Alas, Babylon by Pat (not his real name) Frank.  One of the first apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age, and one of my favorites, the novel, though dated now by 21st Century technology, is a conversation starter and thought provoker.  It will make you ask yourself just how you’d react when Putin starts WW III we really do have a nuclear holocaust.

Alas Babylon

The Bible is a book every one should read, and along with a few UP there made the BBC’s list.  If I were you, I’d start now.

Just sayin’!


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