As a book lover, a question that I get asked with relative frequency is “what’s your favorite book?”. While I’m not sure that I could narrow it down to just one (that’s like choosing a favorite child), I have put together a list of some of my all-time favorite reads, as well as a few runners-up that also hold a place in my heart.
Atlas Shrugged – The first time that I finished this masterpiece, I flipped back to page one and started reading it again. Atlas Shrugged forever impacted how I think about capitalism and human nature itself. It is a must-read that I recommend to any and all.
Beach Music – This novel has become a cult classic in my family, and I have read it more times that I would care to admit. It starts out with a widowed father and his daughter in Italy, and traces their story back to the Southern US where they hail from, and eventually back to World War II and beyond. It is a sweeping exploration of grief and forgiveness and the progression of time, and the characters are some of the best that I have ever encountered in any story.
A Little Life – This haunting epic is no light read, but I felt amazingly attached to the darkness and weakness present in these wholly human characters. While disturbing at times, I found this life-encompassing novel to be incredibly redemptive.
All the Pretty Horses – The American west comes to life in this beautiful story of a boy on a journey to manhood. The sweeping descriptions of the western landscape make you yearn for a one-way ticket to explore all that this beautiful region has to offer.
Paradise – My favorite Toni Morrison work, this story puts chronology aside and tell the stories of a small town in Oklahoma in its own version of time. The history of the town of Ruby is told through the perspective of females, both the inhabitants of the town and the women in the nearby convent whose presence shake this little town to its very core.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – The unique heart and mind of a young child come alive as he tells the story of his family living in New York City in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel. This book makes you relook at the way in which we perceive things as adults versus the innocent and curious eyes of a child.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Red Tent
The Interpreter of Maladies
The Things They Carried
Cutting For Stone