Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Salon: Books you still recommend years later

So I was reading my friend C.'s blog the other day when I came across her post about the books she listed in that meme asking people about the most influential books in your life. She noted that almost all of hers were books she read before she turned 21. She wondered if most people's "Most Influential" books were from those years because everyone is still trying to figure out who he or she is or will become. In looking at most people's lists (mine included), it does seem to hold that the books that have most influenced us are those we read in young adulthood or even childhood. But surely we don't stop growing and developing as human beings then so why shouldn't there be books from later years that also deserve mention. So she decided to try and create a list of books that she'd read after she turned 22. I thought that would be a worthy thing to attempt too so here are the top fifteen books I've read in adulthood (plus the bonus of a few that just made me smile), those I still mention when someone asks me for a great read (in no particular order):

1. Silk by Alessandro Baricco
2. Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
4. The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett
5. The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
6. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
7. Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
8. Montana, 1948 by Larry Watson
9. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
10. Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols
11. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
12. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
13. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
14. Silk and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
15. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

And those that made me smile just to read them:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

It makes me feel better to know that I do still come across books that leave an indelible print on my reading self. They may come fewer and farther between the older I get, but they are still out there. What books would you put on a list of your own like this?

I didn't do much reading this week. I worked on getting some of the long-standing, out-standing reviews I had to complete instead. But I did indeed manage a few books. I watched as man tried to defend his reputation to his community and to his son. I felt shame over the history of exhibiting human beings that we have swept under the rug of history. And I zipped along as a young woman found love with a kilted Scotsman (Outlander withdrawal anyone?). I still have bookmarks making their way through stories invoking the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because that is where my heart lies, a fictionalized version of Zelda Fitzgerald's life, and the tale of an abused young woman whose childhood friend shows her kindness not understood by their shared town. Where did your reading adventures take you this past week?


  1. I agree, we don't stop growing and changing in later years, and I have found many books that influenced me in the past few years, especially since I started blogging.

    I also loved The Rosie Project and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. I love quirky characters!

    And thanks for visiting my blog, Kristen; I know that you are excited about The Rosie Effect,, too, which I got this week.

  2. I do think the books we read when we're younger do influence more because the ideas are new and fresh. After a while, just about every book I read reminds me in some way of another book I read.

  3. Interesting post and a very interesting list.

  4. It's so nice to see Ella Minnow Pea on your list. I loved that book so, so much. :D I don't think it's received nearly enough attention.

  5. I loved The Housekeeper and the Professor when I read it a few years back. That is a great list and I jotted down a few unfamiliar titles to check them out.

    Have a great week.

  6. I love to see what books you loved as an adult. Such great choices. Thank you.

  7. I actually haven't ready any of those books (except for The Book Thief, which I didn't finish because life got in the way), so thanks for the recommendations!

  8. Great list of books. I have some on my to read list but I haven't read any of them.


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