"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ten Books That Have Stayed With You

Here’s a neat little exercise that according to Julie Davis of Happy Catholic has been going around on Facebook. 

Rules: list 10 books that have stayed with you. Don't take more than a few minutes; don't think too hard. They don't have to be great works, just the ones that have touched you, and of course with me they are great works.   Ninety percent of what I read is great works.  Now this is off the top of my head and without a lot of thought, and I reserve the right to change my impulsive mind.  I could also have gone into poetic works but I limited myself to only novels.  The author of the work is in parenthesis.

1. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

2. Light In August (William Faulkner)

3. The Rainbow (D.H. Lawrence)

4. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky)

5. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)

6. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)

7. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

8. To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)

9. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

10. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

Are any of these on your list? 


  1. I think I now have proof that we like very different sorts of books, even if we enjoy the same authors. For example I can't list the number of times that I have attempted Great Expectations, while Bleak House and Little Dorrit were luxurious reads that I couldn't put down. LOVE that there are so many great choices and that they show so much about what we each thrill to in a book. :-)

    1. LOL, Julie, yes you now have proof. :) I've been meaning to read Bleak House for the longest of time. Perhaps I'll try to finally get to it in 2014.

  2. Heart of Darkness? Number ONE? yikes! That was the black hole in my high school AP English class! lol
    You know at least one of mine.
    A Soldier of the Great War-Mark Helprin
    I Know This Much Is True-Wally Lamb
    The Glass Castle-Jeannette Walls
    Introduction to the Devout Life--Francis De Sales
    In the School of the Holy Spirit--Father Jacques Phillipe
    The Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes to-Anthony DeStefano

    in no particular order :)

    God Bless

    1. Oh Heart of Darkness is just too difficult for high school. And it was number one but it was in no particular order. Yes, the Helprin novel was really good. I have the Wally Lamb book somewhere in the house but I've never read it. And the De Sales I've been saving for one of these Lents. I don't recognize the others.

  3. I'm sorry that I can't get involved in this little game of yours Manny cause my wife is the book reader and our five daughters do read but no long live with us.

    Long story short, I don't want to name the few books that I've read cause some friends might say stuff like, How come you didn't read my book Victor? :)

    God Bless Peace

  4. (((Haha, you're too funny. :) )))

    Your "Faith" has saved YA! Go and be sure not to tell no "Body" cause "ME", "ME" and "ME" have got our eyes on YA NOW!


    Happy Advent to you and your family Manny

  5. I don't understand why Victor has put a link to my Blog here. Any ideas?

    Manny, do you know Victor personally? He doesn't appear to have a Blog.

    God bless.

    1. Not sure either, but he linked me to yours. :)

  6. Mine would be:
    1. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
    2. The Grey King by Susan Cooper
    3. Lost Paradise by Cees Nooteboom
    4. The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir
    5. The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
    6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    7. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
    8. Remainder by Tom McCarthy
    9. Gilead by Marilynn Robinson
    10. A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland

    They're all books that have had a profound impact on the way I think or feel. There are more, but those are the big hitters.

    1. Ah, Lost Paradise by Nooteboom. I will be forever in your debt for sugggesting that one to me a couple of years ago. It was a great work and I still think Nooteboom should get the Nobel Prize. Based on that reading I did buy his Rituals (I think it's called) but it's on my bookshelf unread.

      I don't know the others except for Jane Eyre, and I know that fairly well since I did a class paper on it many years ago. I was a little surprised at first it was that high for you, but on reflection I can see it. Jane Eyre captures a certain woman's archetype that really connects with women. I don't know if you've ever read Woolf's To The Lighthouse (it's actually on my list above). It too captures two women's archetypes that I think would connect with women readers. However, a lot of people complain about her writing style, so I'm not sure you wold like it.

      If the Maitland book on silence makes your top ten, I will most certainly pick it up.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

  7. As a theology major, I’m naturally drawn to the Holy Bible and religious texts, however, as a literature lover, I’m going to limit myself to fiction works here. And I did throw in poetry because THE DIVINE COMEDY is the greatest work of fiction ever written.

    1. Anna Karenina (Count Leo Tolstoy)

    2. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

    3. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

    4. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)

    5. Portrait of a Lady (Henry James)

    6. The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)

    7. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

    8. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)

    9. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

    10. The Divine Comedy (the great work of literature, ever, outside of religious texts)

    1. Wow, we're almost on the same page in novels we consider great. I would agree with all those except Mrs. Dalloway. I've never seen what's so special about that one. I consider To The Lighthouse to be Woolf's great achievement and I would rank that very high. Thank you very much for your thoughts.