10 Books

For a change from pics of food and sunsets, there’s an interesting literary challenge running around Facebook, “10 Books, 10 Days”. Finally, an example of using social media for thoughtful and meaningful purposes. Much like last summer’s exploration of literacy promoted by PBS with its Great American Read series, this challenge encourages you to stop for a moment and consider ten books which made an impact on you in some form.

I was “tagged” by my friend, Janet, to post a cover of a book over a ten day period with a different title each day. There is no explanation included, just the post. You then need to tag / nominate a friend to join the challenge and extend the viral reach of the campaign. My nine choices are pictured above. Can you guess which book I’ll choose for Day Ten?

#amreading     #bookreview     #BookClub     #historicalfiction     #womenfiction

Last summer, I had to choose one title for my writers’ retreat to discuss. Choosing one title was an even harder task, but how could I not choose Scarlett O’Hara? I read GWTW in high school. Perhaps it foretold my inclination in seeking out strong female protagonists and historical fiction. Memoirs of a Geisha and Snowflower and the Secret Fan also mirror those elements of GWTW, albeit set in Asia.

Shutter Island and The Pact draw upon emotional traumas and pulled at my interest in the darker sides of personal tragedy and how they shape a person’s life. No surprise my B.S. degree was in Psychology from Wheaton.

I choose Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Inferno based on how I read them. I read aloud the entire first Harry Potter book to my sons. We would curl up together on one of their twin beds in their shared room and dove into the magical world of wizardry. I clearly recall Peirce was in the second grade, Brendan in preschool. All three of us got wrapped up in Harry’s story and rooted for him throughout the 300 pages. Jim and I listened to Inferno on one of our drives home from Florida. Forced off I-95 in Virginia due to a blizzard, the only restaurant within walking distance from our spur-of-the-moment- need-a-hotel-which takes dogs, was Cracker Barrel. The only saving grace after a miserable dinner was at check out they had books on tape you could rent and return to any other store. The edge of your seat thriller with Robert Langdon got us home to MA and into our family room to listen to the last few chapters a la 1940’s style of huddled up around the radio and Googling the artwork and Italian cities as we listened.

Little House on the Prairie and The Black Stallion are my own copies from a 1960’s childhood of innocence, and apparently, when paperbacks were only 95 cents! I have no idea how many times I re-read those pages. Lying in my narrow bed in a converted maid’s quarters bedroom during a Cape Cod summer, I traveled back to pioneer days with Laura Ingalls and her family and galloped along the beaches of a desert island astride a magnificent wild horse (which of course fed into my girlish “horse” phase, along with Misty and Stormy of Chincoteague – tough ones to choose between!).

I love all the memories of these nine books and this challenge which has encouraged me to pause and reflect. It’s been interesting to see which titles my nominees have chosen as well – some of them were in my possibilities pile, some I have never read and now want to.

Since I could only nominate 10 people – take a moment yourself – which ten books would you select? Comment below – or go ahead and post on Facebook and claim that I nominated you. I’m interested to know what genres and character types make a lasting impression on you. Plus, for every comment left, or “like” I receive on this post, I will donate $1 to Reach Out and Read.

And, don’t miss out on the cover reveal for tomorrow – my #10!

Thank you for reading this post. I invite you to follow my blog and join me on my journey toward writing my first historical fiction.  More information in the Novel Synopsis. You can sign up from this page with the pop-up, or send me a note through the CONTACT page and I can email you an invitation to follow.

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10 thoughts on “Ten Books, Ten Days

  1. Ack, I just wrote a whole comment and then it wouldn’t submit. An abbreviated version …
    1. Also Little House on the Prairie
    also from childhood
    2. Are You There God It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.
    3. The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
    From college
    4. The Awakening by Kate Chopin. A woman unaccepting of societal norms. Tragic and powerful
    5. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. The fictionalized story of how the Renior painting came to be.
    6. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. A clever play on language but also insight into society.
    7. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Love her voice. You hear the rhythm of her words when you read them.
    8. Can’t decide – Sula or The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    9. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Also loved HOw the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent but Butterflies is my favorite.
    10. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian – my first book by this author and I’ve since read everything he’s written. Some are better than others but I appreciate how he tells a story & always has a twist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great list Marnie. It was hard to pick 10! Are You There God – a classic for every 11-12 year old girl. The Susan Vreeland one sound interesting – seems like a few have been written on the premise – the imagined story behind a painting (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Strapless – John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X, Christina’s World), I would have liked to put Midwives on my list too – great twists – did you read The Sleepwalker? If you like The Awakening – I think you’ll like (currently) Chapter 19 of my book and Chapter 17 for The Secret Garden 🙂


  2. There are so many, but here are the last ones which I have read (or listened to):
    The Rainbow Comes and Goes (Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt)
    Still Foolin’ Em (Billy Crystal)
    Night (Elie Wiesel)
    What Happened (Hillary Rodham Clinton)
    My Story (Elizabeth Smart)
    Crossing the Borders of Time (Leslie Maitland)
    The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Amy Schumer)
    Open Heart (Elie Wiesel)
    Wildflower (Drew Barrymore)….listening now.

    I do love Jodi Picoult books, Gone with the Wind, Little House on the Prairie, and I remember being in love with Alec as a kid when reading the Black Stallion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many great titles Karen. The Amy Schumer book looks hysterical just from the title. And some of the others look heart-wrenching. I read Night with my sons. It was on their required summer reading list in high school. Did you know Jodi Picoult lives over near Hanover – I’d love to see if she ever has a NH appearance scheduled.


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