Saturday, June 08, 2013


Have you ever been asked to name your favorite novels? What a difficult task! But I gave it lots of thought and started a list. I have five books named so far. These are either classics or contemporary fiction. I'll share the list with you as long as you understand it is a work in progress. Download these on your e-reader or buy or borrow them, but read them.

If you are a writer and you don't see your book listed, don't be offended. I love so many authors and so many books. It's really hard to pick just five. Or ten, for that matter. But here goes--the first five on my must-read list:

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton
I read this book before there was a movie, a franchise, and sequels. It is one of the most compelling reads I've enjoyed. It has interesting characters, suspense, danger, and dinosaurs. The kid inside me loves the dinosaurs. If you saw the film and think you know Jurassic Park, you don't. Read the book. I didn't care for the sequel Lost World.

The "comedy of manners" continues to be a favorite of mine. It's a wonderful, delightful study in romance and human nature, set in the strict class-conscious society of England in the early 1800s. From a story structure standpoint, it's perfectly written. Not a word is wasted, and the pacing is spot on. Don't believe me? Open the book to the middle and there is the climax of the story. It's a masterpiece. (Close runner-up is EMMA)

LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry
I started reading this novel after watching the television mini series (very good, by the way, and true to the book) and couldn't put it down! What a wonderful saga. This book has everything: quirky characters, humor, adventure, drama, romance. The sequel was utterly disappointing to me. If you're interested, read the prequels, DEAD MAN'S WALK and COMANCHE MOON, then LONESOME DOVE. Skip the last book.

LAST OF THE BREED by Louis L'amour
Another page turner, I couldn't put this book down even to eat. A USAF pilot crash lands in the USSR during the Cold War and is imprisoned in Siberia. He escapes and must depend on his native American tracking skills to survive and get home. I'm so mad at L'amour for dying before he finished writing the sequel.

PEACHTREE ROAD by Anne Rivers Siddons
Amazing story about a talented but troubled young woman and her faithful friend and cousin, it's set in Atlanta during its growing years (1950s--1970s). Rich with pop culture, it's a pleasure to watch the drama unfold. Spoiler alert: The ending has been debated at book clubs for years. Was Shep's leap for joy a metaphor for finally getting on with his life, or was it suicide? Clever Anne Rivers Siddons leaves us guessing.

Stay tuned for the next five in my list of unforgettable novels I've loved.

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