In honor of National Great Books Week, I’ll be posting about books this week, Monday through Friday. Today’s topic: If I were stranded on a desert island with only seven books to read over the next few years, what would they be?
1. Corny, perhaps, but true: The King James Version of the Bible, old and new testaments.
My oldest son has read the entire old testament at least twice that I know of, but while I’ve read parts of it, I’ve never read the entire old testament, and the only parts of the new testament I’ve read were the parts on Jesus’ birth, which I looked up when I was in college in order to write a Christmas story for a French class.
In case you’re wondering, my family of origin is Jewish.
2. Because it’s pretty much my all-time favorite book, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.
When I was in college, I’d try to keep my mind on my studies, so I’d eschew trips to the local library. I’d end up having book withdrawal symptoms, and thus I would reread Alice every exam time.
I also taught myself to wiggle my ears, a talent I passed on to one of my sons (the bible reader) during middle school. His teachers were less than thrilled.
3. One of my favorite books as a kid, Peter Pan, by James M. Barrie.
A classic, and I can’t remember the number of times I reread this.
4. Another childhood favorite, Understood Betsey, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
I just reread this one, and it’s still a great read.
5. Theater Shoes, by Noes Streatfield.
I read all of Streatfield’s SHOES books, but this one is by far my favorite, perhaps because I read it first.
6. Farmer in the Sky, by Robert A. Heinlein.
This is the Heinlein I picked out as a present for my 10th birthday. It’s hard to pick just one of Heinlein’s books, as they are all compulsively readable, but this one remains one of my favorites.
7.The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I just love this one, too. The flowering of the garden and the characters gets me every time.