Monday, April 11, 2016

Ten On Tuesday: 10 Gripping Stories

Ten Books That Made Me Want to Drop Everything and Just Read

1. Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

First time I read this book I was seventeen.  I really had a hard time putting it down.  I remember very vividly lying on an old sofa and crying as I read that Rhett was indeed leaving for good and I knew there would be no chance for Scarlett to change it.  Some decisions are final.    This book was no mere "chick" book.  This book had characters that I am still thinking about.  I recommended it to my doubtful husband who also was impressed by the vivid portrayal of a time and place.  I loved it so much that I read it four more times in my life.

2. C.S. Lewis: The Space Trilogy

I loved the whole trilogy but was especially taken by Perelandra.  I could not put this down one summer as I was taken inside this particular land.  Great book.  Great writer!

3. Kristen Lavransdatter
Sigrid Undset
I actually felt like I was living with the people in this book and had to physically extricate myself from this world back to my own.  The mood, the descriptions, the depth of understanding of sin and redemption.  I cannot say enough about this book.

4. In This House of Brede
Rumer Godden
My favorite author of all time.  She has written the most wonderful tales with the most incredible characters.  This book made me want to run off and live with the Benedictines!! I didn't want to put it down. It made me try strong English tea as well.  An honest, fascinating, and most loving portrayal of life in a Monastery with highly gifted, intelligent women.  

5. An Episode of Sparrows
Same author, very different story.  This is a perfectly crafted tale that examines beauty and the people who are gifted to recognize it even in distressing disguise.  I can only say "lovely"!  It brought me to a happy place.

6. Seven Story Mountain
Thomas Merton
Great story of a modern man and his conversion to Catholicism.  This was so very powerful I had notebooks full of quotes from it. I read it straight through and it affected me very much.  His later works, not so much, but this one I will always love. 

7. The Sign of Jonah
Thomas Merton
An honestly penned book about being a novice in a Trappist Monastery - the struggles, triumphs and moments of profound peace.  Again, this one was splendid.  His later works seemed a bit confused to me.

8. Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh
Sebastian, Julia, Charles, Anthony Blanche, Bridey, Cordelia.  I was immersed in this book for a week and re read some passages over and over again for their perfect expressions of turmoil, loss, the price of faith and peace.  This is one of my favorites.

9.  Shadows on the Rock
Willa Cather
I felt like I was reading the life of my Mom.  She grew up in Canada and this was a great tale of its beginnings.  Beautiful writing as are all her books.  She is a favorite author.  

10.  The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
I read this book straight through.  What a wonderful story! Lots of provocative thoughts about what a missionary should be up to and what they should not.  The kids in this story were fascinating. 

So, there you have it.  Some favorite books I had a hard time putting down to go make dinner!


  1. Your chair looks like the perfect reading spot! I tend to stick to gerald durrel, pg woodehouse, african writers like alan paton, chinua achebe, athol fugard + russian writers (esp solzhenitsyn)...

  2. I just love how an author can remove you from your reality and place you somewhere entirely different - open your mind, and encourage you to try new things. Reading - how do people live without it??? Great list, thank you!

  3. Your description of An Episode of Sparrows is so wonderful that I will be picking it up at the library this morning and starting it this afternoon. Thank you!

  4. So many books I've never heard of! What a great list.

  5. These look fabulous! I KNOW, was Perelandra not phenomenal??