Top Ten Tuesday – classic books

A work in progress.
A work in progress.

I discovered a neat website this afternoon, just in time to participate in Top Ten Tuesday. Here are my Top 10 Favorite Classic Books:

  1. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. This nonfiction book, about a father and his two adult daughters sent to a concentration camp for hiding Jews in their home in Holland, haunts me. I’ve “loaned” out several copies and ended up telling the recipient, “Keep it or pass it along to someone else.” The book’s message – God is good, even (no, especially) in the midst of suffering – is one I want everyone to grab hold of, and one I continually need to remind myself of. My favorite quote: “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This one seems to make a lot of people’s top-10 lists. And the movie (starring Gregory Peck as the quietly heroic Atticus Finch) is just as good as the book. It’s a moving portrayal of the effects of racism in the Depression-era Deep South.
  3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. My first “favorite book,” before it got bumped from the top spot by “To Kill a Mockingbird” a few years ago. I guess I’m a sucker for a family story, and the March family – Marmee, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Father (who’s off fighting in the Civil War) – demonstrates what it’s like to be loyal, charitable and hopeful even in hard times. (I’ve also seen almost every movie version made. My favorite: the 1949 one with Janet Leigh as Meg, June Allyson as Jo, Elizabeth Taylor as Amy, Margaret O’Brien as Beth and Peter Lawford as Laurie.)
  4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Lewis’ writing causes me to think. He had a way of describing things in ways beyond my imagination (probably why his Narnia books are so popular). A former atheist, he wrestled with faith and made it OK for me to admit that I wrestle, too.
  5. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. My Uncle Bill gave me my first copy as a college graduation present 25 years ago, when I visited him in Arizona on my way to California for my first full-time newspaper job. This was the “classic” version (archaic language), and now I also have an “Updated Edition.” This is another book I’ve given as a gift many times. I like it like I like C.S. Lewis’ writings: Chambers has a way of making me think hard about my faith, what it means in my own life, and what it means in the world.
  6. The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. He had a macabre writing style, but I’ve loved the tortured artist’s frightening tales since I was a kid. I think my dad was the one who turned me onto his stories and poetry.
  7. The Shining by Stephen King. This may not be a classic in the strictest sense, but I read it when I was in 10th grade (my first King novel), so to me it’s old enough to qualify. This book creeped me out! But it got me hooked on Stephen King novels, and I read them for the next decade. I believe I stopped with Misery in the late 1980s. I also got over my need for horror movies, although I still love a good mystery (Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew 🙂 ). REDRUM.
  8. A Dog for Susie by “Nordlie R”? OK, this one is a classic only in my own mind, but I really loved the book when I was a child. It speaks to Suzy the dog lover and Suzy the book lover. I got it at the used-book sale at school. In fact, I think it was free. (Even better!) I have it in one of our many bookcases, but I can’t find it at the moment or I’d grab it and tell you the correct name of the author.
  9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I re-read this a couple of years ago. There’s a reason it’s a classic. I think I like it for some of the same reasons I love “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It reminds me of the dangers of small-mindedness. Read it to find out the meaning of the title.
  10. The Holy Bible. The best classic book of all time, of course, is God’s inspired word, one of His primary ways of communicating to the world. The version I’ve been reading for the past six or seven years is the New Living Translation. I’ve read through the entire Bible maybe three times, and this year I began a chronological reading plan for the first time. It’s helping me see parallels I hadn’t noticed before.

What are your favorite books, and why?

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – classic books

  • Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 5:05 am
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    I’ve always want to read Little Women but I still haven’t, blame it on my huge TBR pile 😀
    my top ten tuesday: http://wp.me/p3v5T1-sM

  • Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 6:38 am
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    Your TBR stack is probably as high as mine! I looked at your top 10 list, too. I gotta get around to reading Dracula someday.

  • Friday, July 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm
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    Hey Suzy, I haven’t read all of your top ten, but I bought Fahrenheit 451 for Kimberlee and it is one of my favorites as well. I like your blog too. I just saw your video, very inspiring. I would like to talk to you soon about a cover story for Eye On Independence, thinking of a December issue about your greatest gift. Think about it, would love to give you another platform for your story to inspire even more than you already have. Thanks and keep on keeping on! Joseph

  • Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 5:29 am
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    I’d love to know what Kimberlee thinks of the book. As for a cover story, that would be great. You guys should have my contact info from a couple of years ago, but if not I’ll send it to you again. Thanks for the comments!

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm
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    Suzy, I LOVE C.S. Lewis; of course, I didn’t know about any of his work outside of the Chronicles of Narnia until my late 20s, but I don’t think I could have appreciated it anyway. Little Women is ALWAYS on my top 10 faves list, but Edgar Allen Poe is a great one! I love his stuff, and I often forget about him; thanks for the reminder! This is making me want to dig through some boxes! 🙂 Great post, and I’m so happy you linked up with The Broke and the Bookish!

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 8:29 pm
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    Tara, I think “Mere Christianity” was the first Lewis book I read, so Narnia was a piece of cake in comparison! 🙂

    Every time I think of this post, I tell myself I need to dig out my Poe stuff, turn off (most of) the lights and get skeert!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting at Suzy & Spice. As you’ve probably discovered by now, I subscribed to your blog, so maybe your posts will nudge me to write more often.

    Happy reading!

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