Beloved Books

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I know I’ve said it before, but one of my favorite things to do is to read a good book. I’ve been known to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to finish a good thriller or suspense novel. Because I love reading so much, I was interested to see PBS launch its Great American Read series, which according to its website, invites people to vote from a list of 100 books that were selected as finalists from a prior survey. “America’s Most Beloved Book” will be revealed by PBS on October 23.

As I perused the list, many of my own favorite books popped up. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery was one of my childhood favorites, along with Call of the Wild by Jack London, and E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. My mother loved reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, when she was a young girl, and she encouraged me to read it. I fell in love with the main characters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. I laughed and cried with them through their trials and tribulations. (The tomboyish Jo, who was pursuing her dream of becoming a writer, was my favorite character.)

I read the epic, historical novel, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel, when my children were young. I sat lazily by the swimming pool and let it take me back to the days of cavemen, and got lost in the story of Aula, a young orphaned girl who the clan took in. Other books on the list that I enjoyed include: the thought-provoking Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, the thrilling The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and The Stand by Stephen King (which still gives me the shivers). I have to admit, I enjoyed reading The Hunger Games series, which is also on the list. I felt I had to read it to make sure it wasn’t too mature for my young grandson It was the first time I’ve read a story that had such a cliff-hanger ending – I immediately went to the store to buy the next in the series!

My all-time favorite book, which I read when I was 15 years old, also made the Top 100 list. My vote goes to Margaret Mitchell’s classic, sweeping Civil War saga, Gone with the Wind.

The list is long, but there are just a few more that I must mention – classics like To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, Where the Red Fern Grows, War and Peace. You should check out the PBS website and see if your favorite book is on the list!

My grandson, Noah, now shares my love of reading. (I’m sure it is because I took him to the library so much when he was little.) We recently visited a used book store in search of something good to read. His wanted to read Looking for Alaska by John Green, which we were able to find. I had never read it but found that it’s is also on the Top 100 list!

I love to read because the stories take me on an emotional journey. Reading takes me to places I have never seen or visited. Through books, I can explore other cultures. At times, it stretches my imagination. Most of all, there are stories I’ve read that have touched my soul deeply, and I carry them with me in my heart, forever.

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