Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND (before I was a blogger)


This week’s topic: REWIND (choose a topic from the past)

I chose: Top Ten Books I Read Before I Was a Blogger

I’ll never be able to make a list of ten favorite books, but this list is close. These are some of the books I’ve read over the years that stick with me as being some of the best I’ve ever read.

Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
I have to re-read this book to see if it stands up, because its sequel ’Tis was a huge disappointment to me, but I remember Angela’s Ashes to be one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it was one of the first memoirs I’d ever read.

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
The book that all college writers read in 1998. My boyfriend bought me a copy. He was going to be a great novelist. I was going to be a poet. If nothing else, I found Anne Lamott, whom I later met when I introduced her at a university event.

Breaking Clean, Judy Blunt
This is a hard heartbreaking book. It has a depressing The Glass Castle feel to it, and it’s brilliantly done. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the mental energy to tackle it again, but it will always stick with me as the definitive book on ranching.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia, Elizabeth Gilbert
Too many people dis this book. And the movie didn’t do it justice. I think it was one of the most well-written and honest memoirs I’ve read.

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana, Haven Kimmel
If you haven’t read this book, please do. It’s just…so…brilliant. Funny and warm and intelligent.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, Gretchen Craft Rubin
Gretchen Rubin and I are separated twins, I’m pretty sure. How can anyone approach happiness with a spreadsheet and a bibliography and become better for it? Brilliant. She (really) made me realize it’s okay to be who I am, to approach things the way that makes sense to me. I should probably reread this book yearly.

It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, Peter Walsh
THE book on decluttering. Just reading the title makes me want to clean out a closet. He’s a brilliant motivator.

Madame Curie, Eve Curie
I read this book in high school and fell in love. This may well be the first biography I’d ever read.

Mary Engelbreit: Home Sweet Home: A Journey through Mary’s Dream Home
As much as I love words, I know that I refuel with pictures. There’s something about Mary Engelbreit’s decorating style that appeals to me. My copy of this book is pretty well-worn.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
It took me decades and a lot of prompting from my brother to finally brave Jane Austen. I’m glad I read Pride and Prejudice first, because nothing else I’ve read compares.


  1. Oh, Bird By Bird--what a great book! I love pretty much everything Lamott writes, but Bird By Bird was the first book I read by her and it just might be my favorite.

    1. I agree 100%. Bird by Bird is my first and favorite, too. I've never really read her fiction, but she's one of my few auto-buys for nonfiction.