It’s at times like these that I really wish I kept a reading journal or at least a list of what I read. It would make naming my “best” books of the decade much easier. Like Danielle, over at Mom’s the Word, we spent a big part of the last 10 years changing diapers, operating on 4.7 hours of sleep and stumbling through those early days of parenthood.
Although 2003 through 2007 is a blur, I managed to clear some of the cobwebs clinging to my long-term memory and pull together a list of my favorite reads. Remember, these weren’t necessarily written this decade, but they are books that held meaning to me for one reason or another.
In no particular order …
“Time Traveler’s Wife,” by Audrey Niffenegger, and “Water for Elephants,” by Sara Gruen, are two books that I couldn’t put down – to the point I was almost neglectful of my children.
“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” by John Berendt – This book, which reads like a novel, changed my ideas about nonfiction writing and taught me a lot about how to not only convey the facts, but also tell a story. You can actually tour the Mercer House, the central location of the story, in Savannah, Georgia, now, and you can buy replicas of the bird girl statue that’s featured on the book’s cover all over town. *Note to my dear husband heading to Savannah soon: One day I’d really like the small bird girl.
“Angle of Repose,” by Wallace Stegner – It’s the 1972 Pulitzer prizewinner, and the first book that my husband and I both read together and discussed.
“The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini – Although upsetting and unsettling, this book taught me so much about Afghanistan’s history and culture.
“Calm my Anxious Heart,” by Linda Dillow – Okay, you laugh, but the words on every page seemed to be written just for me. I have recommended it to several people, some of whom continue to refer to it when situations become too overwhelming or stressful.
“Same Kind of Different as Me,” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore – This book moved me to tears and not sappy, love-story tears. It made me reconsider how I approach everyday life and think about what a different world it would be if we all gave help without hesitation or question and assumed the best of others.
“Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls – This was the first chapter book we read as a family. It was a childhood favorite of mine and my husband’s, so it was a delight to share this classic with our little ones, even if I did do a little spontaneous censoring when the kid falls on the ax. That scene was a little more horrific than I remembered.
“Just in Case You Ever Wonder,” by Max Lucado – This is a gem that every parent should read to their children – another tear-jerker for me. (I promise that all of my books aren’t tear-stained.) It tells your child how they are a unique and wonderful creation of God and how you will always be there for them, even when it seems everyone else is against them. Just in case they ever wonder.