Gandalf greets Shadowfax outside Fangorn Forest.
Since ExRanger posted his "top ten books" list, I've been doing some thinking about the books I love ~ the "great" books in my spiritual and intellectual development over many years. The ones I come back to, the ones that helped form who I am and what I believe may change some from decade to decade, but the following books are always at the top of the list. The ideas presented in these writings are precious to my soul. If you haven't yet read them, do yourself a favor and put them on your personal to-read list!
1.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkien and also The Hobbit: or There and Back Again ~ I first read Tolkien when The Hobbit was first published stateside, 1966 I think, since I was 13 years old ~ and have been a fan ever since. Have read them all 7 or 8 times. What a nerd.
2.) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. What can I say. I could hardly love this book more if it were a beloved person. The quintessential book on what it means to be human. Also loved the musical ~ Have read the book twice and seen the play three times! And the Liam Nisson film was pretty good too.
3.) Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge. Out of print and worth the hunt. HINT: Many large public libraries still have a copy or two. Read one of those. Ms. Goudge wrote beautifully from a Catholic worldview enchanting tales of much depth and loveliness. This is the based-on-a-true-story tale of a man who married the wrong woman, and made a good thing of it. I've read it many times.
It is a sure-cure for a bad cold, BTW.
4.) Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn The past master of 20th century fiction on freedom, mortality and the nature of God and man. Very very good. I've read it 3 times.
5.) Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin This one I love because I laughed raucously aloud every 3-4 pages, and it shows the USA in a light not usually seen, very illuminating and clear. Jolly good read and so much fun.
My other Top 5 will be posted later, after I figure out what they are :P
Arwen searches for a book...