There’s a big trend on FB where authors and readers list 10 books that have stayed with them in some way. In no particular order, here’s mine and why:
1. JUNGLE BOOK, Rudyard Kipling. I loved this book as a kid. My mom read it to me before I ever learned to read, and later, it was the first book of length I read on my own. I’m an animal lover, and there was no better world than one where the animals talked. My copy didn’t even have a cover as Mom bought it at a garage sale. No fancy pictures, either. I didn’t need pictures, and none could have ever replaced my own imagination as I lie in bed, eyes closed, listening to my mother’s voice.
Richer than I you will never be, I had a mother who read to me. ~Stickland Gillian
2. DRACULA, Bram Stoker. I read it when I was 10 and was instantly and forever hooked on reading anything supernatural. Until then, I had mostly watched stuff like The Twilight Zone, etc. But reading horror was something entirely different.
3. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, Shirley Jackson. This still remains one of my all-time favorite novels. I love a good ghost story, but Jackson did two things no one else had: made the house a real character, added mystery and psychological terror.
4. THE SHINING, Stephen King. This was the first Stephen King book I ever read and it made me a life long fan and strongly influenced what I write.
5. THE STAND, Stephen King. The super flu kills nearly everyone off and the Devil, in the name of Randall Flagg comes to collect. Here, King made us all afraid of viruses and what they could do. Sometimes, monsters came from a petri dish (or a sneeze). The characters were so rich & detailed, their battle to rebuild after such devastation so believable, it set the bar for any other horror novel I’ve ever read.
6. ONE FOR THE MONEY – The Stephanie Plum novels, Janet Evanovich. I don’t just read horror. And Evanovich proved you can still have mystery, suspense, a little romance, and a LOT of fun. Why do all thrillers/suspense/horror novels have to be so serious and dark? I confess, I stopped reading around book 11, because my reading time is limited and I like to try new authors. But that doesn’t mean 12-21 aren’t on my reading list.
7. WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES, David Sedaris. Part memoir, part fiction, Sedaris is a riot. I listened to this on audio while driving back and forth to work. I laughed until I cried. Other drivers thought I was nuts. Again, why so serious, everyone? Lighten up and read something that lightens your day. I still don’t think I’ve ever ‘read’ anything funnier than this book.
8. GETTING THINGS DONE, David Allen. Non-fiction, but a game changer for me. While I don’t subscribe to all of the techniques, and times and technology have changed enough that some don’t apply quite as well, it’s still a good read.
9. THE OTHER END OF THE LEASH, Patricia McConnell. Non-fiction. While I have pored over countless books on dog training & behavior, this book taught me that how we perceive dogs and how they perceive us. This book made the BIGGEST difference in the way I train and how my dogs respond. It’s not all about obedience. It’s about communication. I firmly believe that anyone who loves their dog needs this book.
10. HARRY POTTER, J. K. Rowling. Pick any one of them, but my faves were the early books, maybe 1-4. I loved the magic, the world building, the characters, the humor, the relationships, the positive moral behind the story. I truly lost myself in the world Rowling created. I loved the early books so much that I began to create my own characters – hence Ivy and the gang from THE BOOK OF LOST SOULS. While THE HAUNTING SEASON may be my all-time best seller, it’s Ivy & company that have the most devout, loyal fans. Hopefully, one day, there will be more of them and I’ll write more about Ivy, Nick, Devlin, et al.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider taking a look at my own novels at these retailers: