Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.
This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten “Older” Books You Don’t Want People To Forget About’. This one may be hard to narrow down to just ten, because there are so many great older books that I hope people don’t forget. So here goes…
1. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien. This has to be top of the list, even though this year with the movie being released there are a lot of people who will reading this or rereading it. I’m always surprised to meet people who have never read this. If you are one of those, do yourself a favour and start reading it now, because if Peter Jackson’s track record continues the movie will almost resemble the original story, but is sure to miss Tolkien’s point in some way (One way of finding out whether someone who claims to be a Lord of the Rings fan has even read the books – i.e. the real story – is to ask them if they know who Tom Bombadil is). Anyway, I have done my part for keeping The Hobbit going by getting my wife to read it and buying my daughter her own copy. Also, this winter I am going to read it together with my son. Just in case you hadn’t guessed by now, The Hobbit is my all-time favourite read.
2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The book is simply, as the title says, one day in the life of the main character, Ivan Denisovich. Ivan is a prisoner in one of the Soviet Union Gulags. The grueling day is well described in detail and shows the lack of any control that the prisoners had over their daily lives. This is a book that is worth remembering because, although it is a novel, it is probably based on the experiences of the author himself, who spent almost a decade in the gulags. It’s a book I’ve returned to on a number of occasions and serves as a reminder of a time in history that should not be easily forgotten.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis. This is a series of books that I never grow tired of. I have lost count of the times I have read them and I hope they will be enjoyed by many more generations to come. Unfortunately, these are also books whose stories have suffered at the hands of Hollywood in recent years. My only hope is that those who watch the movies are inspired enough to pick up the books and read them.
4. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury. This is one that is always worth reading. The story is set in an almost unthinkable society where having books is illegal and the job of a fireman is not to extinguish fires but to burn books. This is my favourite Ray Bradbury book, but in general I would hope that people never stop reading Bradbury. He wrote such a wide and diverse range of stories, with something in there for everyone.
5. Sherlock Holmes (any of the stories) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have most of these stories on my Kobo as they’re great to read when on a trip. None of them are too long and I find my time passes fairly quickly whilst reading them. I just love the way that Holmes solves each mystery as it comes along. I’m hoping that my kids will eventually start reading these. They are worth passing on.
6. 1984 – George Orwell. Even though the year 1984 has come and gone, this book continues to speak to today’s generation and will continue to do so for many more to come. It could almost be considered as the original dystopian novel, although there are earlier ones than this. I enjoyed it from the moment we had to read it for English in high school.
7. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway. I loved this book from the moment I read it in high school. It’s not a long book and is worth reading over and over again. There doesn’t seem to be much going on in the story, but it has spoken to many people in many different ways over the years. it’s definitely a classic worth remembering, although it’s one of those books you’ll either love or hate.
8. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. This is one of the more recent books I have mentioned so far, but it is a very powerful book that once read will never be forgotten. It deserves to be read by many more generations to come. I only read it for the first time earlier this year, but I know that it will not be the last time.
9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl. This one of the first books I remember reading. I bought a Puffin edition of it at school when I was about 8 years old and remember having difficulty putting it down when I got it home. Most of Dahl’s books could be on this list, but this is my favourite, probably because of the fond memories I have of it.
10. Pagan Christianity? – Frank Viola and George Barna. I’m including this one because it’s one I won’t forget easily. It has forever changed the way I look at and approach the Christian faith. Some people don’t like it because it challenges a lot of the dearly held traditionalism of the institutional church, which is one of the main reasons I like it so much! It needs to be approached with an open mind.