What’s Your Favorite Book?

Book_books_pages_265007_l I have a reason for asking the question in the title.

I've been going on and on about how I'm re-organizing my office, down to sorting through the oldest papers. And the work continued this weekend.  I'm down to a box of old CDs to sort, which I'm not entirely sure what to do with, and a pile of papers and notebooks and files which constitutes all the info I've collected to write my Ebook.  Pretty cool, huh?

But here's the coolest thing.  I sorted through my books and came up with three boxes of them to sell.  I used to have a really hard time getting rid of books, whether by giving them away or selling them.  I wanted to hang onto every book I've ever laid hands on.  And if you could see the overflowing book shelves in practically every room in my house, you would think I had.  But it finally occurred to me that by letting go of books, I was actually allowing more to flow into my life.  And also that letting go of them allowed someone else to read them. 

So I've come to peace with periodically sorting through books.  And luckily for me, here in Portland, we have Powell's books, the biggest bookstore in the country, which also buys books.   When you sell them your books, they give you the option of either taking what you've earned in cash or in a book credit.  If you choose the book credit, you get more. 

Now, let me tell you, many's the time we've taken books to Powell's when we were so broke we didn't have any choice but to take the cash.  But this weekend, when we took books in to the warehouse to sell, I was able to choose the book credit.  So…wait for it….I now have a book voucher worth $144 in books to spend at Powell's.

I about passed out with joy when they told me.

I've been collecting some titles that I really want to read–a couple new novels, one called Angelology and another called The Irresistible Henry House, and there's a new book on writing a novel in six months by John DuFresne.  Okay, so that's a pretty good list.  But I may get to Powell's and decide none of those look good.  And I'd like to bring home some juicy non-fiction, too.

I want more titles to peruse, a long, long list to ponder and think about and take with me so that I can pull books off the shelf and think hmmm, yes, or ick, no.  So help me out here, will you?  Tell me your favorite books.  They can be classic or contemporary, fiction or non-fiction, written by male or female authors.  I love books in the self-help and spiritual genres, but really, I'm game for anything.   Send me one title or a dozen, I'm not picky, just lay 'em on me.

I can't wait to read what your favorites are.

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10 Responses to What’s Your Favorite Book?

  1. Jessica 03/16/2010 at 07:20 #

    My favourite fiction book is ‘The Well of Lost Plots’ by Jasper Fforde. I love all the Thursday Next books, but that’s my favourite. It is fantastically witty and ridiculously clever.

    I’ve also just finished ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I enjoyed every page of it and am desperate to read it again.

    Those are my two suggestions. 😉

  2. janet 03/16/2010 at 07:53 #

    I love this post. I love hearing writers talk about how much they love books. And, I’m like you, it is HARD to give up old books, but I like the idea that it helps other books to flow into my life. I’ve been giving a lot of mine away — sort of the pay-it-forward theory.

    But, you’re asking about books. I love Powell’s, though, for full disclosure, affiliate links are attached to the recommended books. Certainly one of the most unique books I’ve ever read was The Pillow Boy of the Lady Onogoro. It’s a modern translation of an 11th century erotic novel. It portrays Japanese court life from a woman’s point of view. I thought it was fascinating.

    I’ve been reading a ton of YA recently, for “research’ (cough cough). I was swept away by Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and the second book Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games). I can NOT wait for the final book, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games). I’ve gotten my mom and several friends hooked, as well. It features a dystopian future with a teen heroine who doesn’t quite yet know her own strengths — physical, mental and cultural. Gripping.

  3. Patty - Why Not Start Now? 03/16/2010 at 09:48 #

    Hi Charlotte – It took me a long time to figure out how to get rid of books too. But now I love to do so. And lucky you, to have Powell’s right in your backyard! Here are some of my favorites in the self-help (and sometimes lapping over into spirituality) category:

    Callings, Gregg Levoy
    Awakening the Heroes Within, Carol Pearson
    Owning Your Own Shadow, Robert Johnson
    Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, James Hollis

    And I love anything by Willa Cather, plus Middlesex was fanatastic. But I figure you’ve already read those!

  4. Judy King 03/16/2010 at 18:05 #

    Well obviously we love love love books or we wouldn’t be talking with the Word Strumpet!

    Some of my favorites are Rain of Gold and 13 Senses, the true story of the parents and grandparents of Victor Villasenor(He lives on their ranch near Oceanside California). In the self-help venue, I love and go back to the Women’s Comfort Book and the Couple’s Comfort Book. There are such good ideas about getting to know someone and lists of things to do to take care of ourselves.

    I’m currently reading “The Help” by Stockett. The characters are SO well developed and I was really sucked in. I loved The Thirteenth Tale.

    Books I read last week that I loved included 1000 White women, the Journal of May Dodd, The Time Travelers Wife, The Reader and The Book Thief, The Kitchen Boy, The Blood of Flowers, The Lovely Bones,Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,Feather Crowns and Away. Well we’ve spent a lot more than your voucher by now!

  5. Lisa Grunwald 03/17/2010 at 08:11 #

    Charlotte — I think you’ll LOVE Henry House, but I’m totally totally biased!
    And I’m not just saying this: I think you’re site is terrific. Long live writing. Long live books.

  6. Charlotte Dixon 03/18/2010 at 11:24 #

    Oh wow, you guys, these are awesome suggestions! I’m compiling them all to put in a post to share with everyone next week, so thank you so much. Interestingly, out of all of these, there’s only a few that I’ve actually read, which I’ll also list in the post.

    Lisa–huge congratulations on Henry House, it is getting so many great reviews and such good buzz. I can’t wait to read it!

  7. Jacki 03/21/2010 at 09:35 #

    I can never exactly answer that kind of question. Because I’ve lived and breathed, and generally tend to work in the realm of fantasy literature, people don’t often want those suggestions. I will leave you with three of my favorite authors from that realm though.
    A.A. Attanasio – The Dragon and the Unicorn series
    Alice Borchardt
    Robert Holdstock

    Unfortunately, the last two died recently, and were in the middle of series I was very much looking forward to reading.

    As for the world outside of that genre, of the little I’ve read that are not already accepted “classics,” here are my suggestions.

    Life of Pi – Yann Martel
    Theory of Light and Matter – Andrew Porter
    Atlantis Found – Clive Cussler
    Demian – Hermann Hesse
    Franny and Zoey – J.D. Salinger

  8. Marion 03/21/2010 at 13:54 #

    First of all, it’s lovely to see someone you likes John Dufresne. He’s a marvel. And if you haven’t read his fiction, please do. His first novel, Louisiana Power and Light, is astonishing.

  9. Charlotte Dixon 03/22/2010 at 07:51 #

    Jacki, I love your list, which is all over the map, from fantasy to popular fiction to classics. Thank you! Some good names I’m not familiar with to check out.

  10. Charlotte Dixon 03/22/2010 at 07:52 #

    Marion, I have to admit I’ve never read Dufresne’s fiction, but since you recommend it so highly, I will!

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