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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MarionJackiCharlotte DixonLisa GrunwaldJudy King Recent comment authors
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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. 😉


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… Read more »

Patty - Why Not Start Now?

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!

Judy King

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… Read more »

Lisa Grunwald

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.

Charlotte Dixon

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!


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… Read more »


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.

Charlotte Dixon

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.

Charlotte Dixon

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