I have been reading since I was 3. There is not a picture of me from my childhood where I don’t have a book in my hand. Reading is balm to my soul. It is how I fall asleep and it is how I wake up. Here are some of my favorite books:
1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Every single time I read this book I am transported back to my childhood dreams of escaping my reality. When we get everything laid out at The Mermaid’s Garden I will be building a secret garden with a big giant willow tree in the middle and tons of benches and flowers. You will have to have a key to get in!
2. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Think of this as The Secret Garden for big kids. Mystery, murder, intrigue. One of the best books I have ever read.
3. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Secrets, sisterhood, laughter, drama, tears. Perfectly trash and perfectly fantastic all at the same time.
4. The Bachelor Brothers Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson
When I was in college, I used to clean people’s houses. One of the women I worked for was a buyer for a bookstore. She introduced me to this beautiful tome and I have read it every year for over 20 years. It is the most delightful story.
5. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
God...what is not to love about this incredible novel? Hauntings, dead wives, the shadow of deceit and guilt. Just a whole lotta old school pure storytelling.
6. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
I cried. I couldn’t put it down. I keep it because it reminds me to take note of tragedy. I reread it because it was banned for sexual content and profanity.
7. The Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly
I started this trilogy on an airplane to a conference. I laughed and cried out loud the entire flight. I saved the second half of the first book for the plane ride home and was so into it I completely forgot where I was. The flight attendants all ordered the book because of my reaction. I made Jim go to the bookstore on the way to the airport to pick me up because the cliff hanger at the end of the first book was so CRAZY I needed to start the second one the minute he picked me up. Just read it. Like right now.
8. The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey
I love sex. I love torrid sex. I love naughty sex. I love reading about sex. I am just a really big fan of sex. This series has it all. Fantasy. Mystery. Sex. Oh God the sex. Just read them all in order. And then read all her other books too ok?
9. Firestarter by Stephen King
This was the first horror book I ever read. I was in 6th grade. I read it in two days. I love this book mostly because I used to fantasize about being able to set my parents on fire. It is so good. Just give it a read. It will scare the pants off of you.
10. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
I distinctly remember 3 things about my childhood. I always wanted a secret garden, I thought I was Jo from Little Women, and I wanted a black beautiful horse like the one in Black Beauty. This book is such a wonderful tale and I had my mothers copy from 1945 until I accidentally gave it away during my divorce in 2010. You can get this beauty on Ebay for a steal. Go get it right now, read it, and keep it forever.