top ten ‘older’ books i don’t want people to forget

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought that putting together today’s list was HARD.  Not because I have a shortage of favorite backlist books (in fact, I have too many), but because this feels momentous.  The selection is important, because I don’t want people to forget these books – but it felt like cheating to put in books that no one is likely to forget (I’m thinking Neil Gaiman here).  Anyway… as you’ll see, my list is a mixed bag. 

Top Ten ‘Older’ Books I Don’t Want People to Forget

1. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter – THIS. BOOK.  Was my childhood.  I mean that quite literally.  I’ve read it over 25 times, and its gentle, beautiful story of a stubborn girl growing up in rural Indiana in the early 20th century will always be a favorite.  It should be one of yours, too.

2. Sabriel by Garth Nix – There’s a wall in this story: a wall between magic and the ordinary.  And if the darkness that’s gathering beyond the wall is let loose, it’ll be the end for all.  Wonderful prose, and another favorite.

3. Chalice by Robin McKinley – I adore everything Robin McKinley, but of her recent books, this is one of the least-celebrated.  Its abstract focus might keep it out of the limelight, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for someone who likes books that are quietly intense.

4. The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle – Bullying, silence, and deliberately making the hard decisions… sounds like a contemporary YA, doesn’t it?  This one needs to be read by anyone who considers themselves a fan of that subgenre. 

5. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen – There was a time when I devoured everything WWII-related, and this story, melding that subject matter with a retold fairy tale, is not quickly forgotten.

6. Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery – You may know Anne of Green Gables, but do you know Marigold?  Montgomery wrote precious few standalones, but this coming-of-age classic full of family dynamics and youthful capers is possibly my favorite of her books.

7. The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones – If you can believe it, I had never read a Diana Wynne Jones book until I studied abroad in Spain.  This madcap adventure was love at first read, and usually the one I recommend to others (if they don’t express interest in Howl, claro).

8. The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger – This book is a heartfelt epistolary tale about baseball and growing up in the shadow of war.  It is not to be missed.

9. The Once and Future King by T.H. White – I first read my mother’s old paperback copy of this Arthurian tale at age… 10?  Its complexity and epic scope mixed with humor and coming-of-age tale made it a favorite.

10. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck – This was a 10th grade Honors English book at my high school.  It’s an important book, and one that not many of my peers have heard of, much less read.  If you have any interest in pre-Communist Revolution China, historical or cultural sagas, or would like to, this is the book for you.

What are the books that you don’t want people to forget? 

21 comments:

kaye said...

I loved the once and future king as well. And I totally loved a girl of the limberlost. Thanks for reminding me of it. -nicely done today. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Liviania said...

I have to Steve Kluger books to read, but not that one.

And I deffo agree on The Once and Future King. I like The Good Earth too.

Reading Angel said...

I'm ashamed to say I have read nothing on your list, though I do have Chalice on my TBR ;)
I will be looking in to a few of these!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I have been meaning to read A Girl of the Limberlost for about a decade. It's set in Indiana, so I feel like I'm neglecting my state if I don't. I loved Briar Rose too!

Jessica (The Bluestocking Society) said...

I also put a Steve Kluger book on my list (MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR)! I wonder why he isn't more well-known. I've enjoyed everything I've read by him.

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

A Girl of the Limberlost! I love that book. And have read it a great many times myself. And I seriously just read Briar Rose this last week.

Will have to give Marigold a try--it's one of the few Montgomery books I've never read. Great list!

Amanda @ Letters Inside Out said...

I love Briar Rose!

I've always wanted to read A Girl of the Limberlost. Must do so!

elena said...

I juust saw Sabriel on another list! I have it checked out from the library right now and I cannot wait to read it. I know it's a classic for a reason! Great list. :D

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf said...

Oh my goodness, you were right! Love Marigold! And Chalice! And Elizabeth is a huge Sabriel fan and kicking herself right now :)

BUT I have never read a Diana Wynn Jones book! And I know I should!

Since I kind of love the show Merlin, this might be a good gateway. (Oh yes, The Once and Future King? Classic!)

I'm subscribing :)

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf said...

And one of Elizabeth's all time favorites? My Most Excellent Year! (see here, it's ridiculous... http://mysistersbookshelf.com/elizabeths-book-review-my-most-excellent-year-by-steve-kruger/)

Lauren said...

*hides* It's shameful to admit but I haven't read anything on your list! I'm going to check out a few of those books on GR though-they look great :)

Grad Student @ Young Adult Fiction and Whiskey Sours said...

OMG Briar Rose sounds fantastic. I am on a WWII kick myself lately, having just read A Brief History of Montmaray and Code Name Verity. I am absolutely going to read this next!

Check out our TTT :-)

Lisa [is busy nerding] said...

I just read and LOVED Sabriel! It was beautiful and dark and amazing.

I've read the first 'book' of TOaFK by TH White and definitely need to finish that one!

Tahleen said...

Sabriel!! Yes! What a great book/series. Excellent list. I'll have to take a look at Marigold—I love the Anne of Green Gables series, that was one of my favorites growing up.

Shelver506 said...

Oh my gosh, I love your blog title. Also, I haven't read Chalice, but I'm getting to it, I promise!

My TTT: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/10/top-10-tuesday-top-ten-older-books-you.html

Charlotte said...

I'm a Girl of the Limberlost fan too!

Britt said...

I have only read one of these, so maybe I'll check some of the others out. I did love Briar Rose.

Alex said...

I totally agree with some of your choices like Yolen, Montgromers, Wynne-Jones and White. Some I will have to check out. BTW, it was nice meeting you at KidLitCon in NYC.

Alyce said...

Aack! My wish list just exploded! :) I too loved Girl of the Limberlost, though I didn't read it until I was an adult. It was a gift from my book-loving eccentric great auntie (who just happened to also be a hoarder). She bought the book for me when I was young, even wrote a note in it to me stating that it was one of her favorite books as a child. I didn't receive it until many years later after she had been moved to assisted living and her daughter cleaned out her house and found it. I only met my great-aunt once, so I was touched that she thought of me.

manda-rae said...

So don't hate me, but I've only read one book on your list: The Good Earth. I had to read it in high school and so many people hated it or thought it was boring. I actually enjoyed it and thought it had a lot of good life lessons in it. Anyways, I may have to check out some of the other books in your list.

Thanks for visiting my Top Ten.

Ginny Larsen said...

somehow i knew that you'd be including "A Girl of the Limberlost," and "The Only Alien on the Planet." good list... i like it! :D

Newer Posts Older Posts Home