When a call went out from my Write Group buddies for five books that I really enjoyed and wanted to recommend for a group reading list, I decided to jot down a quick selection. Off the top of my head, these are the five I came up with:
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder: I just love this book! It’s spare, lyrical, and elegant, yet it pulses with emotion. The character studies it is built around are like jewels in a crown and it swings gently from universal themes to personal stories.
Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather: Willa is one of my all-time favorites and this book is beautiful. It expresses so much so poetically, balancing economy with emotion. It’s a haunting, inventive story created out of wind, air, and water.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I am a major Dickens fan. For me, the characters he creates are unforgettable and profoundly human. Here, he spins a story out of turmoil of the French Revolution, expressing universal themes through tangled lives and a rip-roaring plot.
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Not sure why this popped into my head, but it is a beautiful little gem. It is like a prose poem and has a comforting, timeless spirit. It is a moving meditation on the power of nature to soothe and restore.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: This is a new favorite of mine, which I’ve discovered and delighted in several times recently. There’s so much to admire in this magical story, which has survived as a beloved classic for more than 100 years.
As soon as I wrote my list, needless to say, other books popped into my head, but I decided to stay true to my first five.* How about you? If someone asked you to pick five books to share with other writers, which would you choose off the top of your head — and why? Just pondering this is not only inspiring, but instructive. Write on!
*Curious about my choices? Just search the author names for earlier posts.