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Friday, July 17, 2009

Top 5 Books

The hardest part of compiling a Top 5 list of books for me is simply remembering the books I’ve read. It’s not that I’m such an avid reader that the list is just too long. Despite an admonishment from a college professor that I’d never do well if I didn’t read everything at least twice, I’ve never read anything twice unless it was assigned in two separate semesters (and did just fine). Even if I had I’m not sure I’d have much more of a mental list to pull on, but it might have helped.

That said, I figured a criteria of books that still stand out in my mind more than a year after reading them as particularly good was a perfect rule for my list.

So, here’s my Top 5 Books:

5. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens) – I read this book in the 10th grade, and have loved the story since. I make a point to watch the film version every December, but it all started with the book. All the knock-off versions make it clear this is the best fictional Christmas story ever written.

4. No Pity : People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (Joseph Shapiro) – Reading this book was an experience. It was the first time I got a glimpse of the disability community as a real entity with a history and common experiences. In that regard, nothing has ever approached this book.

3. The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) – Simply put, this is the most insightful book I’ve ever read. As I wrote in my review, it offers some amazing perspectives into psychology, history, pop culture, and group dynamics, just to name a few subjects covered in the absorbing, readable language.

2. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) – Panned by many due to it’s sentimentality, this was a very original and truly touching story.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) – Dan Brown’s novel is easily the best I’ve ever read. Again from my review, this novel continuously shocks a reader with historical facts — albeit disputed facts — that are so enthralling they render the plot secondary.

Feel free to agree or disagree with any or all of my selections, and, more importantly, add your own list of Top 5 Books in the comments section. Don’t hesitate to add your own creative angle such as a list of Top Summer Books of All Time, Top 5 Suspense Novels, or other ideas. I really do want to make the Royal Steele Community section of this blog interactive. Be brave or, if you must, post anonymously.

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Also, check out the “Best of” lists at The Stores @ Royal Steele in the Book Store. The lists include the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century and 100 Top Sports Books of All Time.


  1. Oh, that was MDefl above - sorry.

  2. Books are always a challenge because there are so many. I have enjoyed thousands of books and probably have forgotten more titles than I read. Having said that, I will give this a shot:

    1. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller's best novel on the insanity of the military. I have read it 3 times, at age 15, 25 and 35. Each time, I got something different out of it. I will be 45 in 20 months and will be due to read it again.

    2. The Source - Still my favorite Michener novel although I have not read Centinniel or Alaska yet.

    3. Trinity - The tragedy and heartache of Ireland encapsulated in one great novel. Uris never wrote anything that even approached this masterpiece.

    4. Animal Farm - I know it is more common to list 1984 as Orwell's best but I really like this better. An obvious allegory of the Soviet Union.

    5. To Kill a Mockingbird - I read this for the first time when I was 14 years old and did not really understand racism. I had a much better understanding after finishing this novel. Harper Lee's best work. I read it again a few years ago and it still moved me.


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