Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The (Face)Books That Stay With You

by Merry Gordon

Every few years or so a trend cuts through Facebook like a hot knife through butter.

Not viral cat mash-up parodies.

Not hashtagging (#saveitfortwitter).

Not vaguebooking, or humblebrags or Farmville invitations*.

Not even Ice Bucket Challenge videos.

No...I'm talking about lists.  You know, when someone is challenged to make a list of (insert random category here) and then challenge a handful of other friends via tag to do likewise.

I generally ignore these and scroll on like the cyber misanthrope I am, but the recent "10 Books That Have Changed My Thinking" list has stopped me in my digital tracks.  I love hearing what other people are reading.  I'm all over knowing what books move my friends, what words stick with them—and so is everyone else, judging from the number of times this post shows up in my news feed.

Facebook Data Science crunched the numbers and came up with an interesting master list.  Rounding out the top?  The Harry Potter books, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Lord of the Rings—no surprises there.  On the other hand, Huffington Post invites us to stop lying about our favorite reads on Facebook in a snarky-but-true** post that extols the virtues of the "fun" book.

(That said, I'm a lit teacher.  My list probably reads a little geekily highbrow, but hey, I binge read Harry Potter and threw the last book in the Hunger Games series across the room with all the rest of you.)

My top 10in no particular order, and not counting books of scripture because those are givens:

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro 

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hamlet - William Shakespeare

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving 

Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier

These aren't all necessarily favorites.  Some I read by choice, others by compulsion, but they're all books that have haunted the corners and recesses of my mind since I first picked them up.

So, Mormon Mommy Writers, Readers & Friends, what's on your nightstand?  Please comment below!

*Or Candy Crush Saga.  Or Farm Heroes.  Or Criminal Case....<sigh>

**Okay, maybe not Gossip Girl, and definitely not Fifty Shades, and I still haven't hopped on the whole Game of Thrones bandwagon yet.  But the rest....guilty as charged.


  1. I loved this "quiz" and took it as soon as I was challenged, too. Here's mine:

    Fear and Trembling -Soren Kierkegaard
    Pride and Prejudice -Jane Austen
    Oh, The Places You'll Go - Dr. Seuss
    Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
    Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegat
    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
    The Road - Cormac McCarthy
    The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
    The Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

  2. Now you've got me thinking and I'm probably going to have to do some ridiculous extensive post. Because there's a difference, for me, between favorite books and books that "changed my thinking." Also, those are both different from the lists of books I'd recommend to anyone. Oooh, maybe I'll make THREE lists!

  3. See, I thought of this challenge completely differently. Does it have to be fiction books? Because, to be honest, the books that have really changed by thinking are mostly nonfiction, like “On Becoming Babywise”, without which I would have been completely lost as to how to care for a baby. Also, “The Four Laws of Debt-Free Prosperity” and “All Your Worth”- those books really shaped my thinking about my finances, which has had a huge impact on my life. I would also put “Twilight” on my list, though, because that was the first book I read as an adult that I couldn’t put down. It reminded me that I love reading, and it also reminded me that I love writing, and I decided that I really wanted to write a book that people couldn’t put down. I might also add “The Old Man and the Sea” because that was the first book I ever recognized symbolism in, and “Lord of the Flies” was when the whole symbolism/metaphor thing really hit home. Hmm...maybe I’ll be challenged and then I can actually think through it and make my own list... ;-)

  4. I read more non-fiction too: The Road Less Traveled is a fav, along with anything by Rick Warren. My fav fiction from along ago is Kathleen Woodiwiss' Ashes in the Wind. Awesome historical romance.



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