My Top *Ten

Since I’m returning to the blogosphere after a two-month hiatus, I decided  it might be easier to write about what other people have written.  I’m terrible at writing reviews, but @taravrussell’s book list inspired me to write my own.

Here’s a list containing some excellent reads, most of which I’ve read or re-visited in the last year:

1. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I had the wonderful opportunity to go and hear Don Miller speak during his book tour this past year.  In a word, this book is INSPIRING.  It’s all about STORY – what makes a great story and how to live one out.

2. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

This book is written as a series of letters between Julia Ashton and the people of the Literary and Potato Peel Society.  Charming, witty, clever, and heart-warming.  I believe I was smiling the entire time I read this book.  I fell in love with the characters and this book.

3. If You Want to Write:  A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland

Here’s a snippet I wrote about this book back in April.  You can also find some great quotes here.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is living and breathing and wants to write.

Ueland wrote this book in 1938 but she may as well have written it today.  Did I mention that I love her?

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


If you haven’t read this book by now, you should.  Even Will Smith has read the book, and we can all glean a little bit of wisdom from Will Smith.

But for a real review, you can read @taravrussell’s blog.

5. Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

This book is for anyone disillusioned with the church.  Bell poses a lot of great questions (without a whole lot of answers) and really causes you to think out-of-the-box about Christianity and faith.

6. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

If you’ve never read a book by David Sedaris, you really should.  You may just add 5 years onto your life.

I’ve read a number of his books (including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked – of which I read 90% before dropping it into the toilet), but this one is my favorite.  Pee in your pants type of funny.

You can read about how I almost stole his picture of a horse wearing sneakers here.

7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Classic.  It’s been done and re-done.  Who could  not fall in love with Jane and Mr. Darcy?

8. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri also wrote Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake, but this book was by far my favorite.  As with all of her stories, there are familial and cultural themes throughout the book.  It is clever and beautifully written and a must-read.

9. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

Excellent read for anyone daring enough to lurch into their creative side (or anyone who is at least thinking about it).  I read this book in a day.

10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


I’m embarrassed to say that I have a B.A. in English and never finished reading this book until a few months ago.

You’ll have to barrel through a glass of wine (or a bottle) to get through the first 150 pages or so, but after that it’s pure genius.

And I’m a sucker for love stories.

The Bubble:

I almost selected Phil Gordon’s Little Blue Book for the Bubble because that would have been clever.

***Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist sits on the Bubble since it’s a book I’m currently reading that I’m sure I will re-visit again and again in due time.  I’m learning how to live less bitter and more sweet.  Or something like that.

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4 thoughts on “My Top *Ten

  1. Pingback: My 2010 Reads « MiFOCALS

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