Monday, February 1, 2021

Ten Favorite Books Written Before I Was Born

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is about books written before we were born. I went with the books that I'd rated the highest that also made their debut before I made mine in 1985!

1. Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
All of Christie's book were written before I was born, so this one is just representative of my favorites. In this one, Poirot's usual approach of figuring out who has the psychological profile to be a murderer is challenged by the idea that all the suspects may have already committed murder at least once! It was an interesting change from the prior books.

2. Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings
Again, all of the books in the Belgariad series were published before I was born, and this is my favorite of the series. I feel like Eddings really hits his stride in this book, and then the final book of the series is unfortunately bogged down in a lot of military details. The follow-up series, the Malloreon, which I like a little better, was published after my birth.

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This was published in the 19th century, so definitely well before I was born! This twisty tale of revenge was a favorite of mine in middle school and one I've always hoped to return to someday.

4. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konisburg
This is one I loved as a kid and it held up as an adult. I love the way that the kids strategize every detail of their running away, and how they make a routine for themselves in the museum.

5. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
This was published about 30 years after the events ten Boom describes of her experiences during World War II. Her story still resonates strongly today; it made me laugh and left me sobbing.

6. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
I am more apt now to recommend the modern version, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen, but this book from 1980 was the one I read first, and it gave me a good foundation for parenthood. What I love most is that the emphasis is not on creating people who are responsive and obedient, but on molding children to be compassionate, thoughtful, independent human beings.

7. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
I've read this gender-bending sci-fi novel several times now, and while it always takes me a while to get into it, I never fail to get absorbed in the world she built. This otherworldly setting helps Le Guin's social commentary about gender roles from 1969 feel timeless.

8. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
This is another case where a fantasy world, completely built from scratch in this 1961 publication, can be relevant to any generation. I'm waiting to read this to my older son until he can appreciate the clever wordplay!

9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This 1938 gothic novel was just as good when I revisited it recently on audio as when I first read it in middle school. du Maurier places the reader palpably in the scene, whether the refreshing feeling of being out in nature or the suffocating feeling of being in a house that seems to still belong to someone deceased.

10. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
I enjoyed this children's classic from 1958 both as a child and as an adult. Set in Puritan New England, it's a sweet story about overcoming prejudices and finding what truly makes you happy.

Which older books are your favorites?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Activist Theology and Call Down the Hawk
Five years ago I was reading: Dancing with God, The Girl on the Train, and Emotional Vampires
Ten years ago I was reading: Boy

No comments:

Post a Comment