YOU KNOW YOU’VE READ A GOOD BOOK WHEN YOU TURN THE LAST PAGE AND FEEL A LITTLE AS IF YOU HAVE LOST A FRIEND.
I know the feeling. Story can abduct us, hold us captive, and keep us in thrall for days after the cover is closed.
How can I possibly name the novels that have affected me this way? My two all-time favorites—I being an incurable romantic—are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. How many times have I read each? How many TV productions watched? Heart throb time . . .
Daphne DuMaurier is another favorite author—Rebecca, The House on the Strand, plus others. Special bits of description stick with me—the creak of a leather saddle, to say nothing of that famous Rebecca first line, Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.
Charles Dickens’ stories are thick with the flavor of 19th-century England—the good, bad, and ugly. His characters remain deep-etched on my brain.
Anthony Trollope is SO fun! Barchester Towers was my first read, and I knew from page one that I would search out others.
When I started having babies, I discovered and devoured classics while exuding mother’s milk. I think Rachel may have been nourished on Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native. But my real treasure trove showed up in the parsonage attic, tucked away in a corner of indifference. There I found boxes of books donated by Ella Jane Spaulding—complete with Sunday newspaper clippings about assorted authors. I never met this book-loving woman, but her legacy impacted my life profoundly.
Harking back to the quote by Paul Sweeney up top, I can’t resist finishing w/ a comment from one of my readers.
“Wow! I just finished reading The Stones. I didn’t want it to end, found myself re-reading the preface, the printing notes, anything to keep from closing it.” ~Fran Matheson
You know you’ve succeeded when your readers feel this way.
NEXT TIME: Christian literature—both fiction and non-fiction. I’ll want to know your list!
You can check out my list at my blog, which consists of my Illustrated Summaries of Classic Christian Literature, including the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Bunyan, G.K. Chesterton, John MacArthur, J.B. Phillips, G. Campbell Morgan, John Owen, Josh McDowell, Dante Alighieri, and Thomas à Kempis.
Charles Martin who wrote When Crickets Cry, The Dead don’t Dance and Maggie (two books that follow each other,) and others, The Number One Ladies Detective Agency books, books by Charles Dickens – especially Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield, books by Charles Swindoll, Dr. Jeremiah, Anne Graham Lotz, Max Lucado; The Quit book seriers, The Boxcar Children, Pilgrim’s Progress, War and Peace by Tolstoy, The Narnia Series, The Earth is Flat — just for starters. It is easier to think of authors rather than titles of books. Sorry to go that way, but hope you get an idea of what kinds of things I read.
Oh, I also love Shakespeare, and the book Wyuthering Heights, the Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Anne