Monday, November 10, 2008

Most Influential Books

Challenged by a friend, I began to think about the books that have had the most impact on my life or that have defined me as a reader.  This task was relatively easy; however, I found it nessecary to expand to 3 categories.  In no particular order...  

Top 5 Most Influential Adult Books

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
5. Howl  by Allen Ginsberg

Top 5 Most Influential Children's Chapter Books
1. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester
5. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Top 5 Most Influential Children's Picture Books
1. Olivia by Ian Falconer
2. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
4. Curious George by Margaret & H.A. Rey
5. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone

Looking over these lists it is clear where they fall in the timeline of my life.  Surprisingly they make up an order of influence that is decidedly not a sequence of logical order.  My earliest library memory is checking out Little Women and listening to my mother read aloud.  I associate my early reading with chapter books and quickly made the leap to adult fiction (I believe this why I found Teen Lit so shocking in library school because I never read anything from the genre when it would have been contemporary).  It has not been until I reached adulthood that picture books have begun to shape me as a reader - intially because of my work with children as a teacher and then a librarian, and now as a mother.

I constantly find new and exciting books that reshape my world view.  Now the guantlet is passed... What are your top 5?


Cheryl said...

Hey Beth, I'm so glad that you wrote your own :) I almost separated our chapter books and picture books too! ha!