Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I had strong emotions about

For the Top 10 Tuesday blog meme.

Top Ten Books I Had very Strong Emotions About (cry, laugh, hurl across the room, etc.):
1. "Going Down" by Jennifer Belle. NYU student becomes call girl -- I can't believe I got through to the end of this. Badly written, miserable protagonist -- I'm still shuddering.
2. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White. I can't read the end without weeping. I wept a lot when I read this to my kids several years ago.
3. "The Street Where I Live" by Alan Jay Lerner. I have a great deal of affection for this memoir by the librettist for "My Fair Lady"; I felt like I was a part of Broadway in the 1950s.
4. "Kalki" by Gore Vidal. A mean-spirited, misanthropic little novel with a twist; I thought it was cool when I read it as a teen, but now I hate myself for liking it.
5. "The Last Battle" by C.S. Lewis. Another four-hankie read; the ending is really lovely, especially if you have children and regret, just a little bit, their growing up. But why, Jack, why?
6. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban": Probably my favorite; the quidditch scene is really exciting, and the plot is deliciously complicated. I remember reading it aloud with a great deal of emotion.
7. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt: I read this on a beach just a few dozen miles south of Savannah; it made me want to drive up and see it all.
8. "The Gift of Fire" by Richard Mitchell: An inspired ode to teaching and learning by a nearly forgotten author, who also wrote "The Graves of Academe." Well worth finding in a library.
9. "Wit's End: Days and Nights at the Algonquin Round Table" by James R. Gaines: This book about the wits of the Round Table made me wish I were back in New York in the 1920s, and when I used to go to Manhattan I'd always stop by at the hotel, which in the '70s and early '80s still had some of the ambiance.
10. "Absolute Truths" by Susan Howatch: I loved all six Starbridge novels; what made this one the most emotionally complete was the fact it was the last -- I had come to the end of the series, and I regret the end of revelations about these fascinating, flawed clerics.

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