When I was a little girl, my favorite place in the world was the library. I was a nerdy little girl who was often the object of a lot of teasing and the butt of endless jokes, and the library was the one place the bullies never seemed to enter. The librarian, Mr. Wolford, would push a book cart my way and tell me to shelve. Or he’d slide a stack of books across his desk and say he thought I’d enjoy them. But it was my friend, Lisa, who introduced me to the joys of Danielle Steel when we were in about the 8th or 9th grade… I would sit in the hall, in front of my locker, with a Danielle Steel novel perched on my lap, oblivious to the world around me.
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, Ossie Davis ~ This book gave me a new appreciation for Malcolm X as well as an understanding of who he was as a social leader, man, husband and father. He’s really so much more than “By any means necessary…”
- The Far Pavillions by M.M. Kaye ~ I saw the movie before I read the book but I remember being so caught up in the drama and the beauty as well as the palace intrigue. I ended up naming my first daughter after the main female character in the book, Anjuli.
- The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins ~ Although I disagreed with some of the details of the story, I did enjoy this series immensely. Yes, I do believe in the Rapture and I think the authors did a good job of offering a presentation of what life may be like for those who are left behind.
- Message from Nam by Danielle Steel ~ I wanted to be a journalist after reading this novel. I think Danielle Steel provided me with my first dose of idealism (and she’s probably the reason I’m married to a man 7 years older than I am).
- Peyton Place by Grace Metalious ~ Whenever I teach history, one of my favorite things to discuss is this book. People were reading this book with paper bags over the cover because they didn’t want anyone to know they were reading it. The topics were heavy: class, incest, unplanned pregnancy, murder, etc. all set against the backdrop of a quaint New England town.
- Roots by Alex Haley ~ Being able to read the book after watching the mini~series was such an intense time for me. Growing up without a lot of family nearby, I always wondered what it would be like to know who my people were, where they came from and how I got to be me.
- Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann ~ I heart campy novels and I read this one every summer. It’s like reading a soap opera ~ there’s drama, intrigue, mystery, love, drug abuse, abortions, affairs, etc.
Disclosure: All of the books link to BarnesandNoble.com. If you purchase a book from them, I do not receive any sort of compensation.