By Colleen Dowd
Usually I’m blogging about social media, but when a fellow blogger invited me to link to her “Favorite Books of All Time” I couldn’t resist sharing these fabulous titles. I am a huge reader as anyone who knows me can attest. If you’re looking to purchase a book for that special someone, or have simply run out of reading material and are in need of some recommendations, you’ve come to the right place. These books rock. I promise.
1. Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin
Anyone I ever gave this book to loved it. Little known and underrated, it’s a testament to the power of coupledom, the lure of the opposite sex and the joy of double dating with your best friends. I breezed through this paperback nearly 30 years ago and it’s still on my top 10 list which is saying something. Don’t miss it.
2. Superior Women by Alice Adams
Alice Adams is one of my very favorite authors. Her ability to craft realistic characters and superb conversation is unrivaled. She’s a genius at revealing how the people closest to us often perceive us, and the events we share, in ways that are completely contrary to our own. She does the”one chapter about this character, one chapter about that character” storytelling technique particularly well.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A classic that is probably already on your list, but I’d be remiss if I left off the best book ever written about justice for all — even and especially when doing the right thing is unpopular in the small minds of a small town.
4. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
OMG this is such a great “girl power” novel about a woman who moves into town and slowly but surely turns it upside down. I could not put it down. And, in case you were not a fan of the more famous A Handmaid’s Tale by this author (I wasn’t), this book is so completely different from it, you’ll scarcely believe it was written by the same person.
5. Anna Karenia by Leo Tolstoy
The ultimate book about romantic love. Anna is trapped in a loveless marriage to a powerful aristocrat in post-revolution Russia and falls hopelessly, passionately in love with Vronsky, a Russian count and solider. What happens next is truly the ultimate tale of the tales. This is my absolute favorite book (tied with To Kill a Mockingbird.) Dostoevsky, Nabovok and Faulker all claimed Anna Karenia is the best novel ever written.
6. The Secret Friend by Donna Tartt
This is a disturbing book. Dark, furtive, weird. However, it is so well written I actually noticed and stopped to savor it which is saying something because the story is so engrossing. A child goes missing from a backyard in the deep South. Who did it and whether they’ll get caught will keep you turning pages late into the night and, thereafter, into Barnes & Noble in search of more Donna Tartt novels.
7. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Six or seven precocious teens — all wildly different from each other — meet at a summer camp and bond for life. This wonderful book is a testament to the power of childhood friendship and their ability to endure through all of life’s trials and tribulations. Meg Wolitzer can write. But this time, I didn’t want the story to end.
8. I’d Rather Teach Peace by Colman McCarthy
The only non-fiction book in this list, I’d Rather Teach Peace chronicles a Washington Post columnist’s experience teaching peace studies in a poor school in D.C. Powerful and unique.
And there you have it. Eight recommendations. Let me know if you’ve already read any of these and if so, what you thought of them. And, share your all time favorites in the comments below. Happy reading!