Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank you to Becca (AKA R. L. Syme) for sending me the Booker Award! With it, I get to share with you my Top 5 books of all-time. I don't read as much as other people (or as much as I'd like to), but even still my decision was a diffcult one. I've read so many fabulous books over the years and whittling my list down to 5 was exruciating.

Here are my own Top Five in no particular order.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- I had to read this for school (like so many other people) and I dreaded reading it. But once I actually started it and studied it, I loved it. The idea of seeing the world through Scout's eyes appealed to me then and appeals to me now. What a fantastic way to approach such difficult topics!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon- This was the book that sealed my fate as a writer. I saw this in the bookstore and was right away drawn to the plaid on the cover. I was in a Scottish phase at the time (or rather, that was early in the phase I'm STILL living in) and the idea of an English woman traveling back in time to clans and kilts and Scottish turmoil intrigued me. I read the story and loved every moment. I went on to read several more stories in the series, but that first one grabbed my heart. It was that story that made me want to be a romance writer. I felt the challenge rise in me to write characters for other people to care about as much as I cared about Jamie and Claire and the others. I've never looked back since.
Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin- I'm a suspense writer first and foremost. I honestly believe (and have been told by editors) most of my full-length stories (NOT my novellas) are more suspense focused than romance. This book, for me, was the exact balance of romance and suspense that I love. Also, I've been a HUGE fan of Laura's work since her first book hit the shelves. I can't tell you exactly why I love this story so much. I honestly don't know. Perhaps it's because the heroine has struggled so much in her life and no matter what she keeps trying. (And I really identify with that.) Maybe it's because the hero is risking his career for this woman and his growing love for her. But of all Laura's stories this is the one that has found a place on my keeper shelf.
Final Victim by Stephen J. Cannell- This story was the first one I read by this author. I honestly don't remember a lot about it because I read it about 13 years ago, but I know it's about a serial killer who really freaked me out and the hero and heroine racing against time to catch him. Yes, it's like a lot of other suspense stories, but Mr. Cannell had such a fascinating way to draw the reader in. I was completely hooked by the details and the descriptions as well as the surprises that he kept throwing at me. I should also tell you that Mr. Cannell created MANY of the TV shows I watched growing up and I do credit him and his shows with my love of and my path to writing suspense.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane- I had to read this during high school. It became one of my favorite stories because at the time, I was fascinated by soldiers and their experiences. Everything I read during high school outside required reading dealt with the Vietnam War and especially the experiences of the soldiers. Reading and working on assignments related to Crane's book only made me more interested in how people react to danger (which in its own way guided me toward my love for suspense).

(Okay, I'm cheating. I'm also going to give you my 2 runner-up stories because I really can't decide which to be my top 5!

Light in Agust by William Faulkner-I honestly don't remember much about it because I don't reread books and I read this back around 1992, but I remember I LOVED it. My mother and I, to this day, talk about how much I loved this book. I have both a paperback copy and a hard cover copy and every once in a while I do consider rereading it.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- In any format- book, movie, play- I love everything about this story. While the book is good, I think the story itself and the various adaptations are what attract me. If I had to choose my favorite STORY of all time this would be it. I love how crusty Scrooge is and how he changes. I NEVER get tired of this story!)

So there you have my Top 5 books of all time and Two Runner-Up favorite stories of all time so far. What do you think of my choices? If you're so inclined to share your own, please do and let me know so I can read and comment on yours! 



  1. I agree with MOST of these but could never get into The Red Badge of Courage (of course, we were supposed to read that in 9th grade so I was far too young) and don't like Christmas Carol--but love the others. I notice none of my books are on the list.

    Jane Myers Perrine

  2. :-O Don't like A Christmas Carol????? What is WRONG with you?????

    As far as your books go, well, I could only pick 5. Of COURSE I love your stories, though! :P

  3. Great list! I loved Outlander and A Christmas Carol too! I have a love-hate relationship with To Kill a Mockingbird and I have read the others, will have to check them out!