The categories didn't make it a whole lot easier, but it did make selecting books a little bit more of an apples to apples experience. If you think I made any crazy omissions, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Who knows? Maybe I just haven't read your favorite books yet and will eventually see the light.
- The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is my favorite book, and I read it every year or two to learn something new about myself and the world around me.
- Birds of America: Stories, by Lorrie Moore. Moore is my favorite short story writer. She has the ability to make me cry and then with a sparkling one-liner get me back laughing.
- As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner. I love segmentation in stories when done well, and this is the text book of telling a story with multiple narrators.
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. Some books grab me because of the story they tell, while others hook me with their characters. This book has one of my favorite narrators ever.
- A Good Man Is Hard to Find, by Flannery O'Connor. No one is safe in O'Connor's world of fiction. If you don't have your guard up, then you're bound to get bamboozled.
- View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems, by Wislawa Szymborska. Every poem in this collection seems to either transport me or surprise me or both.
- The Darkness Around Us Is Deep, by William Stafford. Something about Stafford's voice allows him to take me by the hand and show me the world I know in a different way.
- Paterson, by William Carlos Williams. I love WCW's shorter poems, but this epic poem held me from beginning to end--and I'm not a person easily impressed by long poems.
- Transformations, by Anne Sexton. Tammy and I both love Anne Sexton's poetry, and this is my favorite of her collections.
- The Captain's Verses, by Pablo Neruda. If you want to woo and woo right, then you should probably read this collection of love poems. They are the nuclear bomb of woo.
- The Monster at the End of This Book, by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin. The lovable, furry Grover reads the title of the book and tries to keep the reader from reaching the end (and the monster). Will he succeed?
- Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, by Bob Shea. I love this book, because it affords me the opportunity to roar right before bedtime. It's a super fun book--as is the sequel: Dinosaur vs. the Potty.
- Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. It's not the wordiest of books, but it's still a classic for a reason.
- Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, by Dr. Seuss. When I'm ready to close the deal (on getting Will to go to sleep), I break out this baby. The rhymes and characters are great, but it's super long and--usually--puts Will out for the count before I reach the end.
- Corduroy, by Don Freeman. A little stuffed bear named Corduroy wants to find a friend and decides all he needs to do to make that happen is find his lost button.
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