Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

My wonderful sister Kami tagged me to post my top ten favorite books and top ten favorite movies. She actually, I think, said what books had 'impacted' you by reading them. I agree that defining 'impactful' when it comes to books is hard. Some are definitely more 'scholarly' and some are more 'tub books'--ya know, the kind you read over and over just because it is a perfect story and you want the guy to end up with the girl at the end so you can sigh happily and go to sleep blissfully. Anyway. It was REALLY difficult for me to whittle down book selections. I finally had to put stipulations on myself. Things like- only books that I have read multiple times (true test of goodness, right?) etc. etc. Will has a cold and has been really clingy, so anything real productive has been put on hold while I tend to his clinginess. Which means I have dwelt on this topic and overthought it way too much. The fact that my sisters are all very brilliant and also all very different makes me analyze what every single one of them will think for each selection. The fact that I rattled off over twenty 'favorite' books without even thinking makes this decision even harder. Obviously, this is getting way out of hand, so I must post SOMETHING before thinking further about it drives me even more crazy. Here we go:

(Oh and also, there is no ranking. Because they are all from different categories and genres and for different reasons, and I just don't feel right putting a number to them.)

  • To Kill A Mockingbird. I love everything about this book. The era. The girl's name Scout. The aunt. Their kitchen/nanny. School being boring. It's all amazing. I love that it is insightful and thoughtful. I really love this book. A lot.
  • Good Night, Mr. Tom. This is one of my go-to cry books. Not as horrific as A Child Called It, but horrific enough to make you truly grateful and aware of how wonderful life is and how cherished and valued every relationship should be. Also, it's WWII, so thats kind of a no-brainer for me.
  • Ranger's Apprentice. If you have not read this series go NOW! And any person you meet who thinks they do not like reading, recommend this to them. It helps that the main character is Will, and Will happens to be our little main man around here. Clever main characters, hilarious sidekicks, magic, fighting, heroism, spunky females. This series has it all.
  • Thief Trilogy. Similar to the above books, this one should ALSO be loved and revered around the world much, much more than Harry Potter. (While I think Harry Potter has its place, both the thief trilogy and Rangers Apprentice should be much more popular.) This one is just so WITTY. Every time I read it I love the twists. Even though I know whats coming. It just never gets old it is so clever.
  • Enders Shadow. I know, I know, Ender's Game is the popular one. I like this one better. What can I say, I like being inside Bean's head. 
  • A Lantern In Her Hand. I like it more every time I read it. To be honest, the first time I read it I wasn't sure what my sisters found so amazing about it. I had to become a mother. Then, as I continue to grow as a mother, it becomes more and more and more poignant and wonderful. (Also in this segment should be Follow the River, Mrs. Mike, and all wonderful and inspirational books such as that.)
  • The Walking Drum. Being my father's daughter, there has to be at least one Louis L'Amour. Funnily enough, this one is not a western. But pirates, slavery, disguise, intrigue, and Chinese fireworks--how can you go wrong?!
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Oh how I am in LOVE with her love. Sigh. Twitter-pated.
  • The Chosen. This is an 'impact' book. Oh how I love it. "crazy. cock-eyed world." "switch lenses." I regularly think of those two quotes from that book and my essay I wrote on them and how much I relished and LOVED discussing and learning about this book. Oh how I loved it. I still love this book. Also, My Name Is Asher Lev was a close second, but I still think The Chosen is my first and true love here.  
  • Gah! How are we at ten already! I can't handle this!!!! My sister and I were just awarding each other chocolate on Facebook, so I am asserting my own authority and awarding myself three more choices:
  • Tale of Two Cities. It's one of my favorites. It just really is. (I would tack on here Les Mis and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Close favorites of similar genre.)
  • Summers At Castle Auburn. My iconic 'tub book'. The perfect medieval princess story. Oh how I wrestled between this one and On Fortune's Wheel. Cynthia Voigt needs some credit as being a very 'impactful' author in my teenage years, but oh how I love Summers At Castle Auburn. (It won out because one night I tried a different area of the library on campus to study at specifically because I really needed to study and didn't want to run into anyone I knew. Only I ran into the young adult fiction. And read the entire novel in one sitting. And didn't study. It turned out all right though.) Jackaroo. THE WESTMARK TRILOGY. Sigh. So many good ones here. Also The Name of the Wind (but don't read the sequels, they get dirty, but the first one is OH SO fab.)
  • My last bullet point. Should I go with Persuasion-my favorite Austen?  The Prisoner of Zenda-the best book I ever fought my dad over reading (it had a boring old cover, ok)? I Capture the Castle because it has the best opening sentence and following love story? These Is My Words for most recently discovered and incredibly heart-wrenching pioneer story ever written? I think I am going to choose Little Women. I love this book because it warms my heart. It holds life lessons. It goes hand in hand with Anne of Green Gables. It is a part of my childhood and every Christmas I feel like pulling it out and re-reading and cherishing it a little bit more because of its goodness and intentions. 
  • Also, honorable mention: Up A Road Slowly. I have read it multiple times and I truly believe that this one holds such a special place in my heart because of the time frame of the first reading. It was just the right time for me. Oh how I love it.
  • I'm editing this to add Tex by S.E. Hinton and Dave's Song. Oh, how I wish my book shelf was not packed away. I feel like every decade needs a book to represent it. Sigh.
Huzzah! Ok. I'm going to rethink this five hundred times. So before I do, I'm tacking the top ten movies onto the same post. This one was more difficult to make a list for because I never remember the names of movies, let alone the actors names to look them up by. I always tell someone the gist of the movie and they tell me what the name was. It works quite well. That being said, my obvious main concern was just FORGETTING one of the really important ones out there. One that maybe just didn't come to mind. I'm like that with movies. Therefore, I maintain the right to change and add to this list at any given future time that I might deem necessary. 

  • Swing Kids. It's been one of my favorites since forever. It has swing dancing (did anyone know I did a bunch of swing dancing in high school and college? Every single person I dated I went dancing with MULTIPLE times, except Sterling. He can dance but is more nervous about lifts and things, maybe thats the mark of true love?), it has Christian Bale, it is WWII-but not too sad of a WWII, just a few wrenching cry scenes. I love everything about this movie. Also Newsies. It goes with Swing Kids because they both have Christian Bale and because Newsies has to be on this list because I have had it memorized since I was eight.
  • Jakob the Liar. I cry. I love it. WWII. Selfless acts. I love it.
  • The Notebook. Cliche, I know. But there really is just not a greater love story. 
  • How To Train Your Dragon. I LOVE this movie.
  • The Painted Veil. I'm not sure what the attraction is here. Almost like Gone With the Wind. You hate. You love. You ache. It's perfect.
  • Chocolat. I remember watching this when I was younger and not really enjoying it. Sterling and I watched it a year or so ago and I fell in love with it. So good.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Sterling and I laughed and laughed and laughed. I love it.
  • Call the Midwife. If Kami can put tv series in hers than so can I. I LOVE this show.
  • The Phantom of the Opera. Musicals, really. I know a lot of theater people that have a lot of critiques for this show. Oh and I'll add the new Les Mis to this bullet point. So many critiques. But the drama of them--they are just spectacular.
  • The African Queen. I watched this with my mom and dad and two of my brothers when I was a teenager. The laughs (specifically my dad). The mocking (specifically by my brother Wyatt). The explanations (by my mother). Oh it is a classic and such a good one.
  • Remember the Titans. The era. The clothes. The spirit. Oh the team spirit! I could put Hoosiers here. Or maybe I should have a category for movies I love because of watching them with my brothers. Iron Will would definitely be there.
  • Oh, I get one more bullet point because FIDDLER ON THE ROOF! And Anne of Green Gables! And SOUND OF MUSIC! Iconic childhood favorites that continue to be my favorites over and over and over again. Sigh. This list thing is too restrictive.
  • I'm out of bullets (past, actually). I still haven't put the Bournes, or Pirates ( I LOVE the first Pirates of the Caribbean), Leap Year (one of my favorite romantic comedies), Seabiscuit, The Pursuit of Happyness, Ms Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Finding Neverland (I don't love the affair, but I LOVE the acting out of the imaginative play with the children)-which reminds me-August Rush! Cinderella Man!
  • I keep trying to remember one that Amy recommended to Sterling and I thought I wouldn't like and then we both loved it. It's on this list. Which is no longer a list of ten. I'll stop now.
Okay, now that that's over I can go to sleep and stop laying awake thinking about this business. And if nothing else, I already have a new reading list from Kami's favorites list--and I look forward to more Kayli and Andrea! Love you guys!


Kayli said...

You have several that I've never never read, or that I don't agree with entirely, but the only one I have to call you out on is The Notebook. Seriously? It was lame. Like really really really lame.
I really need to read Little Women. And Anne of Green Gables. And Les Mis. And some others. ;)

Bridget Cunningham said...

I disagree!!!!! The notebook is fantastic:) He is dreamy and loves her so much, every girl needs a good love story once in a while when it's cold outside with a big bowl of popcorn! I also want to read some of the books you mentioned! So thanks for that!

Aleesha Burke said...

I have a bunch of books and a handful of movies to watch now. But like you, I don't remember what I have seen. I am even more terrible at remembering what books I have read.

Andrea said...

Lindsay, our taste on movies is very different but The Notebook????? Seriously????? One of the stupidest movies of all time.

On the other hand, you did give Remember the Titans a nod, so your list was not without redemptive qualities.

As for books--I've read pretty much everything you mentioned (I really need to read Scarlett Pimpernel; I am not much interested in The Name of the Wind). I think it is funny how close we are on some things, but not quite. For example, Persuasion is my second favorite Austen after Pride and Prejudice. The Chosen is my second favorite Potok after My Name is Asher Lev. I would have put Mrs. Mike ahead of A Lantern in Her Hand, but I love both.

Excellent book picks. I didn't disagree with any of them except maybe Up a Road Slowly. I don't know that I think it is good enough for a top ten list.

Anyhoo--thanks for the list!! Fun, fun!!!