10 books

Reads That Changed My Game

(in order read)

  1. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  2. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  3. A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  4. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  5. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  6. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  7. Family Happiness and other Tales by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
  9. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
  10. (tie) Sophia House and Island of the World both by Michael O'Brien
Be patient! I will give a brief synopsis of why each profoundly opened my thinking. Meanwhile, agree or disagree?


  1. So, if you were to choose 2 of these to read in a book club, which would you choose? :)

  2. You know, I have never had the distinction of being in a book club! Always wanted to, but the opportunity was never there, so I can't speak as if I know how these operate.

    If it is a group that really enjoys challenging classics, I would love to do either Tess or Dorian Gray. Both have so much discussion worthy material concerning society, attitudes towards culture, personal quests for happiness and fulfillment. Both utterly and completely tragic, but relatively easy, page turner material.

    If it is a group that is ambitious and thoughtful, able to consume lots of pages, I would absolutely love to do Kristin. I have spent countless hours talking through Kristin's saga with like minded friends, and it is so epicly rich in character and plot, and especially internal examination, that there really never could be an end to discussion.

    If it is a group looking to read a more current work with a specifically Catholic oriented world view, it would be phenomenal to read Island of the World (although it is also incredibly lengthy.) This book is so heart poundingly emotionally challenging that it is really best read with someone so that the reader has an outlet for impassioned reaction. When I read this, I had to force it on unwilling others because I NEEDED to discuss it.

    Good luck!

  3. So, I'm waiting for more Reb-liciousness to hit the net, and in the meantime, I'll answer this. I've read "Till We Have Faces" and "dorian Grey" (grEy?)
    While I appreciate C.S. Lewis' novel for being the more obviously Christian of the two, I can't help but feel that Wilde's is more accessible for our times. Maybe that's part of the price he pays? Future generations are always saying, "Oh, but I understand his motifs so well"?

  4. I loved "Till we all have Faces." It might be my favorite book. I read "Kristin Lavransdatter" last summer while on bed rest and pregnant. I feel like I have to read it again. So much emotion and so much to her character. Would definitely be interested in that one for a book club.

  5. Kristin Lavransdatter was a game changer for me too. Her character flaws and strengths connected me to her deeply and produced an emotional response in me of hope and trust in God.

  6. _Tess of the Urbervilles_ for me as well! ....I made it about 70% through _Kristin Lavransdatter_, but faltered when her relationship with her grown sons proved negative-- it was just so sad and disappointing!! But until then, I'd been absorbed in her journey.... I'll have to return to this book someday.


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