a humble book list

A tweet catches my eye as I scroll through my phone while tapping my foot against the tough old linoleum. I’m beginning my new job the next day, the job I never dared dream I might have, and my stomach is lined with butterflies beating their soft wings. So as I look through Twitter, hoping for a distraction, hoping that someone will tell a funny story about falling into a puddle or tweet something sarcastic and fabulous about Girls, I see that Sarah Bessey is writing about 10 books every day for a week. What would I include in a list of 10? I used to play this game with my friends – what books would you bring with you if you suddenly went mute and people could only understand your heart through these books? What would you give them? What books would you bring to a desert island? What books would you travel with, even if you had no money, and no way to get home.

And there it is: the inspiration for my 10.

What books make home for you, even if you aren’t home? 

Here is my list, humble and small – if you like, share yours too?

1. The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony (Roberto Calasso)

2. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

3. In the Time of the Butterflies (Julia Alvarez)

4. Letters to a Young Poet (Rainer Maria Rilke)

5. Sense & Sensibility (Jane Austen)

6. The Living Fire (Edward Hirsch)

7. Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)

8. The Complete Short Stories (Flannery O’Connor)

9. Watership Down (Richard Adams)

10. Til We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)

May books ever bring us home, make homes within us.




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