Below are the books that I read between ages 12 and 18 that were really life changing and which remain some of my all time favorite books.
- Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. My aunt handed this book to me when I was 16 and said "You need to read this." And she was right. It's a fantastic coming of age novel about a girl who wanted to be an actress living in New York City during the 1930's. I would say that this was my favorite book ever... until I discovered Harry Potter.
- Exodus by Leon Uris. An epic novel that really moved me... I was inspired to go to Israel because of this book.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. What is there to say about this book that hasn't already been said? I love it, and re-read it probably about once a year. It's perfect every time. I don't remember when I read it the first time, but I'm pretty sure it was in high school.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Like Pride and Prejudice, there's very little new and original to say about this book. But I loved it. And I loved Jo. And I never understood why Jo didn't marry Laurie. I went on to read every Louisa May Alcott book I could find, but this one is still my favorite of hers.
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I love this book. And I love the movie. But they are very different animals. The book is really a brilliant and immensely creative satire and it never fails to make me laugh. Even if you have the movie memorized, give the book a try.
- The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. A long and intense biography of Michelangelo that inspired me to take classes in Italian Renaissance Art and to go to Italy to see the sculptures for myself.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This one I discovered by accident. I was in Israel, and desperate for a book to read. I went to a local bookstore and this was the only book I could find in English. I devoured it immediately and after I came home, I read all of Douglas Adams' other books... but I like this one the best.
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. When I was in eighth grade, I had an English teacher that loved Tolkien and assigned the trilogy for class. I really got into these books, and also read The Hobbit and attempted to read The Silmarillion. (Has anyone finished The Silmarillion?)
I'm tagging Cheryl Rainfeld for this meme because she loves YA books and she loves talking about her favorite books.