Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

My Favorite Books

Posted April 12, 2007

Before you accuse me of plagiarism I'd like to credit News & Observer Book Review Editor J. Peder Zane for this blog idea: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME?

Peder has edited a very popular book titled The Top Ten. 125 authors including Stephen King, Tom Wolfe and other heavyweights shared with Peder their favorite books.

Persistence paid off for Peder. He didn’t give up after some of the top authors refused to respond to his survey. He used a little psychology informing the novelists that many of their prominent colleagues had already responded and they shouldn’t be left out.

Okay. Just for the fun of it I have crafted by top ten list of books including those I loved as a child. Please share your favorites.

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
3. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
4. Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner
5. Just a Country Lawyer by Paul Clancy
6. The Kingdom Within by John Sanford
7. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
8. Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
9. The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen
10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • katzenkinde Apr 15, 2007

    As a children's librarian, my natural focus is on children's lit. My favorites include: the Harry Potter series, The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, The Edge Chronicles (a series) by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddle, The BFG by Roald Dahl. As for adult lit, I lean toward mysteries with my favorite being Elizabeth George, especially In the Presence of the Enemy.
    I find it interesting that some of us gravitate toward the modern authors while others still find the "classics" to be the best.

  • hspnc Apr 13, 2007

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mitford series of books by Jan Karon.

  • mjkmj Apr 13, 2007

    Bill, why don't you do a WRAL Book Club Message Board?
    You could break it down by the genre of books...mysteries, science fiction, romance, Auto/Biographies, non-fiction, teen, etc.

  • cberry Apr 13, 2007

    Bill I always enjoy the topics for your blog. I to love to read and it all started when I was younger. I still enjoy reading childrens books. One of my favorites is The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by AVI.

    It is important to keep up with the authors of childrens books, because it allows us as adults to discuss literature with our children and grandchildren. My son's third grade teacher introduced him to reading with The Lions Paw. It is a wonderful adventure. Read children's books for the simple pleasure and relaxation.

  • littlegramma Apr 13, 2007

    While agree with so many of your favorite picks, both for children and adults, I'd like to add a few of my own to the list. For kids, the Frog and Toad series was fun, the sports stories for "tween" boys by Matt Christopher (inspired one son to begin writing and and he hasn't stopped in 16 years!, his college major is English) For adults anything by Len Deighton and Clive Cussler are good, clean, exciting books. I've especially liked the spy series by Deighton, starting with Winter, thru Spy Sinker; and the Dirk Pitts series by Cussler.
    Good Reading to all!

  • mony8997 Apr 13, 2007

    fishnett--I tottally agree. Even though I was a girl I used to dream about living in a tree of my own. I think you can still find it in print. At least you could a few years ago. Every so often I'll go into the children's book section of B&N and reminisce and I remember seeing it.

  • cdye Apr 13, 2007

    1. To Kill a Mockingbird, 2. Catcher in the Rye, 3. Walking Across Egypt, 4. The Gunslinger (and associated sequels), 5. My Side of the Mountain, 4. The Foundation, 5. The Lord of the Rings, 6. 1984, 7. All Creatures Great and Small (and associated others) 8. Farenheit 451, 9. Hamlet (do plays count?) 10. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  • kitelover110 Apr 13, 2007

    The Hardy Boys series got me started on mystery stories at an early age and have not been able to get out of that mode. Now have around 3,000 books in the house - Stephen King, Jonathan & Faye Kellerman, Stuart Woods, Stephen White, - you name it in the mystery series and I probably have it. Needless to say I had much rather read than watch TV.

  • nbranch Apr 13, 2007

    Reading gives me so much pleasure also. Here are my favorites:
    Ethan Frome(Edith Wharton)
    Oh! Pioneers (Willa Cather)
    My Antonia (Willa Cather)
    Giants in the Earth (Ole Rolvaag)
    The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
    East of Eden (John Steinbeck) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) The Country of the Pointed Firs (Sarah Orne Jewitt) The Story of My Life (Helen Keller) Pentimento (Lillian Hellman) Children's books are Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain) The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings) Miss Hickory (Carolyn Sherwin Bailey) Charlotte's Web (E. B. White)

  • Celt Apr 13, 2007

    Absolutely! O'Henry was a staple, and I still love his works!




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie