I've decided to do the A to Z Blogger Challenge this year and I'm recommending five books all from the same alphabetical genre each day. So today, L is for Literature. Reading contemporary stories that address the issues of the day can be both entertaining and insightful, but there is still something to be said for the timeless classics. When coming up with today's list I ended up simply listing my five favorite books when I was in high school, surely any book I loved more than a decade ago has to be a classic by now, right. So here are my five literary picks.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - This is my mom's all time favorite book, so it was a bit of a right of passage for me when she decided I was old enough to handle the story myself. The lives of Scout and Jem entered into my psyche so early that I honestly can't think of a single book that has touched me more strongly than To Kill a Mockingbird. When I was in elementary school, I referred to the house on our street that had a shut-in resident as Boo Radley's house. The lessons of tolerance and justice presented in this story are so significant and timeless that I hope one day I'll be able to pass the love of this masterpiece onto my own children.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - This is another one of my childhood favorites. It's been more than a decade since I last read it, but I still remember my favorite lines. That says a lot about the power of Twain's words. Huck is such a great character and despite all the changes that have occurred in the world since he was first penned, there are still things we can learn from him.
The Chosen by Chaim Potok - I enjoy reading books about people from other cultures, and as a result, Chaim Potok has always been one of my favorite authors. This story about a Hasidic teenager is drastically different from anything I have ever experienced, but it's still one of my favorite books.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - When I was sixteen, this was my favorite book. Actually all five of the books I'm listing today were easily in my top ten list of favorites when I was in high school. I've read other John Irving books in more recent years, but I haven't reread Owen Meany. I honestly don't know how much I would like it if I read it for the first time today, but I still remember feeling a strong connection to these characters as a teenager. And I figure any book that can tug on a readers emotions fifteen years after the book is set down can only be called great literature.
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - I like Shakespeare enough to own three copies of his complete works. I haven't read any of them cover to cover. I think I've probably read somewhere between half and two-thirds of Shakespeare's plays. While I don't think it would be possible to pick a favorite, I've always enjoyed A Midsummer Night's Dream. So I've decided to include it as the final entry on my literary list.
What about you? What is your favorite literary masterpiece?