books postThis week, in one of those group projects on social media, I was asked to name ten books that have stayed with me in some way. The rule was not to overthink them, but just to name what comes to mind, dive into your brain and emerge with titles that speak to you. Makes sense, except that I think about my top 10 books all the time and rearrange them mentally on a routine basis. Nerdy enough, I have typed lists of books that I’ve read, many with my own plot summaries and ratings, saved according to the year in which I’ve read them.

Below is the beginning of my top 12 books (ten is too few) with a quick comment on why I chose them. They’re in no particular order, even though they start with my favorite. There are no spoilers here, so read on. I begin with:

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman. This book is laugh-out-loud funny. Still my favorite book of all time.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. An amazing look at life and personalities. This book gave me a better understanding of people, and gave me appreciation.

By Paulo Coelho, two books, The Alchemist and The Devil and Miss Prym. The Alchemist for its journey. I love a good journey. And The Devil and Miss Prym for Coelho’s offhand way of discussing Biblical creatures and humans in the same sentence as if it’s natural, and it probably is.

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. I was reading A Movable Feast by Hemingway, and Hem mentioned that Out of Africa was the best book on Africa that he’d ever read. I had to check it out. I was not disappointed.

That’s five. Tomorrow, the next seven.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at