The first book I remember falling in love with was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. My second grade teacher, having discovered my ravenous appetite for literature, suggested I read the C.S. Lewis classic. I loved the intrigue, the mystery and the adventure of this novel, and I think my love for good books was ignited the moment I began that book.
Well, I've read a lot of classics and not-so-classics since then. For me to list every one that impacted me greatly, I wouldn't have enough space in my blog. I've forced myself to narrow my list down to books I've read in the last ten years. I didn't have enough space to list Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Richard Wright's Manchild In the Promised Land, Margaret Walker's Jubilee or Alice Walker's The Color Purple that I read at least two decades ago. And I haven't included the countless nonfiction books that have strengthened my walk with Christ over the years. I will restrain myself to a short list of works of fiction that have enchanted, inspired and challenged me.
In the near future, I will be starting a Facebook book club. Please join us if you feel moved. The more the merrier! We'll read fiction and nonfiction alike. Some books will be Christian, but many will be mainstream. All will be spiritually, mentally and emotionally stimulating. I promise you, this won't be your regular Harlequin romance kind of book club!
So on to the novels that have made a difference to me...
This moving story traces four generations of women from U.S. slavery to early twentieth century. This work of historical fiction contains a treasure of true facts from the family tree of author Lalita Tademy. A former vice president of a Fortune 500 high-tech company in Silicon Valley, Tademy took a two-year sabbatical from her job to research her genealogy. Her research and this book inspired me to begin the journey into my own family's colorful (pun intended) and complex ancestry. I am still on that journey today and hope to create a work similar to Cane River some day.