10 books that stayed with me, or “I can’t resist a list”

It’s true, I love making lists. I have loads of memos on my phone of movies to see, books to read, musicians to check out. On my computer I use Stickies to keep track of places to send stories, sites to check out when it’s time to promote my novel, and then I have the list below.

Originating apparently in a Facebook meme, the idea is to make a list of ten books that stuck with you after you finished reading them. (Of course, don’t think too long about it while you’re making the list; if you have to think about it too hard, maybe they didn’t stay with you, really.) I read about it on Greg Herren’s blog, and it got me thinking about what might be on my list.

I especially like the bit where he says, “I also decided, when making this list of ten, to not give two fucks what anyone might think of my choices.” (Not that Greg ever gives two fucks what anyone might think, which is part of his charm.) I could have trotted out a bunch of books that would make me look well-read and that I also love—things like Mrs. Dalloway and Jane Austen and James Joyce. (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man did stay with me a long time, because when I first read it I absolutely loathed it. When I re-read it at age 30, I had a very different reaction.)

But, here’s the list that came to mind:

1. The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
2. Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin
3. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Sight Hound, by Pam Houston
5. Dune, by Frank Herbert
6. When You Don’t See Me, by Timothy James Beck
7. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
8. The Brief History of the Dead, by Kevin Brockmier
9. The Swimming-Pool Library, by Alan Hollinghurst
10. Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones
(Bonus) 11. The Wounded Sky, by Diane Duane

So, what would be on your list?