A graphic showed up that listed the top 10 books of all times. This was not limited to just the North America audience, and I have no clue as to it’s veracity, but the list included books of the world.
Amazingly, it appears 7 of the 10 are definitely English language books.
Can you pick out the 3 that I think were originally penned in another language?
The only 3 books I have read are The Holy Bible, DaVinci Code, and Diary of Anne Frank, but I am aware of all the other books. Half of them are fiction, and two of them are rather recent and seem to be absorbed by the younger reading group among us. It’s a given that the Bible would be my personal top read book in this list – but of the other two, one is a novel and the other is a journal.
Books shapes the world we surround ourselves with. When I was young it was the detectives, Joe and Frank Hardy, that gave me my framework for solving mysteries, searching for answers, and never being satisfied until the work is done. There were several by-products that I learned from these books.
- Maturity and actions go hand-in-glove. Joe and Frank both had many adventures, but I seldom find them challenged by wrong actions, only getting in deeper than they should be without a backup plan.
- Life lived with adventure often means getting out of your comfort zone. Not everything we do is routine, but searching for adventure means our boundaries might be trampled.
- Always question, and never assume that the facts in front of you are true statements. This has been part of my modus operandi. I do not ask in public, nor do I live with my questions on my sleeves, rather I question like the sleuths the Hardy Boys were.
This has been part of my personal identity. The key word is personal. This is part of what books do for me. They give me a sense of wonderment and question. Through the years my favorite authors have been those that investigated the past, but wrote with a sense of story telling.
Though I have not read every single book of James Michener, I have read all the books revolving around times, countries and events that he penned. There are three favorites that I find myself turning to when I want to think about the past. I’ve probably read each of these tomes 5-6 times each.
- The Source – Michener published his work in 1965 and tells the story of the land of Israel from the perspective of an archaeological dig called Makor which means source. From the present day dig, and with each level broached, he tells the history of the land as seen from the contents and evidence found at the level.
- The Covenant – Here, Michener documents to colonization of South Africa and paints the continent with broad strokes of landscape and inhabitants. He tracks the generations of indigenous people, and the colonizing Dutch and English as they seek their fame and fortune. Michener covered the lands up through the mid-70’s and I wonder how he would conclude the past generation of life from a continent I have never visited.
- Space – Once again, Michener shows the masterful way of telling a story, not of a place, but rather of a race. The race to space. He covers the major events with fictional and verifiable players of the events as they closed out WWII, and entered the modern space age.
At varying stages of life I turn to books that I need for the moment, and those that will make major life changes. For example, I just finished reading a novel series just for the “fun of it” and I am re-reading a book that speaks volumes to my present day world that seeks for order and time management (Gord0n McDonald, “Ordering Your Private World”).
I have read and written recommendations for several books lately and will share that with you at another time. But there are some good books out there written by friends and family members that I truly enjoy.
As the electronic age changes the way we live, it has also changed the way I access books. I seldom hit a book store anymore. Instead, I am searching online for new books to read. This leads me to more options, and my digital collection outpaces my physical collection by hundreds, if not thousands, of books. Also, my Bible software programs give me the ability to search books for themes and answers. This means I can get answers much faster than before!
One last thought about books and reading. I am a skimmer. Perhaps this is why I can re-read books with enjoyment. What I did not get the previous reads make the story seem new all over again!
There is something to be said for re-reading books….
What are you reading today?