7 books I have always recommended, even purchased to get some people to read…
One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
This is a book I have not only suggested to people, I have bought many copies and given them to people for many different reasons. Published in 1982, it’s true this book had a certain amount of gossip and stigma around it. The Wall Street Journal claimed the book was plagiarized and Blanchard denied it. A student continued to claim the ideas were his but after the two authors sold 10,000,000 copies the claim sort of faded away. In truth, it doesn’t matter. This is really worth a read. Short as can be and easy to read, it doesn’t matter if you need to manage your business, teach your employees, manage a non-profit organization board or manage your life and/or your family. There are so many wise tidbits in here.
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper
This book is #5 in a series called “The Leatherstocking Tales” and can really stand alone. The first four books are a little slow but definitely worth a read if you so choose. Although this book is about a young fictional character named Natty Bumpo, the character throughout the series, it is mostly about his time during the French & Indian War, his great friendship with the Mohican Chief, Chingachook and his love for a trapper’s daughter.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R Tolkien
What is often called the “Tolkien Trilogy” is truly a series titled “The Lord of the Rings”. This contains three books…” Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Two Towers”, and “The Return of the King”. This is the birth of the hobbit, Frodo Baggs. A very popular Sci-Fi book written in 1954 which has sold over 150,000,000 copies, yes, that’s 150 million. I have pasted a small abstract below. Believe me you do not have to be a Sci-Fi reader to love this series.
The story begins in the Shire, where the hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring from Bilbo Baggins, his cousin and guardian. Neither hobbit is aware of the Ring's nature, but Gandalf the Grey, a wizard and an old friend of Bilbo, suspects it to be Sauron's Ring. Seventeen years later, after Gandalf confirms his guess, he tells Frodo the history of the Ring and counsels him to take it away from the Shire. Frodo sets out, accompanied by his gardener, servant and friend, Samwise ("Sam") Gamgee, and two cousins, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck and Peregrin "Pippin" Took.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I’m not going to tell you this isn’t a rather dark book. None of Sylvia Plath’s writing is “lite”. In fact, when I became fascinated with her books and her poetry in high school, my mom took all of my Sylvia Plath books and put them away. She told me she thought I needed a break from her writing. While all of this may be true about her writing, the Bell Jar is a classic.
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath. It is written as a novel which is often thought of as being based on Sylvia Plath’s own depression issues and bipolar disorder. In fact, Plath died by suicide a month after its publication in Britain. This is a novel often assigned as reading in high school but as I said it is rather dark. It is a story of college friends and the feelings of one of them, Esther, who can’t seem to make herself feel. She seems to feel as if she is always on the outside looking in. She, as well as her friends go through a very wild time; should she lose her virginity; should she marry; should she have a career. She tries in many ways to lose her virginity and has some disastrous experiences. In other words, this story is about a very confused and searching young woman.
Especially Dogs by Gladys Taber
Gladys Taber was born in 1899 and published 59 books in her lifetime. She was also a columnist for Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle. Her books are becoming collector’s items but are really worth a read. She owned a kennel and had a wonderful garden on a farm named Stillmeadow, which exists on Cape Cod even today though very run down now. She was a wonderful cook and has cookbooks as well as many novels about animals and everyday life. Her books are calming and enjoyable; they make you feel like spring even if they aren’t written about that season. She was divorced much of her life and was a very strong woman. Here is a bit of her quite contemporary humor even in 1950. “Economics is too complex for me. But I have instincts about supply and demand which I believe in. And I shall always feel a carrot next door is better than a carrot from Ames, Iowa, all things being equal.”
Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Anne Frank wrote this diary while she and her family were in hiding for two years in a little room behind a closet. This was during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Her family was discovered in 1944 and they were sent to the concentration camps. Anne died of typhus in the camp a year later. The diary was retrieved and given to her father, the family's only known survivor. The diary has been published in more than 60 languages. This is not a story of constant horrid happenings. It’s the story of a young girl, unable to make any noise, unable to play loud or to sing and so she wrote her thoughts. A book I think everyone should read, no matter what age.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
I’m not sure I can give a good explanation of or about Atlas Shrugged. It is a big book; very deep and yet one I could not put down at the time. I’ve spent all of my years since I read it suggesting people read “Fountainhead” (her first book) and this one, “Atlas Shrugged”. I’ve never had one person say they didn’t like either one. It sure takes some getting into but they are both novels with fascinating characters all with different types of moral values. It was one of those “sit around the table and debate” type of books back in the days it was published (1957)…well I wasn’t sitting up arguing by then but you get my drift. Ayn Rand was born in 1905. She was a screen-writer, an author, and philosopher, and is known to this day for her development of a philosophical system called objectivism. Think about this…a female born in 1905, graduating from Petrograd in 1924 and known for a philosophical system. To this day there are Atlas society’s as well as Objectivism groups. This is a book to read.