A list by Janice Badger Nelson
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Janice Badger Nelson
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Crossing to Safety
Wallace Stegner
This is my favorite book of all time. I know you chose Angle of Repose, but Wallace Stegner wrote this towards the end of his life and it is truly autobiographical. A wonderful read. Like a warm cup of tea on a cold winter day.
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Watership Down
Richard Adams
I loved it and it is also my daughter’s favorite book.
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
John Berendt
Loved the book and the movie.
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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Judy Blume
Narrated by Margaret Simon, an almost twelve-year-old who moves from New York City to the Jersey suburbs, Blume’s novel for young readers engages, with directness and a strong dose of appropriate preteen bewilderment, themes seldom treated so familiarly at the time. Top of the list is the perplexity...show more
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Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd
As the pages are turned and the simplest of poems unfolds in casually rhymed lines, pictures of the cow jumping over the moon and of the three little bears are given their due, as are kittens and mittens and toyhouse and mouse, and the quiet old lady in the rocking chair whispering “hush.” The conte...show more
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The Story of Babar
Jean de Brunhoff
Some denizens of children’s literature are so entrenched in our collective imagination, and Babar the elephant is certainly one, that they seem natural formations in the landscape of our fancy—timeless, enduring presences the world has always known. Not so, of course; even Babar was invented, making...show more
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A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson
Waddling slothfully through middle age, popular travel writer Bill Bryson decided one day that he could do with a walk in the woods—a lengthy walk, in fact: 2,100 rugged miles along the celebrated Appalachian Trail (AT), the longest continuous footpath in the world. Did Bryson dare? Well, not only d...show more
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The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck
Published in 1931, while Modernism was turning fiction artfully on its ear, Buck’s simple, plot-driven tale of the shifting fortunes of Chinese peasants Wang Lung and O-Lan was innovative in its own way, marking the introduction of Asian characters into mainstream Western literature. In its pages, r...show more
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A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess
Alex, the frightening narrator of this brutal and brilliant novel, is an amoral, Beethoven-loving gang leader in a near-future dystopian Britain. Whether adolescent girls or a schoolteacher returning from the library, the gang’s victims are treated with an exuberantly vicious disregard: They might ...show more
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A Little Princess
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Like most heroes whose trials and triumphs readers have loved to assume as their own through the power of fanciful identification, Sara Crewe possesses a poise that never deserts her, no matter what misfortunes are thrown her way. And make no mistake: A Little Princess is an adventure story as fille...show more
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The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
The story begins in India, with sickly, plain, moody Mary Lennox. Unloved by her pretty mother, Mary has been raised by servants who’ve done nothing but indulge the child in order to appease her petulance. Orphaned by cholera, she is shipped off to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, a...show more
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The Plague
Albert Camus
Welcome to the epidemic city: a place where rumors run wild, government can’t coordinate relief, religious authorities rave ineffectually, and no one knows what today, much less tomorrow, holds in store. At first the citizens of Oran panic and revolt, but before long, as if numbed by the summer sun,...show more
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The First Man
Albert Camus
Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957, when he was not yet forty-four; three years later, he was killed in an automobile accident. The First Man is the autobiographical novel in progress whose handwritten manuscript was discovered in the wreckage of the fatal crash; it would remain...show more
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In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
Great book but kept me awake for weeks.
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Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
Eric Carle
Any child born into a reading family after 1969 is no doubt familiar with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as well as several others by the artist who turned an eye for collage-based compositions into a new kind of picture book. Parents of those children, however, have a particularly warm s...show more
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Lewis Carroll
More than the sum of its parts, Lewis Carroll’s Alice oeuvre has taken root in our collective imagination like few other literary creations. Despite—or perhaps because of—its nonsensical pedigree, it has proved to be an addictive pleasure for analysts seduced by its dense mix of childish frivolities...show more
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Silent Spring
Rachel Carson
More than four decades before Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring issued a chilling—and groundbreaking—warning about humanity’s careless contamination of our planet. Researched and written over four years, it examines the interdependence of speci...show more
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Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Roz Chast
I love her.
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Earthly Paradise
Colette, edited by Robert Phelps
One of France’s greatest modern writers, Colette was larger than both life and literature. Any page of Colette is a vivid translation of experience into a generous language of perception and embrace. The personal quality that animates her writing crosses genres with abandon to give the wide variety ...show more
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The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
In the pages of this classic adventure tale you’ll meet one of the greatest heroes in American literature, Nathaniel Bumppo, a rugged scout and woodsman who goes by any number of nicknames, among them Natty, Leatherstocking, Pathfinder, Deerslayer, and Hawkeye. The Last of the Mohicans is the second...show more
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