Top Ten Books (Part 1)

Here is my list of top ten books, and this doesn’t have much to do with Korea, but I really find a chronological book list intriguing. What I am going for is not to try to determine what are the best ten books in the world, but ten books that struck me so significantly at the time that I can still remember the moment I sat down and started turning the pages. This list is in roughly chronological order and shows different stages of thinking in my life. Here are ten that I still retain the flashbulb memories for. And most of the pictures are exactly the same covers or images that I actually had.

1. Bob Books:

(5 years old) When I was about five years old, my Mom was teaching me to read and I had to struggle through all the memorization of sound and phonics. But then I encountered a real story. And my Dad offered to pay me for each book that I could read. I was engrossed in literature for the first time. “Sam had a cat.” The possibilities were endless.

2. Peace Child: By Don Richardson

(10 years old) At some point, my Mom started reading to my younger brother Derek and I in the evening, and this became a favorite custom for us and we would always beg for another chapter. The most vivid imagery I can remember is this missionary story that took place in the Jungles of Papau New Guinea. I was transported into a world where treachery, (especially that culminated in cannibalism), rather than virtues, was valued as the highest moral. After Don, this missionary, went through the laborious task of translating a gospel into their language, the tribal men thought that Judas Iscariot was a hero at first, until eventually Don made inroads by discovered there was a parallel deep in their rather frightening culture that was fulfilled by the message that Don was sharing.

3. Worldbook Encyclopedia 1986

(10-15 years old) Before the era of Wikipedia, I discovered this set of encyclopedias on the shelf and constantly used it to explore facts and understand the world. I think I looked up the information for almost every U.S. state and Canadian province at some point. These precise charts would give me the population across time, the biggest cities in any province. I have never gotten sick of a really good page of statistics or charts. Now those big books go completely unused, but can you imagine how many shelves Wikipedia would stretch across if you just put all the English documents into page format?

4. The Hobbit: By J.R.R. Tolkein

(17 years old) This was also one of the books my Mom read to me, but I read it again in 17 and realized a couple of things. Firstly, it showed me that rereading good books is worthwhile even though I always want to read new stuff. Secondly, I read it just before the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, and then I continued reading through each Lord of the Rings book each Christmas when the movie came out. I realized that I had been insane and stubborn as a child not to like Lord of the Rings when I first read it. I was trying to be unique and a critical thinker, but I’m glad I gave it another chance. And it’s upcoming movie’s title also contributed to the name of this blog.

5. Introduction to Psychology: By David Myers

(19 years old) It was this fat textbook that I was supposed to lend to my older brother from someone else or something. Then, I opened it one day to the Unit on Memory and was quite transfixed. I think some of the areas it touched on were how the average person can remember only 7 random numbers in a row. So if you read 473891329, and then look away how many numbers can you remember? And I think it talked about idiot savants, and mnemonics, and flashbulb memories, false memories (which you have to admit is pretty fascinating). It is probably one of the most well-written university textbooks I have ever seen, and was a step towards majoring in psychology although I submit that I’m not really into psychology these days.

Five more to come…

So If you liked these/didn’t like them so far, then let me know why and write your own examples too.


About mwitster

Blogged about teaching English and language learning in Korean and the Middle East. Now, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, hope to post some new info and possibly reflections from private practice.
This entry was posted in Books, Teaching English, University and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Top Ten Books (Part 1)

  1. Mark Witten says:

    Ah, Bob Books. I owe my literacy to them.

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