Now, just to be clear: this is not a top 10 list of books about the end of the world. This list started because we watched the movie 2012 last night, and in the movie, the world as we know it is ending. One of the people in the movie brought books with him, and he made a comment that stuck with me. I’m not going to get it exactly right, but the gist was this: “Maybe 500 people read this book, but because I brought it with me, it’s going to be part of human history going forward.” So, if the apocalypse came, as so many people think it’s going to in one form or another, it occurred to me to wonder… what books would I choose?
Going into this list, I chose books for both my entertainment and things that I think should endure. Not classics. Sorry, but anyone who’s read my blog over the past months knows that I don’t care about classics so much as I do being entertained and made to feel. Besides, I’m sure there would be people out there who’d save Great Expectations and Huck Finn.
So, if I could only have 10 books after the world ended, they’d be:
1. Polyanna by Eleanor H. Porter: I love this book, but it’s included in this list because I think it’s important for all of us to remember; no matter how dark things are, we always have something to be “glad” for. This is a kids’ book, but I think every adult should read it at least once a year, for the reminder…
2. The Host by Stephenie Meyer: First off, this book is just good entertainment, but it’s also got great characters who band together when their world has ended. Plus, there’s romance, family, intrigue, suspense… It’s a book I can re-read a million times.
3. Watership Down by Richard Adams: A band of rabbits sets off from their doomed home to find a new home. There seems to be a theme with my books, doesn’t there?
4. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: Now, I’m not normally a Nicholas Sparks fan, but I do really like some of his books. You know someone is going to die, so that kind of sets the book up as gloomy from jump. However, this one is all about how love survives no matter what, and I’m a girl. I need to cry sometimes, and this book will do it.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: It’s not just a love story, but a book that reminds us to look past our own assumptions, because people are never quite what they appear.
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I love Jane as a heroine, and I love how she and Mr. Rochester find one another. It’s also got insanity, mystery, romance, set in the Victorian era… How can you go wrong?
7. Postsecrets by Frank Warren: To remind me that though we’re all different, at the core of it, we’re all the same.
8. The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm: Though the real fairy tales didn’t have happy endings, I think fairy tales are important, and a better reminder of our history than history books.
9. The Donovan Legacy by Nora Roberts: Suprised it took me this long to put down a Nora Roberts book? This is three books in one (I don’t care if that’s cheating!) and about family, love, and magic, things that survive no matter what.
10. Watchers by Dean Koontz: To paraphrase a line in the book- We’re all one another’s guardians, and we watch over one another. To me, that’s the epitome of humanity, and if life as we know it ends, I’d want to be reminded of that.
I discussed the list I was blogging about with a friend of mine, and he took a completely different tactic. He wanted a gardening book, a math book, a history book, a philosophy book, the DSM-IV-TR (it’s basically the book with all the mental health diagnoses listed), and a few novels. It’s interesting that I went entertainment, and he went practical. It just makes me think about how practical and and interested in reality I’m not.
I’m always interested in what other people think. If you only had room for 10 books, which would you pack?