1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I will never forget the year I read this book. I was a junior in high school - wait? Maybe it was sophomore year. Whatever, it was in Ms. Schwartz' class that I know for sure. Even though the book is set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s and even though the Nolan's are Irish-American - I identified with Francie Nolan and her family in a way that I never connected with a character before.
2. Kindred by Octavia Butler. It was the first book I read in college. I read it in less than 2 days. Anyone I have recommended this book to, has come back and told me it was one of the best books they've ever read.
3. When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. This book, this woman - changed my life. I wrote a whole blog post about Esmeralda Santiago being my Latina Literary Idol. "...never had I read about a girl like me; with black hair and brown skin and brown eyes with a name too difficult to pronounce. For me, the name Esmeralda Santiago rolled off my tongue easily. And even though I didn’t speak Spanish, I understood every word that was sprinkled throughout. It was the first time a book had spoken to me, the first time I could truly identify with a narrator and I could so effortlessly hear the sound of her voice." You can read the rest here.
|Me with my Latina Literary Idol|
5. A Garden of Earthly Delights by Joyce Carol Oates. I love anything Joyce Carol Oates writes. Period.
Here are a list of my favorites by category -
6. Play: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Nothing moves me, the way Tennessee Williams moves me. And Blanche DuBois is probably in my Top 10 of favorite literary characters.
7. Pulitzer Prize winning book. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I've read everything Junot Diaz has ever written. I went to a reading at the 92nd Street Y and he was fantastic, such an inspiration to me. So down to earth, witty, charming. I waited on line so that he could sign my book - I told him I was a writer too. We were even FB friends for a while. And then I deleted that account. When I tried to friend him again, he didn't accept my request. :( Junot - if you're reading this. Friend me, K?!
8. Guilty pleasure that I'm embarrassed to read in public: The Twilight Series. Please don't judge me. I'm so embarrassed, I'm not even going to include a link. (I would say the Hunger Game Series but I'm still working my way through the second book. But Katniss totally kicks ass - I not at all embarrassed by her.)
9. Children's Book: Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I read this book as a child and enjoyed it. But I remember reading this book in the 8th month of my pregnancy. I was setting up The Boy's room, arranging his books, folding his clothes. And I sat in the rocker and read this book out loud. I cried because I had so many dreams and I couldn't wait to hold and smell and kiss my baby boy. After the autism diagnosis, this book took on a whole new meaning. I make it a point to read this book to The Boy at least once a month. I want to drill the message into his head.
10. Autism Book: Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm. It was one of the first books I read on autism after The Boy was diagnosed and it really gave me a different perspective. I think it's a book everyone should read.
So there it is. My Top 10 Favorite books. What are your favorites? And be sure to click on the pic below and see what everyone else loves.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.