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Books that stick with you

December 14, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

In the last couple of weeks, people on Facebook have been tagging people to see what 10 books have stayed with them; not necessarily great books or best sellers, just ones that have touched them. As I think back to the number of books I've read since age 4, it's hard to think of 10. I tend to gravitate toward women's fiction, romance, "fluffy" stuff, biographies and young adult fiction. In reading other friends' lists, I keep thinking my choices wouldn't stack up. Thankfully, being part of a book club for the last eight years has introduced me to books I wouldn't normally pick up and read. And some of the books that have "stuck" with me stem from book club selections.

So here's my list:

"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. This was chosen by my book club several years ago. I was captivated from the first few pages. It was one of the first books that I experienced the "I can't put this book down" feeling. I blazed through that novel in a day and a half.

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. At first it was a little tough reading, but this book just grew on me. It was definitely another one of those "I can't put it down" type of books.

"The Cheerleader" by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I read this book years ago. It was one I had gotten from the Goodwill, and it happened to be the copy printed in the '70s. The reason this stuck with me was that I discovered the back cover of that book while cleaning one day. So I decided to find the book again and reread it. And then I noticed there was a sequel and a third book in the series coming soon. So far, five books have been written about the characters I was introduced to in "The Cheerleader."

"Those Who Save Us" by Jenna Blum. I was actually reading this book while on the way to a heart conference; it helped pass the time on the plane. It was chosen by my book club, and it was one of those World War II related novels we tend to select. But it has an interesting premise, and part of it takes place in Minnesota.

Speaking of WWII, "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana De Rosnay also hits the list. This was a book I found at the library's ongoing book sale and suggested it to book club. And I'm glad I did. I won't go into detail, but it's a powerful story.

"Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" by Judy Blume. It's just one of those books I had to read back when I was in my teens. And as a girl, it was completely relatable, except for the religion issue.

"Don't Care High" by Gordon Korman. This was a book I picked up many years ago at one of those "Reading is Fundamental" things in my high school library. It's about a boy from Canada who transfers to Don Carey High School, aka, Don't Care High. It's just a hilarious read.

"One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus. Even though it's a fictional account of a "Brides for Indians" program back in the 1870s, it was a fascinating book, which I one day need to reread.

OKtwo moreguess I need to read more of those "stick with you" type of books.

A recent one that grabbed me was "I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" by Nujood Ali, along with Delphine Minoui. It's about a girl from Yemen who's forced by her father to marry a man three times her age. She suffers physical and emotional abuse from the man, and one day, she flees and heads to the courthouse announcing "I want a divorce." It's a short book, not quite 180 pages, but it's a compelling story.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. I'm not really into science and didn't know the story about HeLa cells, but this was a great book. Granted I glossed over the scientific stuff and focused more on the human aspect of Henrietta and her family, this is definitely a book worth noting.

I just finished reading Melissa Gilbert's "Prairie Tale" - Half-Pint was definitely not all sweetness and grace. I also borrowed the e-book of "I Am Malala" from the library. It's one I've wanted to read for a while, and I'm glad that the library has recently added to its e-book offerings!



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