Submitted by Eleanor Stout Courtney, Beaver Resident

Avid readers like to share their favorites with other book lovers. In 2017 the Book and Play Club of Beaver celebrated its 90th year. I turned 90 that same year. As a long-time member of the club, to celebrate our 90th birthdays, I compiled a list of my 51 favorite books, a list we shared and discussed.

During their old age, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “I cannot live without books.” In my old age I agree.

Readers pick favorite books for various reasons. I am most smitten by a talent for captivating the beauty of the English language. Favorite authors such as Pat Conroy and John Updike come to mind, chosen for their unique use of our language. I have read all of their books with fascination of their writing talent. Others chose books because the subject is thought-provoking. We all have favorite themes. In a contest conducted on TV last year, America picked its favorite novel. It was To Kill a Mocking Bird. Through Letters to the Editor perhaps we could determine the favorite books of Beaver residents.

Some books should be tasted, others swallowed and a few digested as a part of your memory of significant books in your life. Here is my list in alphabetical order. To conserve space, I have eliminated the authors’ names.

  1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  2. The American Spirit: Who We Are
  3. Anne of Green Gables + series
  4. Angela’s Ashes
  5. Art of the Deal
  6. Bell Jar
  7. Beloved
  8. Black Beauty
  9. Catcher in the Rye
  10. Charlotte’s Web
  11. Cider House Rules
  12. Color of Water
  13. Confessions of Nat Turner
  14. Diary of a Young Girl
  15. East of Eden
  16. Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait
  17. From the Terrace
  18. Gift of the Magi
  19. The Giving Tree
  20. Gone With the Wind
  21. Great Santini + Death of Santini
  22. Guess How Much I Love You
  23. Hawaii
  24. Holy Bible
  25. Immortal Life of Henrietta Locks
  26. In Cold Blood
  27. In His Steps
  28. Johnstown Flood
  29. Killing Jesus
  30. Little Prince
  31. Little Women
  32. Lord of the Flies
  33. Macbeth
  34. Mere Christianity
  35. The Naked and the Dead
  36. My Sister’s Keeper
  37. Portnoy’s Complaint
  38. Prince of Tides
  39. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  40. Rabbit Angstrom: the Four Novels
  41. Reasonable Faith
  42. Red Tent
  43. Separate Peace
  44. Secret Garden
  45. Suicide of a Super Power
  46. To Kill a Mockingbird
  47. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  48. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  49. West With the Night
  50. Wonderful World of Oz
  51. World According to Garp
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