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  • Writer's pictureF. Haywood Glenn

Through My Literary Lens: My Ten Best Reads

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

“Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.” ~Salman Rushdie

Sometime ago I wrote a blog about my ten most favorite novels. At the time I was steadfast in my selection of those novels, but as most lovers of the written word will do, I kept reading. It was inevitable that my list of favorites would change over time.

I read new works from favorite authors, old novels that I hadn’t time to read in the past, and was introduced to new authors. Some were throughly engrossing, some not so much. However, what surprised me was not only did my list of favorite novels change but my reading taste slowly changed.

Thanks to Audible I am able to read some classic works that I hadn’t time for earlier in my life. I once tweeted, “Like a favorite song can play in your mind over and over again, a good book will stay on your mind until you find another.” I realize now that a good book is like an appetizer and leaves you hungry for the next good work of literature. The more I consume, the more I want to read.

Here is my new list of most favorite novels:

1. Pilars of the Earth by Ken Follett - The first book in a series and the best book I have read in maybe a decade.

2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron the first of a four book series entitled, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

3. The Labyrinth of the Spirits is the fourth book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books Series and the best of them all, in my opinion.

4. Jane Eyre has been a favorite novel since my teens.

5. Wideacre by Philippa Gregory shocked me when I first read it and again when I re-read it ten years later.

6. Here Be Dragons, the first book in the Wales Trilogy, introduced me to Sharon K. Penman’s medieval fiction. I subsequently read all of her books.

7. Falls the Shadow is the second novel in Penman’s Wales Trilogy.

8. Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende, is a novel of the Haitian Revolution.

9. A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett

10. The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline, not my favorite writing but the story blew me away.

I have limited my list to ten but, to tell you the truth, I could easily list twenty or more. What are your favorite reads? Did any of your favorites make my list?

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