As part of Topsham Public Library’s 15th anniversary on Foreside Road, the staff has chosen their Top 15 picks of all time. The staff was allowed to choose the Top 15 over all or the Top 15 in up to three categories. Have fun with the lists!
Dave’s Top 15 Books in no particular order:
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Stuart Little by E.B. White
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Dave’s Top 15 Movies in no particular order:
Cyndi’s Top 15 Books in no particular order:
The Stand by Stephen King – I loved this epic adventure first reading the original 823 page novel as a teenager and even more so as an adult reading the 90’s uncut version with an additional 400+ pages.
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This book is a blend of genres with something for almost everyone. Hard to describe and hard to put down.
Chocolate War by Robert Cormier – First story I read where the good guy loses at the end. This was so unexpected, I loved it!
Watership Down by Richard Adams – The lesson of fattened rabbits for the price of a snare was embedded. Too good to be true often is.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – Harshly realistic look at the human toll of a cycle of violence. Is Will brave enough to break it? Would you be?
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I was totally surprised by the ending of this book. This novel also produced the strongest reaction of any book our teen book group has read. They still talk about this book years later!
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – This blend of prose and dark illustrations presents a compelling narrative of life’s monsters as seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy.
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of The Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer – This haunting narrative of the 1996 disaster kicked off my “mountaineering” reading phase specifically and my appetite for nonfiction that has continued to grow over the years.
Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley – How to have conversations in an honest, empathetic and caring manner when someone is approaching the end of their life. Learn to validate the process of dying and give the final gift of compassion.
Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo – History and horror. A book that started and still stands out from my “shark attack” reading period.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande – I think everyone would benefit from reading this book. I am on team Quality, Not Quantity!
Speak: the Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Stitches: a Memoir by David Small
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh – I can’t tell you why I love this book, I just do!
Monique’s Top 15 Picks in no particular order:
I can remember the anticipation I felt every time my mother (who acted out Grover’s part perfectly) read The Monster At the End of This Book by Jon Stone. I could empathize with Grover’s anxiety and I admired his efforts to prevent the reader from turning the pages. Silly Grover! Such a fun book for reader and listener.
Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins is the first wordless book I remember reading and I loved every second. I felt that I was right in the middle of the action with the little wooden characters. Who knew such a simple book could impart important life lessons – handle what comes your way in life with flexibility and ingenuity.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott Sampson
Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver
My mother was a vampire enthusiast, an interest I didn’t share or understand. Several years after her death I read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova in her honor, knowing she would have bought it immediately. To my surprise I loved it and have read it several times since.
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
anything by Beck
jazz (Coltrane, Davis, Brubeck, Fitzgerald, Ellington, Gillespie, Miller, Goodman, Simone, etc.)