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Molly's 5 Best Books

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It's difficult to pick only five, eh? But it's a fun challenge. Here's five books that have left an indelible impression...

The Stranger

My introduction to existential angst - and to the indifferent void. Admittedly, my appreciation and the impact of this book were shaped by my adolescent self...and I still carry a simple torch for it. But it has loomed large - the ideas inherent in the questions surrounding who we are and why we are - it has connected me to many other texts and philosophies. 

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Nothing Like the Sun

The best (fictional) biographical sketch of Shakespeare's creative genius I've read - it is a wonder. Burgess (already a favorite author of mine) is beyond fond of language and a true wordsmith -- just like his subject. The book is a love letter and it reads a bit as if Alex/Burgess has discovered the Early Modern sensibility... It's a beautifully constructed work. 

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Breakfast of Champions

I could add almost any Vonnegut to my list of "5 Best Books" - this was the first Vonnegut I read and it launched a serious trend and streak of appreciation. Vonnegut's humor and insight and his joy in humanity are all wonderfully infectious and alive in his writing. 

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Anne of Green Gables

I read the entire series when I was young. It has never left me - I identify with Anne -- with her imagination, her love of wonder and reading, and her worldview. It's one of those things read as a child that stays with you, that shapes your identity as a reader and as a thinker. 

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"King Richard II"

I know - it's not a book (and it is a pet peeve of mine when people use it as such)...but I would be terribly amiss in creating a list of foundational reading/art in my life if I failed to mention the work that truly changed my life. The power, beauty, and majestic construction of this piece are staggering -- as the argument can certainly be made for most of the canon. Shakespeare and the study of his work and world have forever changed me --for the better. It is a joy to revel in that which you love. I truly love this work. 

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