I posted yesterday about Little Free Libraries, the free lending library you can “Steward” in your front yard. At the end of the post, I asked what books you’d put in a Little Free Library if you had one. So, it is only fair that I give a list of a few of the ones I’d put in there.
This is an interesting exercise, because at least some of the books I read wouldn’t be ones my neighbors would be keen about. So, here’s the compromise between things I feel good about and that I think others might like. Tell me what you think:
First of all, some children’s books:
- Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen. We always loved reading this aloud to our son.
- Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. Great pictures and story to address children’s fears.
- Good Night Moon, Margaret Wise Brown. We loved saying good night to the moon and everything else!
- The Cat in The Hat, Dr. Suess–either this or one of the others. We always loved Yertle the Turtle.
- I Am A Bunny, Ole Risom with illustrations by Richard Scarry. Our favorite board book and frequent baby gift. The illustrations are amazing.
Then some books for older children and young adults:
- Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White. I first heard this story in 5th grade and we read it aloud as a family.
- Carry on Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham. Tells the story of a young sailor who becomes a renowned mathematician.
- A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle. A sci-fi book with strong character values.
- Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury. Evokes a mix of summer vacation memories and fantastic elements.
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis. I feel like this book is the Wardrobe to the whole series of Chronicles of Narnia.
- Bel Canto, Ann Patchett. Just read it, her best in my opinion, and something I think both men and women could like.
- Surreality, Ben Trube. Have to get my son’s in here. Besides, I really think if you like techno-thrillers, you’ll find it as good read. Kept me up at night!
- Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie. Her most famous, and introduces you to one of her most famous characters.
- The Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters. The first of her Amelia Peabody stories. We have loved following Amelia Peabody from one hair-raising adventure to another.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr. I think this is one of the best science fiction books, an early post-apocalyptic book envisioning a post-nuclear world.
- Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy. I thought some of his early stuff was best.
- Shoeless Joe, W. P. Kinsella. The book that served as the basis for the movie Field of Dreams. A wonderful tale for anyone who loves baseball.
- The Wright Brothers, David McCullough. Ohio boys who were the first to figure out powered flight. Well-told by this master historian and biographer.
- Great by Choice, Jim Collins. One of the best business books I’ve read.
- Genome, Matt Ridley. Fascinating science writing on the 23 pairs of chromosomes that make us who we are.
- Destiny of the Republic, Candice Millard. The fascinating tale of the short presidency of James Garfield, another Ohioan, and the crazed assassin and incompetent doctor who contributed to his untimely death.
- Unbroken,Laura Hillenbrand. Tells the story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic-level runner and POW.
- Shiloh, Shelby Foote. His account of the battle of Shiloh and a great introduction to this great Civil War historian.
- Both-And, Rich Nathan. This is a book written by a pastor in my home town that talks about how the church can overcome the polarities that are tearing apart American society. He articulates a picture of what many of us long for church to be.
- Prodigal God, Timothy Keller. He takes the parable of the prodigal and turns it on its head, showing that the real prodigal is the father, who represents God, prodigal in his love for both is profligate and self-righteous sons.
Of course, there is probably not a single person who would agree with this list. And that’s the great thing about Little Free Libraries. You can add your favorites to someone else’s while discovering something new for yourself.
By the way, for right now, probably the way I will support Little Free Libraries in my area is to visit that box a few blocks away, and add a few of these books, and see what they have that I might like.
So, if you were to take one from and leave one with my hypothetical Little Free Library, what would you take, and what would you leave?