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What Are Your Favorite Books of All Time?

Is there a book that has changed your life? One that you couldn’t put down?

It’s hard to pick just one! I love the classics, including “Les Miserables” (Victor Hugo), “The Cloister and the Hearth” (Charles Reade) and “Don Quixote” (Miguel de Cervantes). Recent favorites include “The Help” (Kathryn Stockett) and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” (Mary Ann Shaffer).

Here’s a letter I sent to the Mizzou Alumni Association magazine, published in the current Winter 2010 issue:

Twenty years ago the Missouri Alumnus magazine (spring 1989) published a Sesquicentennial Sampler of 150 “good reads.” I saved it, and have recommended many of the titles to my book groups, including “Blackberry Winter” by Margaret Mead and “The Guns of August” by Barbara W. Tuchman.

My unexpected favorite was “Kristin Lavransdatter” by Sigrid Unset, a Norwegian who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1928. I shared it with my “adopted” uncle, a Pearl Harbor survivor of Norwegian background. He loved the trilogy and said it taught him a lot about his heritage. I loved it, too, and wondered why I had never heard about this woman Nobelist in high school or college.

Thank you for a great reading list that extended beyond the usual “dead white men.”

Susan Pepperdine (then Suzy Brown), BJ ’69

What are your favorite books of all time?

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