Recently, I was shopping for the holiday season and passed a book store. I cannot help but stop when I pass a bookstore. I suppose it is like a liquor store to a drunkard or a lingerie store to a man or a cake shop to a woman. Full of enticement. I shuffled through all the people reading back covers near the bargain bin and stopped in front of the rack of current bestsellers. I was surprised to see that three of the top four books were by the same author. Astounded really. As a publisher and writer, that feat filled me with questions.

Holding down those spots was Stephenie Meyer. I knew of her. She was the writer of Twilight and her book had just been turned into a movie. A very successful movie.

I was quite pleased to see that her books had jumped up in sales with the release of the movie. The movie was spurring people to read, especially kids. I love it when I know kids are reading. They have so many things that can capture their attention (the evolving communication web of internet, messaging, and cell phones to the expanding video game culture—and more than few less savory things they could be doing as well). Reading is a worthy pursuit that can educate them, thrill them, broaden their worldview and more.

Reading has always held a fond place in my heart. But I have realized recently that I need to read for health reasons too. In the past, I have gone a month without picking up a book. Perhaps the book I chose didn’t engage my attention or I got so busy that I didn’t feel like I had time to just sit and read. When that happens I am grumpy. I feel tired and dull.

I don’t really think , “Oh, I need to sit down and read to get out of this funk,” but invariably I do. The last few times it has been a really good book, one that had me putting aside other things so I could read it. I get excited when that happens. I get a physical high and an emotional high. I start looking for more books that will do the same thing. This is just the kind of person I am. I feed off reading.

With all that in mind, here are my top ten must read books of the year. Maybe it will give you some ideas for your own reading.

1) The Bible – If you’re going to feed, there is nothing better to feed on.
2) Driven By Eternity: Making Your Life Count Today & Forever – John Bevere. Great thinker and speaker.
3) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel – Susanna Clarke. People say it is great. I also want to study her style.
4) The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss. One of my most anticipated books of the year.
5) 1945 – Robert Conroy. I love reading about World War II.
6) Across the Nightingale Floor – Lian Hearn. I like the mix of fantasy and oriental culture I think this book promises to provide.
7) CSS: The Missing Manual – David McFarland. Something I have recently wanted to learn more about.
8) The Automatic Millionaire – David Bach. Alright, it can’t be that easy.
9) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson. A page turner I can’t wait to get my hands on. I must be the last person in the world to know about this book.
10) Twilight – Stephenie Meyer. I want to know why everyone is buying her books!

© Seth Crossman