If there were only ten books left in the world...

... I hope they would be these:

1. The Bible
Obvious reasons. Source of true life, wisdom, comfort, rebuke, encouragement, knowledge of God and the plan of salvation, let alone some of the greatest literature ever written.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Her 'voice' is flawless. The child's perspective gives so much more to the story. The structure works beautifully. And I want to marry (or failing that, be just like) Atticus Finch.

3. How People Grow, Cloud and Townsend
Simply the best, most practical book I've read on how theology and Christian growth work together. Real answers for real problems of Christian living.

4. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
I couldn't choose which Austen I wanted, so I had to put in the four best. Her characters are peerless, her insight is perfect and her dialogue works.

5. Mansfield Park, Austen
I love the use of place in this novel, and I do like Fanny Price, no matter what anyone says.

6. Persuasion, Austen
The beauty of a quiet, wise spirit in Anne.

7. Emma, Austen
I used to think I was Emma. Thankfully I think I've grown up a little. But she's good for a groan and a cringe. And the inimitable Miss Bates and Mrs Elton are too good to miss.

8. Vanity Fair, WM Thackeray
Every time I read this tome (it's a big'un) I find something new and delightful and horrible. A good drawing of very flawed characters.

9. The Divided Self, Marlene Cohen
When I read this first I was amazed at how clearly she could talk about the splits in the Christian life. I re-read this every couple of years and learn something new.

10. These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder
This book is like chicken soup for the soul. I loved it as a child. I love it still. If I could add in all the rest of the series, I would too.