These are some of the books that I return to. The ones that helped shape me, for better or for worse.
Amelia Bedelia--This was the first book I ever read all by myself. Do you know these books? They're all about a maid who takes everything literally (when told to prune the bushes she sticks prunes on the branches.) I can not even begin to guess why I was so enamored with this book when I was little. I had never heard any of the idioms in it (we were immigrants and the finer points of English were lost on me until at least high school). But I loved that book. And it was the first one I bought when I found out I was pregnant with Dash.
Catcher in the Rye--I was 12 when my mom forced me to read this book. I was deeply entrenched in YA romance novels up to that point, and had never heard of it. I was hooked 5 pages in and never returned to romance novels after that. This was the book that showed me books were more than frivolities. They could change you.
On the Road--Nothing, and I mean nothing, will make a person appreciate their own youth more than a tankful of gas, a copy of On the Road and two full weeks with nothing to do and nowhere to be.
A Moveable Feast--This is the best book to read after you've been broken up with. Or on your first trip to Paris.
Love in the Time of Cholera--You don't need me to tell you why we should be thankful for this book.
Bluebeard--Just because everything is terrible and nothing makes sense doesn't mean we can't laugh.
Up in the Old Hotel--I return to this book of essays & short stories about every couple of years. I would hesitate to call it my favorite book, but it is probably my favorite thing to read.
Harry Potter 1-7--They are magic.