Thanks to Kailana, this list has been making its way around the book blog world. Like many others, I found it difficult to narrow things down to only ten. But, after much consideration, here are my choices:
1. Collected Works of Shakespeare Really, I can't imagine not being able to read and reference (and watch performances of) these plays, over and over.
2. A La Recherche du Temps Perdu / Proust Once I'd read this I realized I would need to have it with me always. In English translation, unfortunately - my French stinks.
3. Lucy Maud Montgomery She belongs with these first "big two" for me. I wasn't able to narrow her works down; they could've made up half my list. So I'll go with Anne of Green Gables, the Emily series, The Blue Castle and Mistress Pat.
4. Pride & Prejudice I love this book. Who wouldn't long for Mr. Darcy?
5. Wives & Daughters / Elizabeth Gaskell My favourite of her books - I love the characters and the way she writes little asides about everyone and everything. So clever.
6. Enchanted April / Elizabeth von Arnim I really like this author, and this one is a favourite both as the novel and as the wonderful film made of it. I think that the main character, Lottie, is a marvellous creation.
7. A Ring of Endless Light / Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time is also good, but this book is just something special. I read it at 13 or so, and have read it numerous times since. At 13 I even tried my hand at writing a story which was suspiciously similar...
8. To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee I can't even imagine a world in which Scout, Jem, Atticus and Boo Radley did not exist.
9. Tolkien The way he created such a hugely self-consistent world which has influenced so many writers has to be recognized. I read Lord of the Rings as a teenager.
10. Hmmm - I Capture the Castle, Catch-22, Our Mutual Friend - there are so many more that I'll just have to give up now.
*This list is subject to change...