National Book Lovers' Day 2016

I just learned this morning that August 9 is National Book Lovers' Day. In honor of the occasion, here are some of my favorite books (in no particular order):

The 101 Dalmatians - Dodie Smith's classic story about Pongo and Missis, looking for their stolen puppies. This book is filled with literary references that adults are more likely to get than the typical child, and it's a fabulous adventure. My childhood copy is held together with tape; I still re-read this book from time to time. This book is also the reason that I've loved Dalmatians for as long as I can remember.

Little Women - I don't even know how many times I've read the story of the March sisters. This 19th C. novel may feel a bit dated to some, but the story never fails to make me glad for my sisters of choice.

Black Beauty - Another book that I can't say how many times I've read. Anna Sewell's story of the black horse whose circumstances changed so many times led many to the anti-cruelty movement in the 19th C., and remains a beautiful story of love and kindness winning out to this day.

Behind The Mask...No More - This memoir was written by a man whom I was proud to call friend. The late Byron Nease talks about his struggles with depression, with coming to terms with being gay after a restrictive religious upbringing, and living with HIV. The book is both frank and charming, as Bud was himself.

The Phantom of the Opera - This will surprise no one, I'm sure. Leroux's scathing commentary about Parisian society, wrapped up in a story of obsessive love is not to be missed.