Here's the final list!
1. Place Last Seen, by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman - This book is a touching novel about a lost child and the search which ensues to find her. It represents me on a couple of levels. I have been involved in Search and Rescue for almost ten years now (the first 7 of those years was with a my Search and Rescue dog - Caribou- and now I'm a certified Tracker I for my county team). In addition, the child in this novel has Down's Syndrome. As a licensed Physical Therapist, I work with children and adults with developmental disability. McGuinn Freeman does an outstanding job of portraying both the search teams and the family of this little girl.
2. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson - A non fiction memoir of the author's trek along the Appalachian Trail. I am a hiker and a lover of nature, and I have a good sense of humor. Bryson's account is hysterically funny and I found that although I have never hiked the Appalachian Trail, I could relate to his escapades!
3. In The Shadow Of Man, by Jane Goodall - Non fiction book about Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Africa. As a child I wanted to be Jane Goodall! I love animals and her job seemed like the perfect job to me. I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Goodall several years ago after she gave a talk at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California. I had a lot of things I wanted to ask her, but I was struck dumb in her presence! She is an incredible woman. My copy of this book is autographed, so I treasure it even more!
4. The Borrowers, by Mary Norton - This was one of my favorite books as a child. I loved the idea of a family of little people living under the floorboards - with my wild imagination, I could almost hear them in my own house! I actually read the entire series several times, borrowing the books over and over again from my local library. I have vowed to get a copy of this series for my home library - I can't believe I don't have it already!
5. The Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving - This was the first Irving book I read and the one that made me a die-hard fan of his. I grew up in rural New England (New Hampshire) and I was captivated by Irving's quirky characters. I think I relate to John Irving's novels because of his character development; the way he captures the eccentricities of people; the way he demonstrates the fine balance of weaknesses and strengths. And who can resist a book about a family with a pet bear?