I've read with Simone since she was born. Our evening routine always includes snuggling and making our way through a novel, with me reading aloud (she loves my voices). Best part of my day.
  1. Stuart Little - E.B. White
    One of our earliest novels. So much sweetness.
  2. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
    Really set the pace for how clever and fun a novel can be.
  3. The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman
    She may have been a bit young for the deeper themes, but the strong, bad-ass heroine and rollicking adventure, not to mention the adorable daemons!
  4. The Warriors series - Erin Hunter
    Packs of wild and feral cats fight over territory, mate, and ponder the destruction of the "two-legs." Simone was so caught up in the mythology of this series.
  5. The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander
    We made it through this prototypical fantasy and part of the next one before she decided it was just too scary.
  6. Redwall - Brian Jacques
    Talking, sword-fighting varmints and the best food descriptions, ever!
  7. Ray, reflected - Eric Elkins
    We read my first galley proof together. She laughed through it, and at the end said, "Oh, Daddy!" She read an early "The 13th Clock" manuscript on her own.
  8. The Bartimeus Trilogy - Jonathan Stroud
    These books are so damn funny, with some serious themes on politics and freedom. Very dark and fun.
  9. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower - C.S. Forester
    I love love love seafaring novels, and this was her first taste of one. A classic.
  10. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
    Simone was so enamored of this book. She made me re-read descriptive passages. And we went right into...
  11. Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
    Simone was obsessed with these books. We read them straight through, and she re-read "Fellowship" on her own at least three more times. Led to this column: http://bit.ly/1DNTNsp
  12. Dune - Frank Herbert
    She liked one world-building epic, so I read her another. Took us months and months. The politics and tech were so intriguing to her.
  13. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
    She recommended this, because she's such a Gaiman fan.
  14. The Hitchhiker's books - Douglas Adams
    How could I forget??? We laughed through these.
  15. Sherlock Holmes (collection) - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    She loved the BBC series and wanted to explore the source material.
  16. Neuromancer - William Gibson
    One of my favorite books, ever. Blew her mind, and forever changed her idea of what a novel can be. I loved listening to her cognitive breakthroughs. She named our wifi "Malicious AI."
  17. Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
    This book took us almost 6 months to get through, but she was enthralled. So much lyrical prose, so much tragedy. So much heart. Another of my all-time favorites.
  18. The High Window - Raymond Chandler
    Simone loves a Japanese anime about a hard-boiled detective in an urban dystopia. I thought I'd give her a taste of the original. She's loving the muscular prose.