I couldn't limit my top shelf choices to ten. And maybe this one's a gimmee. Books that I'll reread have characters that feel like friends, a vivid setting that draws me back, and a core to it that helps me see a truth in a different way. For me, the Harry Potter series has all that, perhaps more so than any other book on my top shelf.Some adults might be embarrassed to admit that. After all, this was a series written about and for children. However, I'll take light and truth wherever I find it, in most any type of literature. And I did find it here, in this sometimes dark and painful tale about witches and wizards.
An example seems in order. There's a scene where Harry and Dumbledore discuss a certain prophesy that Harry, as The Chosen One, is supposed to fulfill. Harry feels hemmed in, coerced by the words, as though, because it's been foreseen, he has no say. However, Dumbledore helps Harry see that the prophesy doesn't really matter. Harry would choose to do that thing whether or not it had been predicted--and not because he would have to do it, because he would want to.
Upon reading that passage, I thought of my hero, my Savior. It had never occurred to me to consider what he might have done had he not known of the prophesies about his life. Would he still have made the choices he did?
Of course, I reflected, he would have. He didn't choose to suffer and die because he was supposed to or because it was a duty. He did it because he loved us, and he would have done it even without the prophesies.
That realization filled me with gratitude, not only for what my hero did, but for who he was. He truly was worthy of emulation.
I have to thank J.K. Rowling for helping me better learn something I thought I already knew. And that example was only one of the bits of light I've found in this incredible series.