I read some books yearly. Christy by Catherine Marshall. The Chosen by Chaim Potok. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In the past couple years, The Grapes of Wrath has been added to the list. These are different from my heavy-reading, PLS-major books (e.g. War and Peace) and also different from my bedside-table light reading (e.g. The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency), although the categories mingle sometimes. Last year I had some light reading that I affectionately labeled "Amish romance novels" - the Abram's Daughters series by Beverly Lewis - and right in the middle of enjoying/ridiculing it, I happened upon one amazing and inspiring character who still kind of lives in my mind. I'll probably go back and read at least one book from the series again, and it has the potential to join my yearly list.
There are other books that I have reread numerous times (Alas, Babylon; Little Women; anything by Jane Austen), and they are a part of my personal culture and my language (shelves in the closet! Happy thought indeed!), but those first four I listed - they are a part of my soul. ... it took me about five minutes to write that last sentence because "part of my soul" sounded at once too cheesy and too intense. But I just can't think of any other way to put it.
So, what I want to know is, what are the books that are part of your soul? Not a book that you did in book club recently and it was kind of cool, or that you studied in college and had excellent metaphors - but a book that is part of who you are. Let me know, because I'd like to read it.