This bookish tag has been making the rounds on my Facebook page and I loved it so much I decided to post it here, too.
Here are the rules:
List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and do not think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just books that have affected you in some way.
(In no particular order…)
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I read this after graduating college and I’d been feeling a bit down about everything. I’d done some things I was less than proud of, disappointed a few friends and was not sure where I would be going in life. Lots of uncertainties. This book was very therapeutic for me. By the time I finished reading it I found that I liked myself again. I was truck by Scarlett who often did things that others would disapprove of and maybe even she disapproved of some of it but you still root for her and she still rises to the occasion and remembers that tomorrow is another day.
- Lamb by Christopher Moore: This was my first Christopher Moore book and probably his best. It was also the first book that I loved so completely that I gushed about it to everybody and made my friends read it immediately. I think I learned more about religious history from this book than anywhere else in my life so if I’m horribly mistaken about anything it’s Biff’s fault.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: I’m one of those weird people who never sat down and read this book until I was a grown woman with kids. Boy was I missing out! I can still remember the first few chapters seeming so stiff and old fashioned and then suddenly something shifted in my brain and it was just amazing and I kind of wished everyone spoke like a Jane Austen novel. How can anyone read about Darcy and not be permanently affected.
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling: Aside from being one of the most popular books in the world for kids and grownups alike; aside from having sort of grown up while reading these over the span of several years; aside from the obvious, this book was a major part of my early relationship with my husband. We bonded over our love of the books and I can still remember working the release party for the last book at the bookstore where we both worked.
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: The first book in a long line of sequels, Jasper Fforde blew my mind pretty early on but more impressively, he continues to blow my mind with each book. I have a very difficult time describing this series but basically it’s chock full of literary references, traveling through dimensions, illegal cheese, mysteries, evil giant corporations and love. These are complex books that suck you in and make you feel like you have lived through an epic adventure by the time you are done reading.
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh: This is a book that I read and loved as a kid and then got to share with my son recently. We all watched the movie with Michelle Trachtenberg, too, and loved it. This book really resonated with me as a writer and sort of reclusive introspective type. I adored Harriet as a kid and continue to adore her now that I’m a grown up.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I read this in college. It was probably the first dystopian story I ever read and it’s stayed with me for a long time now. From the grim aspects of the book to the random sparks of humor. This book is a masterpiece.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: This was one of the first books I read along with the book club that I joined a few years ago and it’s still one of my favorite book club selections. It’s also one of my favorite epistolary novels (a book written as a series of letters) and the main reason I keep trying new ones. This story made pretty much every member of the club want to travel to Guernsey immediately and I’d still pack my bags immediately at the chance.
- Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner: I’ve read and loved a lot of Jennifer Weiner books. She has characters that really draw you in and become real to you as you read and writes about very universal topics for we women readers, but Goodnight Nobody deserves a spot on this list if only because after reading it I cannot read Goodnight Moon without thinking of this book and feeling a touch of melancholy when I get to that page.
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld: One of the first teen dystopian novels I read, in a long line of many, many. If you like The Hunger Games or Divergent or any of those books, you have to read the Uglies series immediately or you aren’t really in the club. For me this was the one that started it all and the one that set the precedent for the following. I am sure someone else can point to another earlier book that defies this statement but it was my first and thus it’s quite special to me.
I fear I am missing major books but in the spirit of rule following, these are my 10. I am noticing a lot of strong female characters in this list – that might be the only true defining thread there. Other books that are just jumping and screaming to be mentioned: Anne of Green Gables, The Red Tent, A Wrinkle in Time, Fangirl, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and easily a dozen others but you get the idea.