I’m sharing a meme with you on my blog today, which is only acceptable since the title of this blog is What I’m Reading, and this meme is a list of books I’ve read. Honestly, I wanted to list more books I’d read recently, but I realized the books that were really important to me were the ones I first read when I was a kid. Enjoy!
Rules: list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t over think it. Don’t try to cherry pick your books so it looks like you only read classics, etc.
1. Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s School Picture, by Ann M. Martin – This is the first book I remember being excited about. It was an end of the school year gift from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hunt, and I remember reading it on the bus home, reading it in the bathroom, reading it ALL DAY until I was done. Clearly, this set a precedent.
2. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter – After reading the above mentioned book, I became obsessed with Baby Sitter’s Club books, and then Sweet Valley books. I didn’t read much else, until my mom helped me pick this one out at the library. Elnora has a hard time fitting in with the fancy town kids because of her unusual clothes & mannerisms, so she escapes into the natural world of the swamp, collecting and selling moths.
3. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I bought this book out of a Scholastic Book catalog, and I was immediately entranced. I’ve read this book so many times, it opens by itself. I loved Sara Crewe, Becky, The Large Family, and all of the other wonderful characters that populate this novel.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – This was my absolute favorite book for most of my life. Of course I wanted to be Jo March, and I actually liked Prof. Bhaer. I also thought Laurie & Amy’s scenes at the end of the novel were perfectly romantic. Don’t hate.
5. Anne of Green Gables [the series, especially the first 3 books] by Lucy Maud Montgomery – My friend Laura got me into these! Anne’s imagination, her humor, her loyalty, her crazy mishaps, “carrots!” GILBERT BLYTHE…I still want to visit Prince Edward Island.
6. The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi – I checked this book out from the middle school library many times. Susan Chilmark is a teenager in Richmond during the Civil War, her family is a hot mess (her father is dead, her mother is crazy, and her brother is a blockade runner/manager of a brothel), and through it all she is trying to figure out what patriotism and loyalty mean.
7. The Tillerman Saga [Homecoming, Dicey’s Song & A Solitary Blue] by Cynthia Voigt – Dicey Tillerman is my hero. She’s poor, she’s young, but she’s strong and she saves her family. Doug Burton, the protagonist in A Solitary Blue, doesn’t really wake up until Dicey comes into his life. These characters are woven together so beautifully; they’re so flawed and so real.
8. Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher – Lots of romance & drama in this novel, set in England during World War II. After reading this, I wanted to move to Cornwall, eat pasties, and have a daughter named Loveday. It’s overly sentimental and maybe even not that well written, but I loved this book anyway.
9. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – I am haunted by this novel. A love story with a healthy dose of magical realism, it draws you in with this amazing sense of place and time. As many times as I’ve read it, Henry & Clare still make me cry.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Every time I read this book, it affects me differently. Long before the movie came out, I actually downloaded Charlie’s mix tape and listened to it when I re-read the book. For such a short novel, it really packs an emotional punch.
Honorable mentions: The Harry Potter series, The Secret Garden, The Ornament Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Diary of Anne Frank, Circle of Pearls, Memoirs of a Geisha, Angela’s Ashes, White Oleander, Lucky, Room, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Age of Miracles