ten books

Jan. 10th, 2014 08:20 pm
alexiscartwheel: (lizzy bennet)
[personal profile] alexiscartwheel
Patty tagged me in a book meme that's been going around Facebook and Tumblr, and just to be ornery, I'm posting it here. I've seen multiple versions of the directions, but I'm using the one's from Kelly Sue's Tumblr because.... I just like that version better than some of the others, I guess.

"List 10 books that have stayed with you. Try not to think too hard. They don’t have to be "right" or "great works" they just have had to have touched you in some way."

A lot of these books are children's books, you will probably note. But of course! They were formative! But even as a kid a read a ton of books and they've stuck with me because they really meant something. So....
  1. Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. We used to get the audiobook from the library all the time, and the rest of the time we just made Mom read it with the funny voices from the recording ("Gooo around agaaaain!"). I'd quote this book all the time if people wouldn't think I'm crazy. Apparently, most people don't know most of Go, Dog. Go! from memory. Philistines!
  2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. The first and the best. (I like to get into arguments over the correct reading order for these books.) Who didn't ready it and want to find a portal to a magical world in the back of their closet? I read all 7 by third grade, but this is the one I come back to repeatedly. I choose to ignore Susan's eventual fate since, as an older sister, she was the character I always identified with.
  3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I actually didn't finish this book the first time I tried to read it. Sometimes it's just not the right moment, you know? Later it became a favorite and it led to an L.M. Montgomery binge. Getting ahold of copies the less well known ones like Magic for Marigold and Jane of Lantern Hill took some doing. In reality I'm much more like Emily Starr, but Anne Shirley is a classic weirdo. (Yes, I just called Anne a weirdo. Wanna go?)
  4. The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson. Like Anne, this book came to be from Oma, who always gave us books by Canadian authors. Unlike Montgomery, Pearson isn't well known outside Canada, but for awhile she was my absolute favorite author. Nora, the main character, and her brother are sent from England to Canada during WWII, and Nora remains pissed off about this arrangement for pretty much the whole book. My original copy split in two and is held together with a few pieces of tape.
  5. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. Everyone loves Alanna, and I think those books are great too, but Daine was my entry point into Tortall. Being a knight is cool and all, but Daine can turn into animals. In retrospect I should maybe be a little skeeved by her relationship with her teacher who's over a decade older than her, but... nah. I was very, very sad there weren't more than four books in the series.
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The most stereotypical book appearing on this list! (Don't worry, the next book is not The Great Gatsby.) I really love Jane Austen. I even love weird old Mansfield Park, but it's not comfort reading like P&P. I really dig relationships where antagonism develops into mutual respect, or where mutual respect is demonstrated by antagonizing each other. I will always watch movie adaptations of P&P, and I've read too many poorly done modern adaptations because I'm just a sucker for this book.
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Yes, a middle book! It's tough to pick a single book from a series that, as a whole, was incredibly important to me, but this one stands out because it was the one where it really went from "these books are really good" to "holy shit this is amazing" and years of fandom investment. POA introduced the backstory of the Marauders, and made it clear that the books weren't just single episodes, but part of a mythology that had been building since book one. 
  8. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read ALL the little house books, and then I moved on to all the supplemental stuff: biographies and histories of the places the Ingalls family lived. I desperately wanted to go on a vacation and visit all the places from the books. It all started because Mom had an old copy of Little House in the Big Woods at home. Fun fact: I have never seen the TV show Little House on the Prairie. Bonus fun fact: I would make a terrible pioneer.
  9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I'm not sure if it's fair to put a book this new on the list, but whatever, it's my damn list. There were so many parts of Fangirl that felt like they were written just for me. Fandom, specifically Harry Potter fandom, was an important outlet for me when I was starting college, just like Cath. And the whole overwhelming experience of being an introvert at a huge university full of people and not knowing all the social rules and trying to make friends and date boys was just so perfect.
  10. The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Finally, the only book on this list that I ever read for a class. I read Mrs. Dalloway for fun (ha!) in high school, then in college I had an intense critical writing class focused on Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours. The class was really challenging--I was writing 2-3 pages every night--and it was my first serious introduction to feminist theory, and I went on to take four more classes from the same professor. The Hours is typical of what I read when I'm not reading books for children and teens--really beautiful prose about women with miserable lives. Seriously, this book is a work of art.
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