The latest thing on Facebook is to list the Top 10 Books That Affected My Life In Some Way. I was challenged by my friend Marcy to list my Top 10. You'd think for someone like me who loves to read, it would be easy for me to knock out a Top Ten Books list. It's not. I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now.
I have some favorite books that are just favorites. They're like literary chocolate; I go back and read them when I want to feel good, but that doesn't mean they've "affected my life." I'm positive there are books that I read as a child that were so good I wanted to read more and more. Those clearly affected me, but strangely, I can't remember most of the books that I read when I was little. And there have been some that have seriously affected me as an adult, but the reasons are too personal to share...aka...they're none of your damn business.
So, I have altered the challenge a bit.
The Top Nine Books That Are Important To Me For A Reason I'm Willing To Share (in no particular order):
1. IT by Stephen King - My Mom and I have had similar-ish taste in books over the years. My Dad and I...not so much. He likes westerns and spooky thrillers by Stephen King. I never understood my Dad's interest in Stephen King books until I read IT in college. IT scared the bejeebers out of me so bad that I didn't sleep well for three weeks (and I still don't want to see spiders or clowns)...but it was awesome. There was something cool about the way my heart would beat fast and how I'd almost be afraid to turn the page, except that I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. I was hooked on Stephen King books for quite awhile after that...most borrowed from my Dad's collection.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Who doesn't want their own Mr. Darcy? I'm still holding out. This is my go-to when I feel like reading a romance, but don't really feel like starting something "new." I can pick up P&P on any page and be happy. Fun fact: I have four copies of Pride and Prejudice in actual paper book form and three e-versions.
3. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel - This book and it's accompanying movie were the reason I decided to learn Spanish.
4. 501 Spanish Verbs (Third Edition) by Christopher Kendris - The single most important book I had while learning (and continuing to learn) Spanish. Conjugation is hard, y'all.
5. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (series) by Molly Harper - I found an author that I SWEAR picks the snarky thoughts out of my brain and puts them on paper. Fun fact: the main character is a librarian-turned-vampire named Jane who also loves Pride and Prejudice and who also has multiple copies of the book laying around her house.
6. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell - This was recommended to me by librarian Liz Stottlemeyer at the Andrews County Library. I took it to school with me and would read it in class when I would finish my work early. (Yes, I was that big of a nerd) I finally had to STOP taking it with me and just finish it at home because some parts were so heart-wrenching that I'd catch myself crying at my desk in the middle of class. How could everyone else be so damn calm when Bonnie Blue just died?!?
7. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCollough - As soon as I was done with Gone With The Wind, I ran right back to Liz for more recommendations. She didn't let me down with The Thornbirds. This was probably the first really adult book I ever read. It sealed my love of romances and historical fiction.
8. Any Harry Potter book by JK Rowling - I had always just read whatever books looked interesting before this. This series gave me a new experience: looking forward to, anticipating, counting down the days until a book was available. It was exciting.
9. Farm Fatale: A Comedy of Country Manors by Wendy Holden - This is a fun little British rom-com. I got it when I did a book donation/trade at the Mitchell County Library. It's a fun and breezy read. I've read it about four times now. It's like Pride and Prejudice; I pick it up when I want to read without obligating myself to a new series...but it's much fluffier and doesn't take the same kind of brain power as P&P. A good beach read, if I were the beach kind of girl.
That's it; the nine most important books in my life. The cool thing about this list is that if you were to ask me again in, say ten years, the list may be very different. Or it could be exactly the same. Books are cool that way. They are always there for you when you need them, but happy to make way for new ones when you need something else at that moment.
What are your important books?