Saturday, July 18

10 Books

Okay, so Meg over at Miles From Ordinary did this post and I thought it was interesting, so I decided to do one myself.
All you have to do is list 10 books you've read that have influenced you, moved you, or otherwise stayed with you in some big way.

1.) Kiss My Tiara by Susan Jane Gilman
A book on feminism that has loads of humor.

2.) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Required reading for a high school AP Lit class, the 3rd chapter of this book is what specifically stuck with me, as I found it quite brilliant. (Not for the faint of heart, however.) Additionally, this was the first book I read that I found myself completely and utterly beyond my depth of understanding while reading, and even after in-depth study, I still only managed a D on my term paper for it.

3.) The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
Technically a short story, I first read this in junior high and it introduced me to the concept of the unreliable first person narrative, which I find fascinating to this day.

4.) At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard
I once read an interview with Joyce Maynard; many people were basically calling her a philistine because she had put the letters J.D. Salinger had written her up for auction. These people were all "how could you!" And her response was pretty much: "I have kids to feed." I found that to be one of the marks of a true feminist and a truly strong person. It was her choice and she let go of sentimentality in order to provide. There is no shame in that.
Additionally, she took a ton of flak when this book came out because she wrote honestly and openly about her relationship with Salinger and well, it doesn't paint him in the best light, and people were pissed that she could dare to
1.) Say or imply anything negative about "the great JD Salinger" and (people revere him like he's a war hero).
2.) People were pissed that she wrote about their relationship saying she should have respected his privacy to which she basically said: yeah, but it was MY relationship, too...and what about the times he didn't treat me with respect? Do I not have the right to tell my story?
So I read the book and fell in love with it. Read it.

5.) World War Z by Max Brooks
This book is just amazing and haunting and probably the closest I've ever seen to how an actual zombie apocalypse would really play out. Gives me nightmares every time I read and I love it for that. (Shame on you, Plan B Pictures.) 

6.) Power of a Woman by Barbara Taylor Bradford
This was one of those books that just appears on the table in the breakroom and no one knows where it came from. I read it during downtime when I worked at a bookstore in my teens. It stuck with me for its sheer awfulness. It is the first book I read that made me think: "I write better than this."

7.) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Because seriously. Poetic, heartbreaking, beautiful....I can't say enough good things about this book. It won the Man Booker Prize, but I kinda feel like maybe it should've won the Nobel in literature. That is how highly I rate this book.

8.) The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike
Amazing horror/sci-fi novel about space travel, Mars, ancient alien races, etc. I first read it when I was 13 or 14 and it scared the living shit out of me. I had nightmares every night and could not put this book down. To date, it is the book that gave me more chills and terror on my first read-through than any other. I have read it multiple times since then and it never gets old.

9.) The Sweet Valley Twins/High Series (created by Francine Pascal)
Welp. From the time I was old enough to read chapter books, Sweet Valley was the place to be. I read and re-read these and any pocket money I got usually went to picking up a new one. My friends and I traded them and loaned them to each other and they have a very special nostalgic place in my heart. To this day, I remember all the names of the characters and their personalities and the book titles and who was friends with who and all of it.

10.) Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
I was going through a really rough patch in life when I picked this up with some gift money. I laughed until I cried and it helped me see humor in shitty situations. Weirdly inspiring, too.

Honorable Mention:
11.) Harry Potter
Because I don't have to put this on the list. Because it goes without saying.

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