This Tuesday is a freebie over at the Broke and the Bookish, so I'm using it to do a topic that I've seen a lot in the vlogging community. Since making videos of myself isn't really my thing, I'll do it on the blog instead. The topic is "My Life in 10 Books". Rather than doing your ten favourite books, it's about ten books that have changed you, that made a significant impact, that were a milestone for you, etc. Note: I've left off the Bible, which I do read every day (or almost every day), because it's in a different category for me than all these books that I read at some point in my life. Here is my list:
1. Matilda by Roald Dahl: I adore this book. I read voraciously as a child, and I was shy and awkward. It meant the world for me to have a heroine who was like me.
2. Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin: Okay, yeah, I know, but this series was my favourite forever. I devoured the BSC books and I think they had a role in making me into a real reader.
3. Letters to Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You by Judy Blume: My true confession is that I found this book in my basement. It must have belonged to my step-mother. It contains a whole bunch of letters that teenagers had written to author Judy Blume. I used to read letters at night before going to bed. I'm not sure why this stayed with me for so long, but maybe it was reading that other kids were going through the awkwardness and stresses of adolescence, that it wasn't just me who didn't fit in, and that it was okay to feel different.
4. The Shining by Stephen King: This was the first adult book that I read, and marked a transition for me. I was twelve, so probably way too young, but I still remember the thrill of getting through it.
5. Emma by Jane Austen: Emma will always be near and dear to my heart because it was the first Jane Austen book that I read, and it set me on to a lifelong love of the classics.
6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I read this book in Grade 10, so in and around age 15. I remember it for a few reasons. Firstly, it was one of the books that I remember having a really emotional reaction to. I was literally weeping at the end, to the point where my mom asked what in the world was wrong with me! Secondly, it was one of the first books I had read where I was unsure about the main character. Sometimes I liked Scarlett, and sometimes I couldn't stand her, and it forced me to think. Thirdly (SPOILER ALERT), it's one of the first books that I remember reading with an open-ended ending. I actually couldn't sleep afterwards because I was trying to mentally conclude that Rhett and Scarlett would have a happy ending. I guess you could say the book introduced me to a lot of facets of more adult reading material.
7. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera: I credit this with pretty much the course of my life to come. Before it, I had very little concept of the East/West divide. This book drew me into a fascination with Eastern Europe, which led me to eventually study Russian and do a degree in East European and Russian Studies. The funny thing is, I read it on the recommendation of someone who said, "This book will change your life." It really did!
8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling: The book that started it all. I truly feel like the Harry Potter series are books that will be with me forever, like the characters are old friends. They have impacted me in a million different ways, and if I ever have children, I will relish seeing them experience the stories in a new way.
9. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery: You may know that I took my blog title from the later books in the Anne series. They are all fantastic, but Rilla is very close to me. For those who have not read it, the book tells the story of Anne and Gilbert's youngest daughter Marilla, and what she experiences during the First World WAr. I re-read it shortly before I got married, and I feel like I experienced it in a new way. The idea of going through a really hard time, and being thankful for the hardship because it changed you is something that I cling through during my infertility struggle.
10. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller: This book is hands-down the best marriage book I have read. I am not a huge fan of marriage books that are really practical, mostly because what works for one person may not work for another. Keller's book looked at the heart of what marriage is, and I think about it all the time.