Top 5 this week is ‘The Top 5 Books I’m Thankful For’. This one should be interesting. I’ve been reading for so long it’s going to be incredibly hard to pick!
Top 5 is of course created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey (who is a beautiful and lovely lady IRL, I still can’t believe I met her!). And as usual these are not in any specific order.
5) The Nancy Drew Books by Carolyn Keene
Story time guys. Picture a tiny girl, long blond hair who only wore baggy t-shirts and leggings to school. You know the leggings, with the little band that went around the bottom of your foot? Yeah. Those. Let’s add some red stains, freckles, and dirt smudges on the knees and you got me as a five year old. I spent so much time outside that I doubt anyone would have expected me to take to reading like I did.
There were two books that triggered this obsession of mine. The first I only remember in the vaguest sense – it was about a seal and maybe a Inuit girl? The second was Nancy Drew and The Secret Clock. I picked up reading fast, like really fast. I was reading Nancy Drew in Kindergarten and retaining it. These books were the start of reading, just in general. I will always love them for that.
This one was a case of what could trigger a lifetime obsession with books? A sassy and unstoppable female detective, thank you Nancy and Carolyn Keene for that.
4) The Immortals Quartet and The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
I started on Nancy Drew and moved into SFF pretty fast. I was the perfect age for books like these. I remember my mom picked up the Immortals Quartet for me when I was… maybe 10? I devoured it, and saved every scrap of my allowance money to get The Song of the Lioness books. I still have a bag somewhere upstairs with Alana on the front of it I got with the books. I was obsessed. These introduced fantasy to me and showed me that I could be in these books. Girls could be amazing and magical and I could find heroines I could relate to. I’ve reread these books more than any others (even Harry Potter) and will continue to do so. Favorites forever.
Thank you Tamora Pierce for giving me that gateway and that belief. You’ll forever be my hero.
3) Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
My mom and I share a similar story with this book. I read it of course much later than she did but our stories are almost identical. Both of us were alone in our respective rooms, she was at the kitchen table at my parent’s first house and I was on my little, pink twin bed in my bedroom at thirteen years of age. Both of us had a mirror next to us, and we were both reading the same part when we ran to the nearest occupied room because it scared the shit out of us so bad. This book scared me, the first one to really, really do so. Sure the Scary Stories books creeped me out but Stephen King took something on a page and gave me nightmares. I still love that feeling (not movies though, fuck those). So good job Stephen King, and thank you. I’ll always read your books and thanks for loving genre fiction enough to fight for it.
2) Harry Potter and all the things by JK Rowling
No list will be complete with the obligatory Harry Potter entry. I could go on and on about how this series introduced me to fandom, midnight openings, cosplay, wanting to write my own books, and bringing me more friends than I can count but I’ll skip all that and talk about my husband.
Jeb didn’t used to read, he reads slowly so it made him feel bad or stupid to read. It was unsatisfying. So he had never read Harry Potter. Last year I started reading him our Book Club books. He’d joined because I made the Club and he wanted to support me. He really enjoys audio books we discovered and he really enjoys it when I read to him before bed. So naturally I suggested Harry Potter. He’s been slowly discovering it for the first time and it’s amazing and hilarious. A grown 28 year old man fanboying over Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Making references out of no where, and just randomly telling me how much he hates Malfoy. And we’re only on book three! So, Harry Potter, I’m thankful for this thing I can share with my husband.
1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I read this in high school as required reading. Required reading, yuck, right? Well that year was a bust so far, and this was the last one on my list for the class. I hadn’t enjoyed the other 4 or 5 books we had to read and so I went into this one with 0 expectations. I loved it. Absolutely adored it. This book showed me that I could love and enjoy classics. Up until then they were great and untouchable. There was no way I could read these, they’re classics and I’m just some high school kid.
The story was so simply and complicated, the characters real and human to me. It was like an epiphany. It was quite a few years later (more recently) that I’ve started to really sink my teeth into classics but this book opened the door. So thanks to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and most of all Jane Austen for that.