The Way You Make Me Feel

A few weeks (maybe months – internet time is different) ago, someone I know filled out one of those facebook survey things. You know the ones I mean: give me a number and I’ll list that number of blah blah blah. This one was about books. Naturally, this sparked my interest. It was a list of books important in your life. I immediately started thinking about the books that have stuck with me over the years.

These aren’t necessarily books of high literary quality. They are simply the books that mean something to me. Years (decades) after I read them, I still go back to them regularly, or I think about them, or they’re just sitting in the memory banks. I’ve read a lot of books that I’ve immediately forgotten, but not these. They aren’t necessarily my favourite books, but they’re eleven of the books that make me happy I’m a reader.

the giverThe Giver – Lois Lowry
I read this book in university as part of my Children’s Lit curriculum. I carried it around in my purse for years afterwards.

the lover's dictionaryThe Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
I’m not a fan of love stories, but I was reading all Levithan’s books when I picked this up. The structure and sentiment have stuck with me – particularly the letter X.

10 half chaptersThe History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters – Julian Barnes
A collection of short stories. Some are pretty entertaining, but Parenthesis hits me right in my feeling bone. It’s the only book where I’ll pick it up, open it to a random page, read a paragraph or two, and put it back on the shelf.

ender's gameEnder’s Game – Orson Scott Card
I remember this book sitting on my dad’s shelf of science fiction when I was a kid. I avoided it mostly for that reason. I don’t know what finally convinced me to pick it up, but I’m glad I did.

aliceAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
Curiourer and Curiouser. My favourite book. Ever.

persuasionPersuasion – Jane Austin
I do not like Jane Austin. I took an entire Austin course to figure out what I was missing and change my mind. It didn’t happen, but somehow this book worked its way into my heart.

fur queenKiss of the Fur Queen – Tomson Highway
Heartbreaking.

lean inLean In – Sheryl Sandberg
Encouraging women to kick ass on whatever path they choose to take in life. Go women!

the bodyWritten on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
I love that the protagonist has no name or gender. The book bends to how you want to read it. And the writing… the writing is beautiful. As I write this, I’ve decided to re-read this book this year.

narniaThe Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
This is pure nostalgia for me. Everyone in my family owns their own copy of The Chronicles of Narnia – plus the family copy. We used to watch the BBC movie every Christmas. This book will always have a place in my heart.

13Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
The narrative is a punch in the YA guts. The bedroom scene lands this book on this list.

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3 thoughts on “The Way You Make Me Feel

  1. Ender’s Game would be on my list too. I declare it to be the book that got me interested in reading again after I moved to Toronto. It also contributed to me accepting that I am in fact a science-fiction, comic book, fantasy-loving geek. Now I gave to ponder on what other books would make my list.

  2. Pingback: The Magicians – Lev Grossman | hellphie's fiendish fiction

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