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 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.
The 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 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.
Persuasion – 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.
Written 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.
The 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.