29 August 2014

Stealing from Liam's idea the other night, I've written a bit about ten books that have stuck with me.

1) You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye by Patricia Hermes. A book from my childhood that opened my eyes to the fact that parents could die while their children were young. I was simultaneously riveted by and terrified by this line of thought. The random fact that they ate Reuben sandwiches burrowed its way into my brain.

2) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I picked up this classic by chance when I was twiddling my thumbs at the end of my pregnancy with Nick. It turned into a tradition to read this near the end of each of my pregnancies. I like the story and it's a big fat book, so it's a good fit with late pregnancy waddle-dom.

3) Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. I think I would have given almost anything to be Alanna as a girl. She stole my tomboy heart and fuelled my certainty that girls could do anything boys could do. In elementary school, my friends and I had one of our dads photocopy the entire first chapter so we could attempt to memorize it and act it out. I don't know that we ever got past the opening "That is my decision, we need not discuss it!" line, but we had a great time of it.

4) By the Sword Mercedes Lackey. In a similar vein to the Alanna books, Kerowyn embodied the ultimate gender role thwarting badass for me when I was a kid. She could dress and fight like a boy and still have guys fall in love with her. How could I not fall in love with this book?

5) Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. A heavy book I read for school during junior high. I was drawn in by the tragedy of this family's fate, and the vivid description of the horrific conditions aboard the slave trips will probably never leave me.

6) Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Following a childhood theme, I wanted to be Harriet after reading this book. The closest I ever got was a spy book where I obsessively wrote down every license plate number I saw, which I think ended the day it made me so late walking home from school that my mom was frantic when I finally came home. I listened to the audiobook recently with the kids and it was a much harsher story this time around than I'd remembered.

7) The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb. I'm cheating by lumping six (seven if you count the new book) into one, but I love them all. Liam got me onto this series a decade ago and it stole my heart. Liam and I actually gave serious consideration to naming Lily after Molly, one of the main characters. I just reread the series  in anticipation of the latest release this month, and it was just as enthralling the second time through. Now I just need Liam to read the new book so we can discuss all the new big things that have happened with dear Fitz!

8) Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I don't think it's possible to live a full-fledged teenage horse obsession without reading Black Beauty. I adored that this book was written from the horse's point of view, and my heart soared and sank with his ups and downs in life.

9) The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Along the same lines as the above, of course. I read most of if not the entire Black Stallion series. Alec's deep bond with the stallion filled my little girl heart with longing for a similar relationship with a horse of my own.

10) Deerskin by Robin McKinley. Stemmed in some dark beginnings, the story follows the main character as she heals from trauma. The way she just up and ran and ran stuck with me, as did her companion her dog Ash.


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