Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top 10 Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is: Top 10 Books I'd Love To Read Again For the First Time

So I sat here for about an hour scratching my head over this one. I have to admit that at first glance it seemed a lot like one that we did recently, "Books I'd Love To Reread". Until I started making my selections. What I've come to realize in the last half hour or so is that for me, what this topic is about is a tribute to books that have opened doors for me. They've started a curiosity, a hobby, a passing flirtation with a subject or even a burning firey lifelong obsession. 

I had to dig deep to find these books and really think about why they matter so much with me. And there are some pretty wildly different books here that might make you go "Huh?". But stick with me and you'll probably learn more about me then you want or need to know. :p Now, come along. We are going to take a walk through the hallways of time, and peek through the doorways of memories long buried. I've lived many lives through books, and tonight it is my pleasure to introduce you to a few of them...

1. Heidi
by Johanna Spyri

This is the book that began my love of stories and reading, so it is only appropriate that it is the first book I should list for tonight. It was read to me by my grandpa Perry countless times when I was a little girl. Some of you may not know this, but I didn't walk until I was four. What do you do with a small child in that situation? Grow a love of books. Or at least, that was my grandparents' answer. (My parents read to me too, but they worked long hours and I wanted a moment to honor my grandfather here.) Of all the books read to me during childhood, Heidi is the one that stands out most profoundly from an early age.

2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

And here is my Aunt Brenda's contribution to a lifelong love of reading. The Chronicles of Narnia were, as far as memory serves me, my introduction to fantasy stories. Of course my family told many wonderful fairytales at bedtime, but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is deeper and more developed then a classically told fairy tale. The characters, setting, etc. actually take an entire book to cover what is going on. While The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe gets credit as the book that opened the door, so it earns its place here.

3. Mythology
by Edith Hamilton

The book that gave me a deep love of Greek Mythology (and in turn, got me interested in mythology in the first place.) This was found on the shelves of Ms. Davies 8th grade classroom. For one hour each week we were asked to read a book and then journal our thoughts about it. I got very into Greek mythology during this period because of finding this book. The really cool thing is that when the school year came to an end, Ms. Davies actually gave it to me. A pretty unique and special way to recall the jump from public school into high school.

4. Teen Witch
by Silver Ravenwolf

I was seventeen when I found this book sitting on the shelf at a Coles bookstore. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it. "Real. Live. Witches. Holy shit!" I can still recall the thought echoing through my brain as I clutched the book in my hands, my heart pounding way too quick in my chest. Of course the first thing I did after scanning the table of contents was to flip to "Who can become a witch?" And I must say, I am very lucky to have really cool parents who have always encouraged me to learn about anything I want to. They bought it for me and I still have it sitting here on my shelf twelve years later.

5. Vampire: The Masquerade / Dungeons & Dragons Players' Handbook

A list about the effects of reading on my life would not be complete without talking about my love of both tabletop and live action role playing. I started with D&D when I was in high school and progressed from being a player to being a regular Dungeon Master and hosting events every month that my friends referred to as "The Gamer Gathering". Then when I went to University, I learnt about Vampire: The Masquerade and took part in Live Action Role Playing for two years. I still look back on both activities with great fondness today. 

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

There are many reasons this deserves to be here. Who wouldn't want to share all of Harry, Ron and Hermione's firsts at Hogwarts again? This was also the first book that I got into where my whole family has gotten into it in some way or another. At least half have read all seven Harry Potter books, and those who don't read a lot are really into the movies. It's going to be hard to let go of Harry Potter now that the movies and books are all done. Maybe I'll see about sitting my niece down and reading this to her? The books are so much better then the movies.

7. Dark Magic
by Christine Feehan

This book makes me think of a couple "first times". This was my first foray into paranormal romance, which was my favorite genre to read for years and year. (I still enjoy a good paranormal, but my tastes have broadened a lot.) It was also my reward, in a way, for braving four lane traffic to get to Chapters for the first time. That might not sound like a big deal, but I was coddled a lot by my family because of my crappy vision and cerebral palsy, so crossing four lane traffic all by myself was a huge achievement at the time. In a way, I guess you could say that Dark Magic symbolizes growing up, which is ironic and fitting considering the characters, plot, etc.

8. The Dreamer Awakes
by Alice & Sean Kane

This book, as well as the course I took in university where we studied it, had one of the most absolutely profound effects on my journey as a writer. Of all the courses I took during my time at university, this is also the one that I remember most fondly. Which is hilarious, because it was an intensive study class that covered a full year of material in half a year and I worked damn hard to earn the A that I got in it. Why so fond, then? This is where I feel I learnt my voice as a writer, as well as what "voice" truly means. I do not write a story until I can tell the story. It helps me a lot with building scenes, dialogue and believability. It's also how I completed the rough draft of my first novel.

9. Romancing the Ordinary
by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I discovered this book in the Bargain Books section of Chapters for $10 on a day when my parents were late picking me up because their car had broken down. I was going through a dark patch in my life. I'm on a pension because of my cerebral palsy and vision, and I was extremely depressed because I felt that my life was meaningless, a waste and had no purpose. My brothers were both working and my parents were doing there thing. And then there was me. 

I've always had high expectations for myself. I've always felt a need to make a mark on the world. Always questioned what would make my life memorable. This book, and the rest of Sarah's work, granted me a much needed "A-ha!" moment: life does not need to be complicated, headline making, six o'clock news worthy to be meaningful. The most powerful marks on the world that people make are often through tiny things that they don't even realize they are doing. There are many extraordinary moments within ordinary life if you are willing to embrace them. It's a philosophy that has served me well.

The Sky Is Everywhere
by Jandy Nelson

Did you really think a week would go by where I wouldn't talk about this book? Okay, lets get serious for a moment. This book really does deserve to be here. Why? Because to me, this book symbolizes my blog and the myriad of journeys that I have undertaken since I started it. I never imagined there could be so much to book blogging, but I absolutely love everything about it. Reading. Writing. Visiting others and leaving comments. Organizing and participating in events. Winning giveaways and hosting them here so that others can receive a book I thought was fabulous. Designing everything from what colors my links are to the six and a half hours yesterday that went into my new grab button. (Sorry, I had to say it. I am so damn proud of that silly thing that it's ridiculous.)

This thing took forever. Please humor me for the randomness.

The Sky Is Everywhere also represents my love of contemporary, which is something I will be spending a lot of time on next month. All in all, it is a wonderful book and if you haven't read it yet, you really should.

So there you have it. We have wondered down the path, made a sharp left turn onto memory lane, and this is where I leave you. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my ramblings about these books and what they mean to me. I hope that it was interesting.

P.S. There is less then a week left to enter my Best Book: September Giveaway. You could win a copy of Shut Out by Kody Keplinger or your choice of any other book I've reviewed since starting my blog.

So, what books did you decide to talk about this week? How did you answer the question? I'd love to know, so feel free to leave a comment. 


  1. Great list!! Yay for Harry Potter! :) I haven't read The Sky is Everywhere yet but it seems like I should soon, since you like it a lot.

  2. I really liked The Sky is Everywhere, too. It is also a favorite in my library. I think everyone has Harry Potter on their list.

    Anne @ My Head is Full of Books

  3. I loved your picks. I've read The Sky is Everywhere and it was really touching. Harry Potter is definitely a great book but I haven't read all of the series. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  4. OMG Teen Witch! I totally forgot about this book until you brought it up! My older (and very influential cousin) had this book, and she and I would stay up til all hours of the night trying out each and every spell. I LOVED it, and I am so thankful that I got my hands on it when I did: it opened up an entirely new world to me that I didn't know existed.

  5. Great list! The Sky is Everywhere is an awesome read!

  6. Great list you have there but I haven't read any of those. I've heard good things about The Sky is Everywhere.

  7. Another vote for HP! That's been on every post I've read so far (including mine!). Here's my list.

  8. Heidi was one of my very first books read when I was younger too. Your list reminded me of it!

    And I second your choices of The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, which both have books that made it on my list as well.

    Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  9. Wow, the book Mythology sounds like something I would love to read! Great list, seems like Harry Potter made it to every single list.


  10. Awesome list, you have some good ones on there. Thanks for commenting on my blog. =]

  11. I need to read the Sky is Everywhere! I keep hearing such good things about it.

  12. Oh my gosh, I used to LOVE Teen Witch, but totally forgot about it!

  13. Loved The Sky is Everywhere! I kicked myself for waiting so long to read it.

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