Book Review

10 Books That Have Stayed With Me

This assignment has been going around on Facebook for a while now. I thought it would be good to put up here as well in case I wanted to go back to it. Because Facebook has no search option haha.

So the task: List 10 books that have stayed with you. Don’t take more than a few minutes. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be great works, or even your favorites. Just the ones that have touched you.

I think one true test that a book has stayed with you is if you’ve read it not only twice, but an unfathomable number of times that the book already wears its dog ears like a trophy. I have that kind of relationship with most of the books on this list:

1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. “But this is a kid’s book,” said teenager me the first time Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was recommended to me. Lesson learned: just because it’s a kid’s book doesn’t mean it won’t be magical to you anymore, no matter your age and degree of jadedness in life.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Not only because Mr. Darcy is the original book boyfriend, but also because Lizzie Bennett is the original (at least, for me) kickass heroine. She doesn’t need a man, thank you very much. But still she catches the eye of the man who refuses to be pleased.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” How can you not fall in love with Jane with words like that? Also, Fassbender as Mr. Rochester in the circa 2000 movie.

4. Rurouni Kenshin by Watsuki Nobuhiro. I love that more than samurai sword-slashing action (which is already pretty cool), it’s got that romantic setting of feudal and Meiji restoration Japan, and yes, love in its many faces.
5. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. Sometimes you need to read about grief like this–in its simplest, rawest, most familiar, yet magical form.
6. The Mediator by Meg Cabot. A ghostbuster in a leather jacket and reinforced boots, a smexy ghost in an often-open white shirt, lots of action and teenage angst, with early hints of sexual tension and romance–what’s not to love?

7. The Witches by Roald Dahl. I binge read Mr. Dahl’s work after I ran out of Harry Potter books, and this one is my favorite. It’s one of his more badass works, with themes that can be argued as not suitable for children, which probably partly explains why I loved it. Rebellious books are a treasure.

8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I like that the hero’s journey is not triumphant, but it still changed him. Whether if it’s for the better or not is a topic of debate that I like too.

9. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Ah Bridget, the quintessential f*ck up. You know she will mess up, and again, and again, but though I shake my fists at her a lot, she’s hilarious and she has a heart bigger than her granny panties. Also, Mark Darcy.

10. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Like my Bridget feelings, I wanted to pull Becky by her perfect hair so many times in this book (and in the other Shopaholic books that followed). But always, always I was rooting for her to pick herself up from the mountain of unpaid credit card bills and overdrafts, in the style unique to the one and only Becky Bloomwood. And also, Luke Brandon. These British men are all Darcy reincarnations but I love them all.

So after I got through 10 books, my brain started spewing out more recommendations. But I guess that makes sense. This exercise opened a happy place.

Go make your own list. Doitdoitdoit.

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