Friday, August 22, 2014

10 Books That Have Stayed With You

So, I got tagged in a post on Facebook to list the 10 books that have stayed with me in some way.  I didn't want to try to do it in a status update for three reasons:

1) I will screw it up somehow, and then I will have to go back and edit it.
2) I will accidentally post it before I am finished.
3) Some of my choices might need a little explanation.  Rather than having people wonder WTF I was about, or asking in the comments, I figured I could explain here as I go, then post the whole delightful mess to Facebook and tag people.

Without further ado, here are the instructions:

Here's the idea: In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me so I can see your list:

1) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder  -- All of the Little House books really, and the television show.  My best friend and I loved Little House so much that we used to play it in the back yard, pretending we were members of the Ingalls family.  We might have loved it a bit too much, as we got busted one time for starting a real fire in my friend's back yard to be our cooking fire, and were happily cooking vegetables from our parents' gardens to make soup for dinner.  Needless to say we were the only ones who thought it was totally fine -- our parents did not.  (Hey -- I was a Girl Scout for years!  I had cleared the area, made a stone circle around it so it wouldn't spread.  It was fine, I tell you!)

2) Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene.  I read all of them.  I'm only talking the old-school, pearl wearing, roadster driving series.  None of this updated and graphic novel-ized nonsense.  I also loved The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, and Trixie Belden, but Nancy Drew was the best!

3) Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson  I remember doing a book report on this in school at one point.  Not sure how I managed to do it.  I still love using pens with purple ink.

4) Cujo by Stephen King.  This was such a bad choice for me!  I was way to young to be reading it when I did, and I already was not a fan of dogs. Our neighbor had a crazy German Shepherd named Schultz that bit the mailman and tore his pants on several occasions.  If we kicked a ball into his yard while playing kickball, one person would be chosen to run across the lawn for the ball while everyone danced around and distracted the dog to keep him from attacking the runner.  There was also a series of mean, super-strength Doberman Pinschers -- all named Rocko -- that lived between our house and the neighborhood park.  Those things would break free from freaking metal chains and terrorize the neighborhood kids walking and riding their bikes past its house.  So I didn't like dogs much.  I didn't get very far into Cujo.  The bit about his eyes glowing red did me in.  I had a chair in the closet of my bedroom, and the moonlight winking off the chair at night had me convinced that they were glowing eyes and Cujo was in my closet waiting to kill me.  

5) The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.  Hated it!  Absolutely hated it.  It was assigned reading in high school.  I thought it was a colossal waste of time, and the old man should have cut the damn marlin loose sooner.  

6) Bunnicula by Deborah Howe.  A vampire bunny that drains the juice from vegetables?  This book probably started me on my lifetime love of vampire books.  (Except for the Twilight series -- I have no use for those, and only read them because patrons told me they were great.  I will no longer be taking suggestions from those patrons.)  Reading all about vampires at a young age is probably also the reason that -- for years -- I would sleep with a blanket wrapped around my neck.  Boiling hot outside and no air conditioner?  Didn't matter.  Every other piece of my body could be out from under the blankets, but there was at least going to be a sheet wrapped around my neck.  Why? Because in my tween/teen-age brain vampires could only bite you on the neck.  Arms and legs were safe, necks would get you killed by being too delicious.

7) The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I love this series so much. Dream and The Endless.  

8) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I've read it in every format -- even the graphic novel (it exists!) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I love all of Jane Austen's books, and have read a lot of the biographies written about her as well.  I will admit that after seeing the BBC version, Mr. Darcy will always and forever look like Colin Firth.

9) The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni .  It's like a fable, colliding with the realities of life.  Magical.  

10) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  I love this book.  I can read it over and over again.  The answer is 42, people.

I'm sure there are many, many other books that I should have mentioned.  I will probably think of something right after I post this and kick myself for not including it on the list.  Oh well.  For the time being, and based on my current mood, these are the first 10 books that came to mind which have had a lasting impression on me, for good or for ill.

Now I have to go tag friends on Facebook.

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