The Books That Stick With Us

You may have seen that post going around on Facebook about listing 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. You list your 10 and then tag 10 of your friends to list theirs. A good friend tagged me in her post, so it’s my turn to play this game.

I thought it would make a good blog post so I could talk a bit about each book. Also because it’s fun to see what books make it on others’ lists and to see which ones I share in common with others. Plus, it’s a good way to get some ideas for books to read in the future…you know when I actually have time to read.

They don’t have to be your favorite books and you’re not supposed to overthink it or try to pick the “right” books. I tried to pick ones that had me thinking about them long after I finished reading or defined a certain period of my life somehow.

There are some books on this list that I may not have even thought of had I not seen them on someone else’s list, but after I saw them, knew they had to be on mine too because of the memory they triggered.

Here’s my list, in the approximate order in which they were read.

Christopher Pike anything – I used to LOVE scary books and movies, but now I avoid them like the plague! I remember friends reading juicy excerpts from Christopher Pike books in the back of the elementary school bus and thinking back, they were not exactly age appropriate. Just looking at the images of books on Amazon brings back so many memories of reading through everything he wrote, even his few adult novels.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews – Can I get an amen? Anyone who read this book in junior high knows why it’s listed here. One Amazon review calls it “one of the best trashy novels ever written” and I agree, even though I’m not exactly an expert on trashy novels. This one sucked me in to the world of V.C. Andrews for a long time after. Exhilarating and scandalous reading for the tween.

An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott- I found an old copy of this book at my grandparents’ house when we were cleaning it out after they moved into a nursing home. It was partly the story that I loved and also reading it from such a old, hardcover book that was half the fun.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – Moving along from the raunchy reading of my young adulthood, I fell in love with this book which is a retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea, about a man who is led by God to marry a prostitute. It’s a beautifully written book that I have purchased a few times as a gift for others.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – The graphic description of a life of poverty in Ireland stuck with me long after I finished this memoir.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – I got lost in these books, imagined what it would be like to live in the House of Gryffindor, dreamed about what it would be like to write children’s tales so beautifully.

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller – This book opened my eyes.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This one weighed on my mind long after I was done with it. The details of the murder, the impact on the family, the search for answers.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I was caught off guard by this series because I started reading it without knowing anything about it, just that the movie was coming out soon and I wanted to read it first. I read it in one day, staying up late to finish it, which I hadn’t done since before I had kids.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – So much was interesting about this book–Paris in the 20s, getting an up close look at Ernest Hemingway and other famed names of the time, passion and betrayal. It was a timely read right before Midnight in Paris came out in the theaters.

There are others I could add to the list (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series comes to mind), but I’ll stick with an unedited list of the first 10 that came to mind.

Now you tell me, with just a list or in detail, what are your top 10 books that have stuck with you? 

I tag Confessions of a College Mom, Rachel Toalson, The Healthy Doctor, Super Smart Mama, My Healthy Happy Home, Climb Out Of the Cubicle, Troublesome Tots, Pilates Happy Hour, Run Stroller Run, Skinny Chick Blog. Don’t worry, I won’t hold you guys to it! I definitely don’t expect anyone to write a full blog post about it, but feel free to comment!

I look forward to reading everyone’s answers, whether I tagged you or not! I’ll also tag 10 friends on Facebook to keep the game going over there as well.

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Comments 10

  • I joined the party over on FB, but I was going to comment that your mention of “The Lovely Bones” reminded me of how much that did stay with me. I also enjoyed “The Paris Wife” and “Redeeming Love” made it on my list. I’ve never heard of Christopher Pike, but I’m not a horror lover. It’s fun to see the books listed, and while it took my a minute to get going (memory failure?!) it was fun to look back over the books ice read and see what ones first popped up!! Thanks for sharing your list.

    • I enjoyed your list! It’s fun to see what others put down. It took me a minute to remember any too and I was wondering how I would come up with 10, but then I kept thinking of other ones.

  • This is a tricky one for me because I am a voracious reader and much of what I read isn’t exactly literature so I’m loathe to brag about them on the Internet 😉 Still books that stayed with me included:
    Wuthering Heights – have re-read maybe 3 times?
    Dr. Norrel and Mr. Strange – also re-read
    Outlander – re-read and am thrilled by the new TV series
    The Scorpio Races – YA is not typically my bag but Stiefvater is stupendous (as her Raven Boys series)
    Red Country (Joe Abercrombie) – it’s a western conceived in a fantasy world with characters so gritty and realistic that their adventures felt almost palpable

    PS. Is there any child of the 80s who didn’t find Flowers in the Attic in their Mom’s closet and sneakily read it?!?!
    Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry) – I don’t typically read westerns but this book one a Pulitzer for a reason, I adored it and yet it haunted me for days after. Gus and Call may be the most amazing fully-realized characters every put to page.
    Daughter of the Forest (Marillier) – a fairy tale for adults, it’s one of my all time favorites
    Pride and Prejudice – je adore!
    The Fault in Our Stars – brilliantly heartbreaking
    Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell) – Fangirl made me a huge fan of Rainbow and I will adore her forevermore!

  • I’ll list mine later, when I have more time to think about it, but I did want to say if you liked The Paris Wife, you should check out Mrs. Hemingway, by Naomi Wood. I’m reading it right now on audio, and it’s fantastic. It takes a look at all of Hemingway’s lives, and the author writes beautifully!

    I’ve read several that made your list, although my horror-story love in elementary took me to R.L. Stine. 🙂 I don’t know that I’ve ever read Christopher Pike, and I definitely won’t now. My nerves can’t handle scary stuff anymore! Harry Potter, of course, is one of my favorite children’s series, and I love anything Louisa May Alcott! Great list!

    • Don’t give it too much thought! Just whatever comes to mind. I’m sure it’d be easy to have a list that goes on forever. Funny how so many of us have grown out of our love for horror. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Like Alexis, this is a hard one for me, because I have been reading alot the last 3 years (since I became a mama)… but here goes:

    1. Into Thin Air – because I’m a sucker for real-life disasters
    2. The Light Between Oceans – being a mother made this a haunting read for me
    3. Atonement – the ending is heartbreaking
    4. Cutting for Stone – such a different world than I’ve ever known
    5. Poisonwood Bible – because I’ll never live in the Belgian Congo
    6. Angela’s Ashes – because I’ll never be poor and live in Ireland
    7. Bel Canto – because I hope to never be held hostage in a foreign country
    8. Busting Vegas – because I went to MIT but would never be as ballsy as these kids to try and rob Vegas

    And that’s it — I’ll stop at 8 for now because there are many other books I’ve read, but these are the books that have stuck with me, while the others aren’t as memorable…

    Thanks for tagging me!

  • I remember reading Christopher Pike books in middle school/high school. Funny you mention his books. I’ll have to look into the titles you’ve mentioned. Thanks for taking the time to list the ones that have left an impression with you. I don’t have any books that I’ve read lately that are worth mentioning, as they have just been fun or informative reads:)

    • I honestly wouldn’t have thought of him except that a friend mentioned him and I knew I had to include him on my list since I read so many of his books. I think these lists are more fun when people don’t think too hard about them, so feel free to play along and don’t worry about listing the “right” books!

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