This is a neat weekly feature over at a blog I really enjoy, The Broke and the Bookish. They read books similar to some that I've been reviewing, and they're fun and they write well. Totally worth checking out.
Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors in My Reading Journey
(I'm actually going to do a Top Ten that's tangentially related. I'm going to do a Top Ten Books/Authors That Really Impacted Me.)
1. The Bible, of course. Can't even begin to list all the ways this book has changed and continues to change my life. (On a tangent... Do you underline "Bible"? Italicize it? Anyone know?)
2. The Father Tim books by Jan Karon. My mom and I read these together, aloud, during my oh-so-awkward and emotionally twisted middle school years. You know middle schoolers: so confused and awkward. Trying to be all grown but with the emotional aptitude of a child. This was a safe/comfortable way for my mom and I to keep strengthening our bond. I could just cry to think of all the time she and I spent lounging on my bed or on her bed or on the back porch, reading aloud together. It was ABSOLUTELY 100% needed, and ABSOLUTELY 100% made me the person I am today.
3. Anne of Green Gables + the rest of the series. I literally read the first one to pieces. My mom had to replace it. No joke. I've read the entire series 3 times; I've read Anne many times more. I could very well have been Anne if I'd been born in a different time and place. My favorite favorite favorite quote is
4. The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin (and later, the Baby-Sitters Little Sister books). I think these were the first books that I had to talk to somebody about. One of my friends was also a super-fan and we's spend recess talking about the books and we'd swap them and re-read them. The Baby-Sitters Little Sisters books actually came after the Baby-Sitters Club books for me just because of publication timing.
5. The Felicity books by Valerie Tripp. I think these were my first historical fiction and I loved them. I definitely identified with the redheaded main character and I wished that I too could live in 1776. I think I read the entire series of books 8-10 times over.
6. The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. My Uncle Joe got me the boxed set of the books when I was 12 and I loved them. They completely ruined me for Harry Potter, as I'd already experienced the incredibly rich world of Middle-Earth.
7. Ruby Lee the Bumble Bee by Dawn Matheson and Pamela Barcita. I read this book at Storytime at my old library and just loved it. It's a beautiful picture book about Ruby Lee, a bumble bee with small wings. She's a very round but beautiful bumble bee, and according to the laws of physics those little wings shouldn't be able to carry her. But by God's good providence, she can fly! After reading the book at Storytime I told two good family friends, who have a special needs daughter, about the book. They ended up creating a non-profit to help other families with special needs children under the name "BumbleBee Fund" because of the book.
8. Technically, Eyes of the Dragon was my first Stephen King book, followed by The Gunslinger. But I didn't actually care for either of them. However, I'm not a quitter and I went on to read the remaining six books in The Dark Tower series and loved loved loved them all. I stayed up all night long to finish the last book. Since then I've read nearly every Stephen King novel ever published.
9. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. I think I read this book 4-5 times as a kid. I think I could call this one my first "comfort" read.
10. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I read this in 6th grade, and I think it was my first "grown up" book. I thought it was hilarious and went on to read all of his other books.
What about ya'll? What ten books have dramatically impacted your life?