“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 and me so I can see your list.”
Following the example of Lady Z, The Artist Librarian who tagged me, I decided to turn this challenge into a blog post instead of a Facebook note.
This is a true challenge for me. Only 10 books? I re-read 10 of my favorite books on a monthly basis! (Okay, maybe not anymore, but I used to!)
Instead, I offer a compromise. 10 author and 10 books. 10 authors because rarely does a particular author influence me only once. 10 books because occasionally one novel completely wins over my heart and deserves a spot on the list. I am leaving The Bible and C.S. Lewis off the list because, though they deserve spots, both fulfill an ‘obvious’ role in this post.
I suppose ‘stayed with you in some way’ means ‘books that have affected you in some way’, but I could never narrow that list down to 10. Possibly not even 50. For the sake of your attention span, I am going to go with books I have read over and over. Books I can replay in my head. Books that I cannot walk past without walking to pick them up. Books (or authors) that formed me. In only a very general order…
10 Authors That Have Stayed With Me
- Elizabeth George Speare. The author of my favorite novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Speare also wrote Calico Captive, The Sign of the Beaver, and The Bronze Bow. I’ve re-read them all numerous times over the past 10+ years.
- Elizabeth Marie Pope. As far as I know, she only wrote The Sherwood Ring and The Perilous Gard. I love them both.
- Eloise Jarvis McGraw. She wrote The Moorchild, The Golden Goblet, Moccasin Trail, Master Cornhill, and The Seventeenth Swap. Most importantly, though, McGraw wrote Mara, Daughter of the Nile.
- Georgette Heyer. Though best known for her Regency novels, Heyer wrote detective mysteries and medieval fiction. My favorites by her are The Grand Sophy, Frederica, Cotillion, Arabella, and Devil’s Cub though I also really enjoyed Regency Buck, Friday’s Child, The Masqueraders, and The Talisman Ring. If Heyer wrote it, I’ll definitely re-read it.
- Jessica Day George. Though her novels do not represent as much of my heart as the first four authors, I have read (almost) every book she has written. Her Princess and Dragon Slippers series always make for a good read.
- Emmuska Orczy. The Scarlet Pimpernel, people! I’ve read most of the series. It doesn’t matter how predictable his characters may be after a while, nothing beats Sir Percy Blackeney.
- Shannon Hale. She wrote Goose Girl. Like Jessica Day George, I easily include her as an author I have faithfully followed.
- Diana Wynne Jones and Patricia C. Wrede. I stick them together because each offers a series I have read numerous times but I haven’t really gotten into the rest of their work. To find my favorites, however, look no farther than Howl’s Moving Castle (all 3 books) and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
- Gail Carson Levine. I debated putting her on the list and then remembered that I re-read Ella Enchanted for like the 18th time a month ago. She definitely belongs on the list for that book alone. Fairest a good, frequently re-read, one too.
- Robin McKinely. I don’t like all her books. In fact, I loathe quite a few. But she did write The Blue Sword and Beauty so for those two she deserves a spot because I love The Blue Sword.
10 Books That Have Stayed With Me
- A Murder For Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner. Third favorite/most re-read book of all time.
- Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. Read it, loved it, read it again, loved it more…and so forth.
- Bargain Bride by Evelyn Sibley Lampman. In my opinion, a hidden gem of historical fiction. I grabbed it when the library was selling it and now have a very well-loved copy.
- The Iron Peacock by Mary Stetson Clark. Another great historical fiction novel.
- Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher. A story that takes place in the world of Scheherazade and her Thousand and One Nights.
- Around The World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. A favorite adventure novel!
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. If you have not had the pleasure of reading this one, go by yourself a copy. Delightful storytelling.
- The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. Maybe because the princess’s name is Amy, I’ve always treasured this one. Truly a charming little story.
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. It inspired me to try and read Bowditch’s The American Practical Navigator and Newton’s Principia numerous times. I never made more than a dent in either but I sure wanted to be as smart at Nathaniel Bowditch!
- Seven Daughter and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen. Captures the imagination and tells a good tale
In retrospect, I did not purposefully make this a list of fiction or choose just about only female authors. These are just the books I go back to, over and over again, since I was a kid. They are just some of the books that make me…me.
If you liked mine, you’ll love The Artist Librarian’s! Check out Z’s post at – http://theartistlibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/09/ten-books-that-have-stayed-with-you.html#comment-form