Top Ten Tuesday: Stepping Stones

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

Today, we’re looking back on our lives as readers and giving shout-outs to the books that led us along our way.

1. American Girl books. I owned (okay, still own) tons of these books. They were often educational, sometimes inspiring, and always interesting.

2. “Amelia’s Notebook” by Marissa Moss. I’ve slacked off on journaling over the last several years, but when I was younger, I journaled constantly. “Amelia’s Notebook” helped me sort out growing-up issues and also inspired a little more personality in my own diary writing.

3. Animorphs by KA Applegate. Remember Scholastic book orders? I think I can safely attribute my discovery of written science fiction to these books. I was very pleased to see that they had been reissued in the last year or so.

4. “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. I read almost all of Crichton’s books between seventh and eighth grade, but “Jurassic Park” stands out.

5. “Insomnia” by Stephen King. This was in eighth grade. I was feeling pretty grown-up now that I was reading stuff like Michael Crichton books, so I thought I would dive into Stephen King. I think I made it through this book and part of “It” before I realized I had completely overshot.

6. “Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. I wish I could remember exactly when I first read this because it’s had a huge impact on both my reading and writing lives ever since.

7. “Arrows of the Queen” by Mercedes Lackey. I got this trilogy for my 13th birthday. My mom had been asking her friends for suggestions for fantasy authors, and Lackey’s name had come up. Thus began a years-long journey to acquire full bookshelf of Lackey books, and a certain guilty-pleasure appreciation for cliché fantasy novels.

8. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Originally I read this for high school. Much discussion of the green light ensued, and I didn’t read it again until college – only to discover that I really enjoyed it. That re-read encouraged me to revisit some of the other classics that I had written off in high school.

9. “The Castle of Crossed Destinies” by Italo Calvino. I might have enjoyed this one more if I had more of an understanding of tarot cards, but even without that, this book makes for a very interesting read. It helps me keep an open mind when approaching other surrealist/meta works.

10. Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I knew there was more to graphic novels than just Marvel and DC superheroes, but I had no idea where to start exploring them. I don’t remember what prompted me to pick “Sandman,” but it opened the door to less mainstream graphic novels, and made me unashamed to start adding more graphic novels – including lots of X-Men – to my shelves.



2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Stepping Stones

  1. Oh, man — The Great Gatsby is on my hit list of inappropriately matched mandatory reading. I HATED that book in high school so much — I didn’t get the characters, I didn’t get the story. But for some reason, I re-read it after college, and yes, now it made sense! It won’t make a favorites list of mine anytime soon (ever), but it isn’t really a book of themes that your average high school student can relate to. Badly chosen for high school reading. Conversely, Romeo and Juliet is perfect for high school, because the older you get, the less sense that book makes.

    Other than that, I think my only cross-over with your list is Mercedes Lackey, though not the same series. Mine had griffins in it, I think. I haven’t re-read those for years, but I did love them.

    This is a fun list.

    • Oh yeah, Romeo and Juliet gets more ridiculous the more you think about it!We also read a book called “Grendel” in senior year, which was an existentialist retelling of the Beowulf myth from the monster’s point of view.Talk about mismatched mandatory reading! I don’t think any of us were familiar with the Beowulf story at all, much less existentialism.

      Aw, I tried to read the gryphon series… It didn’t go well. But I tried to read those fairly recently, at a point when I had less tolerance for her, um, relaxed writing style. I don’t know what happened, but I have to be in a very particular mood to enjoy reading her books these days! I actually haven’t read anything by her in a while because I’m afraid I’ll discover I suddenly hate it. 😦

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