1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
- I can remember reading this book for the first time in 8th grade and absolutely loving it. I recently reread it and got teary at the ending all of over again.
- I read this book sophomore year of high school, and I remember having a lot of trouble finishing the book. I reread it last June and realized that I might have been too young to read it the first time. So many allusions and character choices were over my head then, and now I can fully appreciate this tragic but beautiful story.
- I read this during the spring of my freshman year of college and picked it up thinking it would be difficult to read. If you want a chilling easy read that takes you back to that awkward time in your life when you were wanting to grow up so fast but were scared to understand all the complexities of sex and responsibility, this book is the right choice. I absolutely love it. I recommend reading it around Halloween because it describes autumn so well and will really get you in the mood for All Hollows Eve.
- I love all the Harry Potters and can reread them over and over again. I choose this one as my favorite because it made all the years of reading the books worth it. I picked up my first Harry Potter in 6th grade in my jr. high library. Our librarian Mrs. Plotts had just ordered it and asked me read it to tell her if it was good. I can remember flying through it and reading it during my science class when we were supposed to be reading our text book, but finishing the last sentence of the last page of the last book of this series was one of the most satisfying feelings I've ever had while reading a book and that is why it is my favorite of the seven.
- I cannot honestly remember reading this for the first time but feel like I've owned it forever. It will always be among my collection of books. And whenever I am feeling down or have watched a really depressing/scary/ or intense movie, I can always take this one out and feel better again. Plus I think it's funny that Dale thought BFG stood for big fucking giant...that's funny.
- My mom and sister convinced me to read this the summer I graduated from UT. I was REALLY reluctant because it sounded boring, and I knew Stephen King had a reputation for writing eerie stories and I just didn't think I would be into it. I was completely wrong. This book took over my life for 5 days. I read nonstop and was completely absorbed into the story. Poor Dale had to listen to me theorize about what would happen and analyze all the characters. This is the first book I have ever read where I could completely sympathize with the villains. You see their development before they are truly bad and see what influences make them choose certain actions/ choices. I understood why they did what they did and couldn't honestly say that I would have acted differently. Truly an amazing piece of fiction that makes you take a look at integrity and appreciate how truly fragile our government and society is. So kudos to Mom and Abra for making me a Stephen King fan because he really is a writing genius even if he sucks at directing movies.
7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
- I had watched this movie with my mom many times and thought it was a romantic but boring story. On a whim, I picked up this book last summer and fell in love with it. Jane Austen usually gets fame for Pride and Prejudice (which I also highly recommend), but this book is about a mild-mannered, sincere character who gets the short end of the stick most of them time but in the end (because she was herself) receives her happiness. I just LOVE this book and get teary eyed every time I think of it. Great book for this month!
- I have reread this book so many times I can't even read it any more because I get bored because I have it almost memorized. I read this in 8th grade staying up all Saturday night (I was such the wild child) and just loved the adventure and free-will of the main character. I don't really recommend this book to the average reader because it has the teen melodrama that I loved at that time and it has more sentimental value for me than truly great writing. The book is the first in a quartet (which the 4th book still hasn't come out, come on Kristen it's been a decade), and the other books are just as good but this one takes me back to being 14, sharing a room with Abra, and staying up all night reading and eating Doritos.
9. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
- Again, it's a book in a series that I loved as a kid. I can still reread this series and be entertained. If you know of any young preteen girls that need a good book, this is a great series to inspire independence and woman power. I can remember reading this book and wanting to take on the chauvinistic world of men and become a knight....but then remembered I was in the 90's where Britney Spears ruled so I would have to be more subtle in my battle for women empowerment. I chose the last book in the series as my favorite, because it ends really well without compromising the story. Ha, I also remember this was the first book I read that had sex in it (no pornographic romance novel sex, but just an allusion to "spending the night").
10. The Baker's Boy by James Malory
- A trilogy with truly heinous villains, I loved this series. Dale teases me if I ever bring out the books to reread saying "Didn't you JUST read that." Again, I read this when I was romantic teenager anxious to get out Madisonville and start my own adventures. This is fantasy in it's purest forms with knights and wizards, but the complexity of the story was what really drew me in. It has a lot of conspiracy, and the story is told from several different points of view. Ha, and this is the 2nd book I ever read that sex in it, but much more graphic than the first.