If you know me personally, then you probably know these three crucial things: I own copious amounts of fun socks, my dog is my best friend, and I’m a total book fanatic. Needless to say, I love cozying up on the couch with my dog, some socks, and a good book in my lap. Some people just can’t read the same book twice, but for me, I have no problem reading my favorite books again and again and again. The magic of being transported to another magical world just never gets old for me.
Throughout my life, dozens of books have entered and exited my bookshelf- the latter usually ending up in yard sales or in the hands of friends and family. Although my tastes have matured and changed, there are still a handful of books on my shelf that have stayed (and will stay) for the years to come. Sometimes, a story just never gets old, no matter how many years pass! Throughout my life thus far, these are some of my favorite books I’ve kept very close to my heart.
Of all the books I’ve read in my nineteen years, one of my all-time favorites is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Although the novel was published more than one hundred years ago (150, to be exact), the emotions and themes are still relevant and powerful. Little Women is a beautiful story about family, love, sisterhood, and dealing with the natural changes that come with life. I’ve always felt a very strong connection to the main heroine, Jo March; we are both ambitious writers struggling to make names for ourselves in a rapidly-changing world. It is a book, in my opinion, that every young girl should be given the opportunity to read. It was also made into a fantastic movie in 1994, which I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already.
Another book I remember fondly from my childhood is the classic 1999 novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud Not Buddy. I still remember the day I got this book in Barnes and Noble; I was about eleven years old, and my mom was very adamant about purchasing it for me. Obviously, it was a good suggestion, because that book still sits proudly on my shelf. I’ll crack it open every couple years or so, and usually finish reading it within a day or so. I love novels that revolve around the idea of a journey, both physical and emotional. Bud’s journey is nothing short of unique- somehow, we start in a garden shack infested with bats, and end surrounded my jazz musicians in Grand Rapids. It’s a book filled with humor, emotion, and rich details, and it’s guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings all the while.
Speaking of books about journeys, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a book I still buzz about to this day. If you enjoyed Because of Winn Dixie or The Tale of Despereaux, you’re bound to enjoy The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (they are, after all, written by the same author, Kate DiCamillo). It’s written beautifully, yet simple enough that even younger children can understand the story. Revolving around the life and times of an arrogant china rabbit who goes on an imperious journey around the country (world?), it’s impossible not to be enthralled in Edward’s journey and emotional development. I know it sounds strange to care so much about a china rabbit, but I guarantee you’ll feel the same way if you read the book, too. I actually started reading the book to one of my friends aloud, and according to him, he thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you lived through a public school 9th grade English class, there’s a fairly high chance you had to read The Giver. That, or you’ve almost definitely heard of the 2014 film adaption. I’m usually not interested in dystopian society novels, because I think a lot of them are either overdone or rehashed, but this one really stuck with me. The story is so singular and unusual, especially the aspects of diversity and humanity that “The Community” mercilessly destroys in the novel. It’s not something I could really sit down and read in one day- it requires quite a bit of philosophical thinking and digesting to really understand. That being said, I did really enjoy the novel. I still have it on my bookshelf, and think about the story constantly.
Anne of Green Gables, hands down, is one of my favorite novels of all time. I’ve probably mentioned it quite a few times on here, but that’s because the book has had such a substantial impact on my life. The first version of the book I owned was an illustrated young reader’s edition, and my mom used to read it to me frequently. The book’s encompassing theme is the tale of Anne’s adoption into the Cuthbert family, and her metamorphosis into a young woman. Beyond that, however, the book is filled with detailed anecdotes and stories of Anne’s beautiful, iconic life in rural Canada. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve purchased the entire Anne of Green Gables series, which is eight books in total! I also have a reprinted version of the first edition book with the original manuscript- something my mom bought me as a gift when we visited the Anne of Green Gables museum in Prince Edward Island. If you’re a fan of Anne as well, I highly recommend visiting the island and checking out all of the wonderful Anne-themed activities and places. She truly has a monopoly on the entire eastern side of Canada.
When You Reach Me is another story I’ve mentioned before in my book tag. It’d a book that I, admittedly, have quite destroyed with love and adoration. The cover sleeve is missing, the pages are ripped and dog-eared, and the inner cover has a pencil doodle in it that I’m pretty sure I made in middle school. Funnily enough, the main heroine of the story, Miranda, has a similar relationship with her favorite book (A Wrinkle in Time). One of the most unique things about this novel is that it’s written in second-person point of view; more specifically, in the form of letters to someone that’s not really revealed until the last few pages. The book also isn’t written in chapters- instead, it’s written in very short anecdote- blurbs about the events in Miranda’s life in the late 1970s. Everything about this book is interesting: the time period, the characters, and especially the writing style. I love this book just as much as I did when I was twelve, and almost eight years later, I still love it just as much.
Happy holidays, everyone! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a beautiful, relaxing day, surrounded by your friends and family. I’ll be posting on Wednesday all about my holiday and how I spent it with my family, and I’m very excited to share!
Coming up next: All about my Christmas!