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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved Back in the Day

Once again, it's time for Top Ten Tuesday, a bookish, list-y meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.  And, wow, is this week's topic a stumper:  Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was a Blogger.  It's a toughie, right?  Especially for those of us who have been blogging for a while (BBB was born in August of 2006).  I mean, one of the chief reasons I started this blog was so I could remember all the great books I've read because, without it, my old, feeble mind just comes up blank!  Well, okay, I managed to think of ten, but I'm telling you, it was not easy, not easy at all ...

1.  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer—Yeah, yeah, yeah.  When Twilight first came out, I belonged to a book club with a woman who was related to Meyer somehow (cousin?).  She recommended the novel to us, saying if we all read it, she was pretty sure she could get Meyer to come chat with our book club.  But, when she described the novel as a "teenage vampire romance," we all turned up our noses.  And, it must be said (though it pains me to do so), that by the time she convinced us all to read Twilight, Meyer was much too busy to come to our little book club.  True story.

I remember being embarrassed to read Twilight in public.  Back then (it came out in 2005), adults didn't read teen books unless it was to screen them for their kids (which was totally what I was doing—uh huh).  And yet, it kept me totally entranced.  It still shames me to admit it, but I loved Twilight.

2.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling—The name J.K. Rowling doesn't appear on my blog until 2007, when I reviewed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, but I had been reading her ever since the first Harry book came out in the U.S. in 1998.  I remember devouring the series while sitting in the bedroom of my toddler (who's now 14).  He played happily while I read, oftentimes falling asleep before I realized the room had gone suspiciously quiet.  H.P. grabbed me from the get-go, keeping me totally riveted with the story, the characters, the setting, everything.  It will always be one of my favorite children's series!

3.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell—I'd seen the movie version of GWTW several times, but I didn't read the book until after I traveled to Atlanta in 2000.  The setting definitely came alive more because I'd visited the setting and the story, of course, kept me totally engrossed.

4.  Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman—I'm not sure why this one sticks out in my mind, except that I remember it being a fun, charming novel that was different than other books I was reading at the time.

5.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon—I read this fat tome on someone's recommendation and, in no time at all, found myself totally immersed in the story.  It swept me away from the stresses of my every day life, which at the time included bottles, diapers, housework, and all the other chores that come along with stay-at-home motherhood.  I don't know why I didn't continue with the series, but it's one I would like to finish.  Someday.  You know when I have a million free hours to wade through those very, very large books!

6.  Emma by Jane Austen—After Gwyneth Paltrow brought Emma Woodhouse to such charming life on the big screen in 1996, I knew I had to read this book.  Needless to say, it met my (very) high expectations.

7.  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty—I've never been a huge fan of Westerns, but this classic really captured my imagination.  It's an entertaining read that I should probably re-read soon.

8.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown—Like millions of other fans, I found this one edge-of-your-seat compelling.  Is the writing absolutely brilliant?  No, but it's still an exciting and very readable thriller.

9.  A Time to Kill by John Grisham—I loved the movie version of this novel and not just because it's the only  Matthew McConaughey film in which the actor does more than just look pretty.  Nope, it was the storyline that sucked me in.  I'm not a huge Grisham fan, but I did really enjoy this book.  I've been meaning to re-read it for years, but a library copy's still sitting on my desk waiting for my attention.  Soon, I promise!

10.  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold—As disturbing as this novel is, I also found it totally mesmerizing.  It's unique, compelling and memorable.

A stunning realization:  So, as I was typing up this post, I had an epiphany—all the books I listed, except one (Outlander), have been made into movies/t.v. series.  Does this make them stick out more in my mind?  Or, is it just because I selected a crop of very excellent books?  Hm ...

Now that I've searched my tired mind for titles I loved before becoming a book blogger (way back in 2006—yikes!), I'd really like to know which books you adored back in the day.  Do we have any favorites in common?      


  1. Yeah, I pretty much loved Twilight when I first read it too. Eh, I don't feel too bad about it either, it is what it is and it is entertaining for sure. How fun that they are all TV/movies!

  2. Great List! I loved the DaVinci Code and The Lovely Bones.

    Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

  3. I completely forgot about the Da Vince Code! I read it in college and I remember being so fascinated by the theories. I loved it. Great list :)

  4. Some great choices! Have seen Harry and Twilight around a lot today. And am convinced even more I need to start Outlander.

  5. Great list! It took me forever to read Da Vinci Code because I refused to read it just because people were up in arms about it. LOL :) I read it and loved it of course.

    Stop by My Top Ten if you have time. :) Happy Reading!

  6. I can't quite believe I neglected to put Harry Potter on my list...

    And I love your inclusion of an Austen novel! Thanks for sharing your list, and for visiting my Top Ten!

  7. Great list! I've read several of these, but there are others that I know I would like to read. Practical Magic and Outlander sound right up my alley! :)

  8. I thought the exact same way about Twilight! Yet I devoured those books along with the teens :) I have been wanting to read some Larry McMurtry lately. I must make this a priority! Great list. New follower!
    Happy Reading,
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  9. I have read the lovely bones and forgot to add that to my list. Gone With The one of my favorites, just :)

    new follower!

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your books and the reasonings behind them.
    The Lovely Bones was so close to making my list this week but with so many great books, unfortunately some had to be cut.
    As for The Da Vinci Code, I started reading when I was a fair few years younger and feel it may have been a bit 'lost' on me... I'm keen to rediscover it seen as I've seen it featured on a number of these posts today.

    My TTT

  11. I've never read Gone With the Wind, but it's been on my list forever!

  12. Agree with so many of these - Twilight, the Lovely Bones, Harry Potter and Da Vinci Code. I've never read Gone with The Wind but love the film, mmmhhh maybe I'll try the book.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

  13. Really great list! I loved Gone with the Wind and HP series as well. Also, I don't generally like to publicly admit it, but I loved The Da Vinci code a lot too.

  14. I say never be shamed about Twilight! That is an awesome story about it and your book club. I came to it a little later, after I saw an article in the local paper about New Moon coming out, and Stephenie's local ties. Anyway....

    I read many of these books pre-blog too! Outlander was..whew... like nothing I'd ever read before! And it freaked me out a bit, but I'm ready to read the rest too.

  15. I've read 3 of those- Potter, GWTW & Practical Magic. Great list!
    Beth @ Free Spirit Books

  16. So I completely love Emma, but my husband thinks it is terrible. Probably makes me love it more. :)

  17. I am sad to say that I STILL haven't read Gone With the Wind. I know, what's wrong with me?! I'll really have to change that soon.
    Thanks for stopping by my TTT! (:

  18. You have some great books on there. GWTW was one of my favorite books in high school. Lovely Bones was interesting because I read it once soon after it was released, and I never forgot it. It was powerful. Thanks for visiting my TTT.

    LisaILJ @ I’ll Tumble for YA

  19. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my TTT!
    I'm loving seeing what other people are listing and my to-read list is growing exponentially. This could be a dangerous hobby to get into...

  20. I agree with Lovely Bones but I did only read that one last year.

  21. I've read and enjoyed 6 books on your list. Surprisingly, I have never read Gone With the Wind, although I've seen the movie countless times... am considering making it a summer reading project this year!

  22. I'm a huge fan of The HP series too. Awesome list :-)

    Tanya Patrice

  23. Great list. Other than HP and Emma, I haven't read any of the others (saw a couple of the movies, though), but The Lovely Bones always intrigued me. I may have to try that one some day.

    Erin @ YA Book Crush

  24. Great List! I loved John Grisham books too! And of course, Harry Potter!

  25. I loved Twilight back when I first read them! They still hold a special place in my heart since they were once of the first paranormals I fell in love with. Thanks for stopping by my blog

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  26. Harry Potter came so close to making my list. In retrospect, I wish I'd put it in... but with only ten titles, I just couldn't fit in everything I love.

    Yours is the first list I've seen Practical Magic on today. I've never read it, but I'm intrigued. I think I'll add it to my to-read list.

    Here's my Top Ten for the week!

  27. I recently received The Lovely Bones as a gift. I look forward to reading it. LOVED twilight and LOVED Harry Potter.
    Thanks for dropping by my TTT

  28. Oh yes, I read The Da Vinci Code too, and I agree, sure the writing isn't brilliant but I did enjoy it. And there are always going to be people talking about errors in book, because there's always someone who will know more about the subject, and you know..nah, I enjoyed it, no shame :D

    And The Lovely Bones surely is disturbing, but I remember liking it, I didn't know it had been made into a movie though!

  29. I forgot about The Da Vinci Code! I read it when the movie came out, determined to finish before I watched it, and oh man... I COULD NOT put it down! I'm about 1/3 through Gone With The Wind, and love it... I probably need to pick it back up and finish! Great list!

  30. Ha! I have read all of the books mentioned with the exception of 2 - Practical Magic and Outlander. Twilight and HP are on my list, and though I don't have Emma, Jane Austen is represented!

    New follower via Twitter and RSS

    Audrey @ Ink and Page

  31. I forgot all about The Davinci Code. It really had me thinking about it for months after I finished reading the book. I recently saw a documentary on Gnosticism and Christianity and I immediately thought back to that book.

  32. Some great choices here! Love GWTW, HP, Emma, and The Lovely Bones. I need to read Outlander at some point, though!

  33. Great list! I've read Davinci and we share Twilight and HP. I love Emma (in movies), but I haven't read the book.

    Thanks for stopping by. New follower here!


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