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My Top Ten Books

March 5, 2012

Mmm… my favorite books. This is a difficult topic to do because I wanted to narrow it down to ten of my favorite books. Of all time. And I’ve been reading a very, very long time. My mum always encouraged me to read, and so my obsession with books began very early. I remember getting books as early as five-years-old, though I didn’t get the great fiction books until I was seven-years-old. Then, nothing could stop me. 😀

But some books have left a serious mark on me, and I’d like to take a moment to share them with you. These are in no particular order, just how I thought of them. Some are out of print, but they still hold a special place in my memory.

The Doll Hospital – This is one of the first books I remember reading. I had a lot of these Scholastic books. They were inexpensive and perfect for my age. I think I was in first grade when I got the book. It was a great book about a young girl who was ill and couldn’t go outside much and had an overprotective mother. It was my first introduction to seriously ill children, and the storytelling was beautiful.

Shira: A Legacy of Courage – This is one of my first non-fiction books, and I can tell you vividly how old I was when I read it. I was in the fourth grade. It was a bright yellow hardback. I was reading inside instead of going to the playground for recess, and as I read the epilogue about this young girl and her death, I sobbed. It was so heartbreaking, but such a positive book, and I’ve never forgotten it or the young girl I read about who was my age (at the time) when she died at home surrounded by the people who loved her.

The Three Musketeers – Thirteen. I read this when I was thirteen, shortly after watching the Disney retelling of the story. I was shocked how different it was! But, the story captivated me. I loved it! I often tell people this was the first book that truly had me immersed in its world as, in the middle of reading it, I set it aside to get something from the kitchen and, when I came back into my bedroom, I went to flip on the TV to finish watching whatever I’d been watching. But, it wasn’t a movie, it was a book, and I still grin to myself at how much I loved reading it.

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes – This comic book series led me to the world of fanfiction. My quasi-girlfriend in the eighth grade gave it to me to read on the first day of summer school. I devoured it—and all her other volumes—and then the two of us began writing fanfiction based on Death and the Corinthian having a relationship (gods, we had so much fun!). The storyline is so vast, so compelling, I recommend The Sandman to just about everyone I meet.

The Shining – Not my first Stephen King book, and I actually read it in my mid-twenties, but it’s the creepiest of them. The Overlook Hotel was haunting, and the personal tragedies displayed between the three protagonists throughout the story have stuck with me. This is, in my opinion, King’s best book, and I reread it frequently… and it still creeps me the fuck out.

Last Herald Mage Trilogy – Fifteen when I read this trilogy, given to me by my best friend, Jimmy, who was gay and wonderful and one of the most precious people in my life. The story of Vanyel is one I often revisit. It’s made me a huge fan of gay fantasy novels, and I keep hoping I’ll find an erotic trilogy of this caliber that doesn’t do the fade-to-black that Lackey did with this one. It’s a great trilogy, and any fan of gay fiction and fantasy fiction shouldn’t miss it. (This was also the first set of books I ever gifted K. Piet with. :D)

The Silmarillion – While I do love Lord of the Rings, it’s The Silmarillion that really caught my imagination. The language, the people, the stories… gods, they are fantastic. Tolkien is where I truly cut my fanfiction teeth, what has helped shape my own fantastical world of Egaea, and I think a lot of what I read in Tolkien’s work has heavily shaped my own storytelling style.

The Vampire Diaries – My mum bought me the first two of these books when I was fourteen. I loved Smith’s works after that and bought many of her books. But, this series always brought me back. I reread it once a year. Of course, my adult brain gets angry with the ‘Why couldn’t she just have them both, hmm?’ thoughts. I do adore a good love triangle, I just hate when one in that triangle is finally kicked to the curb. Poor Damon.

Flowers in the Attic – I saw the movie before I read the book, but I was in seventh grade when my girlfriend at the time handed me the book to read. I was… shocked. Shocked. Loved it. Loved the barely contained erotic incest themes, loved how I hated Cathy as a character, and I loved the darkness of the storyline. I’ve read several V.C. Andrews books, but none hold a candle to the tragic tale of the The Dollanganger Series (though My Sweet Audrina comes in at a close second with a hell of a mindfuck storyline).

Sleeping Beauty Trilogy – Seventeen-years-old, I bought this series from my used bookstore. Holy hell. My official introduction into erotic romance, and boy, was it an introduction! It’s pure BDSM fantasy, and I haven’t read it in a number of years, but it left an impression. Oh, did it leave an impression. XD

You’ll notice there aren’t any titles from the M/M-gay romance genre. This is because I haven’t read anything in the genre in the last year. I don’t want to compile a list of my top picks there because I’ve not read nearly enough. I can’t wait to have the TIME to read the 200+ books on my TBR pile. I weep that I don’t have the time I used to for reading, though, I suppose, I need to just make time. Maybe, in a few months, I’ll have a list like this for my genre. 😀 I can only hope!

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