10 Books that Have Stayed With You

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This is a Facebook tag, originally.  Someone tagged me on there but I'd rather reply on my blog instead.  I do post the link to the post on FB anyway.

The tag rules go like this:
 In your status line list 10 books that have stayed with you. Don’t take more than a few minutes. Don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be great works, or even your favorites. Just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10 friends including me so I’ll see your list.
I can easily dump my all-time favorites on to this list but if you've been around me for a while, you're probably sick of hearing Jane Eyre, One Bullet Away/Generation Kill, and The Hobbit/LOTR all the freakin' time.  While their influence will stay with me forever, here are ten other books that have left an impression on me.  So much that I re-read passages or the whole thing from time to time.  For some, I even dream about them.  There are more than ten, I'm pretty sure, but off the top of my head, here's the list... and I'll try not to spoil y'all:

1. The Stand / Stephen King

The Complete and Uncut version, fyi.  Okay, I admit, I picked up this book because of Gary Sinise.  I enjoyed the mini-series and I'm a Gary Sinise fan.  And a Stephen King fan too.  One day, I was checking out the used book stores at my university and saw the TV tie-in cover.  I figured that was my excuse to finally reading this.

I ended up loving it more than the mini-series.  Duh.  It wasn't your usual Stephen King horror.  At least, to me.  It was more of an adventure.  Flagg reminded me of The Walking Dead's Governor.  I've only read it once because it is a brick of a book.  But I might crack it open and read a random chapter. 

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / JK Rowling
I remember picking up this book and I think I finished it in no time.  Or it felt like it was no time. This is my favorite HP book BUT it is my least liked HP film.  They completely ignored the Quidditch in the book and that made half the fun.  Yes, I'm Oliver Wood-biased but after Azkaban, there's no thrilling Quidditch scenes left; World Cup is not counted because none of our Hogwarts students actually played in those games.  This was the point where HP stopped being a strictly children's book to me.  And out of the 7 books, this is the one that I've re-read the most... and my book shows the wear and tear.

3. Catching Fire / Suzanne Collins
I remember the moment when I realized what the 75th Quarter Quell arena was... I literally applauded.  No joke.  From the get go, this book captured me and never let go until I finished it.  The twists and turns completely blindsided me.  I thought The Hunger Games was good.  But Catching Fire was GREAT.  Idk what happened with Mockingjay but so far, I liked the movies more than the books (le gasp!) so I have high hopes for the Mockingjay movies.

Katniss' voice in Catching Fire was perfect.  It was like I could hear her - not JLaw - in my head.  She grew so much from the last book and you felt it.  And that book cemented my Team Peeta badge on my chest.  I liked all the characters.  And I think that affected how I read the 3rd book.  I became so attached to them and when some of them were off'd in Mockingjay said so so... ~simply... I wasn't happy.  I wish the 3rd book was written/done better because Catching Fire was so awesome.

4. Ender's Game / Orson Scott Card
I read this again not too long ago and I don't remember it being THAT GOOD.  I mean, "holy shit, that was good!"  The reveal in the end is done so subtly that I had to re-read that page to make sure if I read it right. It was pretty straight forward and if you're merely skimming the pages, you'll definitely miss it.

5. Nancy Drew Mysteries: The Secret of Mirror Bay / Carolyn Keene

How much do I love this book?  I dreamed about it.  Not once, not twice... three times.  The same dream every time.  Especially the part where Nancy is spying on some people lowering a crate into a body of water. It's been years since I read this book but I will never forget that dream.  And it wasn't because it was the cover art.  No, I vividly recall it.  It was like I'm Nancy and... hell, I could even hear the water moving as the package was lowered into the bay or whatever.

The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories started it all for me.  My mom read it when she was a kid and she introduced it to me when I was a kid.  I started with Sign of the Twisted Candles then slowly built my collection.  Today, I see them at used book stores and I'm always tempted to pick everything up, to complete the "original" 56 volumes.  Who knows.  Maybe one day, I might just do that.

6. The Pillars of the Earth / Ken Follett
Here's another book with a screen adaptation.  Eddie Redmayne was introduced to me via the amazing mini-series.  Like with The Stand, it was after watching the show that I decided to pick this brick of a book up.  It took me a month to get through it but I did enjoy it a LOT.  I love Ken Follett's mastery of words and the way it seemed Medieval.  The voices of the characters were clear and distinct.  It was like a simpler A Song of Ice and Fire... it was pretty epic but easier to follow.

It is definitely one of my favorites now.  Book and mini-series.  It's funny too because... President Snow is the father of Agent Peggy Carter and Finnick Odair.  The actor playing Remigius was also in Captain America with Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter).  Six Degrees... is one of my favorite games and I can pretty much connect anyone to Orlando Bloom.  Heh.

7. The Kite Runner / Khaled Hosseini
This is one sad story.  A sad... SAD story.  I don't think there was ever a happy thought in this book.  It was hardship after hardship and the ending was satisfying but not very "happy".  This book has been under my radar for years but it was only this year that I finally read it.  I waited to get a physical copy.  Reading something this intense on an ebook just didn't feel right.  I know, I'm weird.

In my used bookstore/thrift store hauls, I also picked up the follow up, A Thousand Splendid Suns.  A woman on the train saw me reading The Kite Runner and "couldn't help but interrupt but you have to read the author's next book".  I haven't yet but I definitely will.

8. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children / Ransom Riggs
This has one of the most creative concepts ever.  It is hard to believe that this was borne out of a found collection of photos.  I posted a full review when I read it the first time on my nook.  Then I eventually was sent free copies by the author and publisher.  (Yes, I have two paperback copies lol.)  Not too long ago, they came out with a graphic novel which I also picked up.

I even had my brother and mom read this and they both loved it also.  I cannot wait for the sequel coming out next month.  Hopefully, I'll get a free copy of that too! ;-)

9. Dominance / Will Lavender
In the early days of my fledgling "career" as a book blogger, this was one of the first free books that I received.  It was a whole book.  Free.  Can you imagine how excited I was?  I still get excited over free stuff, especially books.

Once in a while, you'll come across those stories that seem like your typical thriller, mysteries, and whatnot.  Until you get to the last chapter or last couple of pages.  For this book, it was the final sentence.  I think even my mom will tell you that this book definitely sticks to her mind. 

This is a lesser known book from all that I will mention but I urge you to pick this up when you see it.  Read it and see what I mean.

10. Belinda / Anne Rampling
This list is not complete without an erotica entry.  Admit it, you've read erotica.  And you might not admit that you liked it.  Well, I am fessing up.  I love reading erotic fiction.  Even some that are as badly written as Fifty Shades of Grey.  This one is probably my favorite.

Anne Rampling is one of Anne Rice's pseudonyms when writing erotica.  The other one is AN Roquelaure which she used to write the Sleeping Beauty trilogy.  If you like Fifty Shades, read that.  If you like Lolita, read this.  It's almost a mirror to Nabokov's novel only hotter and guiltier and aaah... it's like a dirty little secret that you would hide even from yourself!  I admit, I read a random passage here and there when I'm bored lol.  Any e-reader that I own has a copy of this novel in it.

I'll try to think of ten more when I need blog filler inspiration strikes.