Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
- S/He by Minnie Bruce Pratt: I remember where I bought it (used bookstore), where I read it for the first time (while “working” in Provincetown on the Cape), and not only is this book a piece of my heart, it inspired the highlight of my book blogging life (an email from Pratt herself in response to a letter posted on this blog).
- Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg: The novel version of Idgie (as opposed to the movie version which is very different indeed) makes her one of my top five characters of all time. Or maybe just top five fictional crushes, no one can be sure.
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: I’m not a religious person, but when I read this book shortly after my mother passed away in 2003, I found true comfort in Sebold’s portrayal of heaven.
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: I read this book in 10th grade, when I was an overly self-conscious teenager who was too afraid to raise my hand in class because it would draw too much attention. It was also the first book I read as a teenager that was about teenagers and felt realistic.
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: Not to date myself or anything, but I got this book through one of those book-a-month book clubs that come via the USPS. I can vividly remember reading the book and closing it frequently to sigh over the beauty of the writing. I ended up writing my senior thesis on three of Toni Morrison’s books.
- Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison: I don’t remember what inspired me to borrow this book from the library as a high school student, but Allison’s depection of poverty and her over-worked, rural poor mother resonated deeply with me.
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: Goodwin’s Pulitzer-Prize wining masterpiece was gifted to me in 2008, and I lugged that huge book around for weeks. It was the gateway book to my future obsession with reading books about presidents.
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: The only book I remember reading in high school that featured a gay character. I had the quote “And in that moment, they were infinite” in my AIM profile for months.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Feminist sci-fi for a budding feminist? I can’t think of a novel that more directly influenced the early stages of my feminism. I went to the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in support of reproductive rights, inspired by Atwood to do my part to keep The Handmaid’s Tale from happening in real life.
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: I picked this book up as part of my on-again/off-again quest to read “good” literature, and I fell in love with The Count of Monte Cristo. I know I read it in the fall of 2001, because I went to see the movie in the theather when it was released in January 2002. I was incredibly disappointed to find that The Three Musketeers wasn’t nearly as engaging as The Count of Monte Cristo.
Runners-Up: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: I loved it so much I tried to keep the library copy I had borrowed AND I watched the movie version replayed on the Disney channel everytime it was on, which was pretty much four times a day for three months; Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding: I talked in Bridget Jones’ abbreviations for months. I thought I was really cool.