It’s one of those memes going around Facebook, but this one is actually pretty cool. I was called-out/tagged/forced by one of my favorite authors, CD Reiss, to complete my own list of 10 Books That Have Stayed With Me.
It will be hard to whittle it down to just ten, but I’m a trooper and will rally to git r dun. In no particular order:
1. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
I read this book on paperback way back in 2000-ish, the time before e-readers. After I read it, I forced it upon pretty much every woman I knew. It sucked me in, made me think, shined a light down on my ladyhood, and still hasn’t left my Favorites list.
Fun Fact: It’s a story from the Bible with historical-fiction liberties taken by the author.
2. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Myer
I will accept no judgment of my inclusion of this series. In a way, it got me reading again. I had gone far too long without picking up a book, even just one a year. But this series was going around my group of teacher-friends faster than a bad case of syphilis, and I’m a joiner, so I picked it up. And I DEVOURED it.
Fun Fact: I cry the entire time I watch any of the movies, and I refuse to watch them a second time.
3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
It was required reading while I was in the post-graduate program for my masters, and I can’t think of another book that affected me more in my teaching than The Giver. It’s a spectacular book — I haven’t yet seen the movie — that everyone should read.
Fun Fact: My 10-year-old daughter and my husband have both read this book and put it in their top reads.
4. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by EL James
Again, keep any judgment you have to yourself because DON’T CARE. This Twilight fan fiction (though I didn’t know what FF was when I read it) sucked heh me into the world of erotica and kept me in its clutches. Not only did the trilogy lure me in, but it’s become a part of the zeitgeist, a known entity of pop culture.
Fun Fact: Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book I read on an e-reader.
5. The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz
This series is the guide by which I judge every other book I read. I don’t expect to find a series I love more, but there’s always the chance. It would be a hurdle of epic proportions to find better books than these by Tiffany Reisz. Not only is the writing some of the best I’ve ever read, but when reading these books, you become immersed in the characters and their lives.
Fun Fact: Each book in this series is consecutively better than the last.
6. The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
Though The Saint is the fifth book in The Original Sinners series, it gets its own place in my list because of its impact on my life. It is everything. It is drama and sex and sensuality and mystery and educational and heart-breaking and just… everything.
Fun Fact: I had a small part as a character in this book, but I met an untimely demise on the cutting room floor. I’m still not OK with this.
7. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
After finishing this book, I curled up into a literal and virtual ball of emotion for days. OK, so I wasn’t rocking in the corner for days, but I did curl up for an hour or so. And I did go into an emotional funk for days. But all of that? I’d do it all over again, go through all of those emotions another time, just to get to have read the story for the first time.
Fun Fact: I have a signed copy of this book from Katja, signed to her favorite stalker, me.
8. Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
Brian Sinclair. The end.
Seriously. That’s all.
If that’s not enough of a reason for you, DON’T CARE.
Fun Fact: Chapter 32.
9. Creed by Kristen Ashley
Creed and Sylvie are meant to be together. Holy hell, they go through some serious shit to get there, but the two of them together is my ideal for toughened characters like them. Beautiful, dirty, and emotional, this is my go-to KA recommendation.
Fun Fact: I had serious crocodile tears reading this book.
10. The Education of Sebastian by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Maybe it’s because this is one of the only books I’ve read twice, but I think back to my feelings after I finished Sebastian and had to wait months to get to read The Education of Caroline is why this sticks with me. I was so GUTTED at the end of the book that I remember hating time itself because it was in the way of me knowing the rest of the story. But at the same time, it solidified my love for the emotion of getting to read a cliffhanger.
Fun Fact: The second time I read this book was to edit it for Australian-to-American language issues.