5 Books I Loved When I was in Elementary School
- A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This sci-fi/fantasy-ish novel rocked my socks. It forced me to think outside what I'd ever imagined & go on a journey & I totally loved it!
- Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
I was such a sucker for pigs even then that I adored this book about this "fine swine" & I really did wish he was mine. Charlotte & her effervescence sealed the deal.
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
This girl was super-strong & super-creative. I loved every romping second of her adventures & because I loved the stories so much I went on to name my daughter after her best friend Annika.
- Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Clearly
Ramona got into so much creative trouble that I couldn't help but envy her. She was creative like I was but she got so much attention for it. I idolized her. :D
- Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne
I guess... well, what kid didn't like WTP? He was totally likable & huggable. I wanted to go hunting for heffalumps & woozles alongside him.
5 Books I Loved When I was in Middle School
- Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin
I got the mythology fever when I was in 6th grade. We had this thing called "Read to Succeed" where if we read for 60 hours & accounted for it on a form, we could win tickets to a local amusement park. I was so there. Twice around!
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This book was the first book I read that really inspired me to love reading. I will never forget how I identified with Jane, wanted to be her, & nurse Rochester back to health in the end. Sigh. The romance!
- Sweet Valley Twins Series by Francine Pascal
These books were kind of like my candy. There was little real substance, the pre-cursor to Gossip Girl type soapy books, but I loved them nonetheless. I don't think my mom ever knew.
- The Baby Sitter's Club Series by Ann M. Martin
Fun & practical, they never quite convinced me to enjoy babysitting but I did love the mystery editions because they were so creepy. I think those books really helped me cut my teeth for the plethora of Point Horror I read when I was older.
- The Boy Who Reversed Himself by William Sleater
I can't even remember why I picked this book up other than the fact the idea of it caught my interest. And I was sold because it was a fantastic idea. We follow the strange boy through a bunch of dimensions, each with their own hardship or hurdle to overcome, right down to 2-dimensional. So cool.
5 Books I Loved In High School
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I had a teacher who assigned books that I was never sure I wanted to read. But this book really changed my mind for literature & turned me into a Dickens fan. I loved the whole story & wish someone would do a really good re-telling for YA.
- Fatal Secrets by Richie Tankerseley Cusick
I was, I admit, a Point Horror fan. Big time. This one really caught me because I ADORED the male love interest, Jinx. He & the protagonist share a really sarcastic repartee that masks a subtle subtext of attraction. So good.
- Nightworld Series by L.J. Smith
Each book featured a different protagonist with some sort of paranormal ability & I loved every second of it. The world was built amazingly to foster a ton of stories & LJ always invested 150% in her characters to make them real.
- Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
The subject of sisters has always been close to my heart because of the strained relationship I used to have with my younger sister. This story is about how two sisters can differ & yet still have each other's heart at the forefront of their minds. Such love is unheard of these days.
- The Weekend Was Murder by Joan Lowery Nixon
I have always been a fan of "house" murder stories where all the characters are coralled into one place to wait out the revelation of a murder, a la Agatha Christie. This story began my love affair with that type of story & with murder mystery weekends. The first book in the series was also a really good read -- The Dark & Deadly Pool.
5 Books Written for Adults I've Loved
- Hell House by Richard Matheson
This might be the first & only book that ever really scared me. I remember reading it late into the night with only a small light & getting to a creepy part where I looked around my room at all the darkness & thought, "Oh man..." Loved it.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This mystery is a seriously intriguing one. Ten people get invited to a house on an island & one by one they are picked off in concordance with a strange poem posted in each of their rooms. The ending is a really great revelation I never saw coming. So good.
- No Doors, No Windows by Joe Schreiber
A seemingly haunted house mystery, this story follows a man on his path to read a recently discovered manuscript his now-dead father wrote about the past. It changes his whole perspective on reality & there's a seriously WEIRD secret passage with history.
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Probably the only non-fiction book I will ever endorse (at least for the time being). It talks about the successes of people who have made it REALLY big & pares it down to all of the time they spent honing their own self-taught skills & abilities to get there. I totally identified.
- Tick Tock by Dean Koontz
My second foray into Koontz's work, this story really grabbed me from the start & never let go. It showed me that action/adventure could mix with romance & with snark & make for a really fast-paced, SERIOUSLY awesome read. To this day I cannot get enough of Dean Koontz.
5 Books Written for YA I've Really Liked But Weren't Favorites
- Kiss Me, Kill Me Series by Lauren Henderson
This 4-book series takes the reader from urban England to small town private school to Scotland and beyond. We follow the life of Scarlett who had the first boy she ever kissed drop dead moments later. She solves the mystery, gains a best friend & a best enemy, falls in love, finds out about her parents & goes through a of character growth. Read it.
- Tighter by Adele Griffin
Based on The Turn of the Screw, this book was such a great re-telling of a literary tale to a YA audience. If you like Sarah Dessen & mystery, you'll like this one. Lauren Henderson's Scarlett Wakefield fans will love this one too.
- Trapped by Michael Northrop
Yes, maybe this book stopped just when it could have gotten all Hunger Games serious, but it really delivers on plot & characters. I really enjoyed it & think everyone who likes natural disaster flicks to check it out.
- Firelight Series by Sophie Jordan
This book set me on a course I had never imagined -- fandom love for dragons. I hadn't ever read a dragon book before & Jordan delivers a pitch-perfect, just-angsty-enough series for those who want to really fly.
- Paranormalcy Series by Kiersten White
Evie is likable from moment one. She experiences life with vampires, werewolves, crazy & obsessed fairies, and mermaids all with the finesse of Veronica Mars. The whole thing is interesting & fun to read, especially the TV soap Evie makes her boyfriend watch. :D