Most Memorable Books

I’m taking a mini blog break but instead of having no posts at all, I’m sharing some content that originally ran on another blog I had. I’ve updated the posts, but if you’ve been reading me for a long time, they may still be familiar.

Last year Anne from a Modern Mrs. Darcy had a “The Book That Changed My Life” Carnival. I didn’t participate because I couldn’t really think of a book that struck me as “This Book Changed Me.” But it did get me thinking of what books have been the most memorable.

Most Memorable BooksMost Memorable Books

  1. All those kid’s books that my mom read overandoverandover. Nope, no specific names here, because there were so many. I’ve got pictures of me as a toddler hefting a pile of books almost as big as me. I’ve got a picture of me passed out in the chair surrounded by books. I’ve even got a picture of me on the little kid potty, reading books.

    I wanted my mom to read those books so many times that she finally made her own books on tape, complete with a little chime to tell me when to turn the page. I would listen to them endlessly, so much so that I learned to read when I was barely 3 just from sheer repetition. A relative thought I’d simply memorized those books, and brought out new ones to test me. To her shock, it confirmed that I was really reading!

    Pure determination and desire (and a lot of repetition by my mom) opened up the world of books to me long before I’d have learned in school. It may be cheating because I don’t remember all the specific titles, but as a group the story of how I learned to read has entered family lore, as has the early start to my reading addiction.
  2. Little House on the Prairie

  3. The Little House on the Prairie seriesLaura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series - one of my most memorable books. The books, not the TV series, which I always hated because of how it departed from the books.

    I read these countless times as a child, and certain scenes have stuck with me. Laura and her family using their coffee grinder to prepare the wheat for their small daily ration of bread in The Long WinterThe Long Winter - one of my most memorable books. All the glorious food described in Farmer BoyFarmer Boy - one of my most memorable books. Jack the brindle bulldog trotting along beneath their wagon as they traveled west.

    I’m anxious to share these stories with my children, and I hope they love them as much as I did.
  4. Anne of Green Gables

  5. Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery's The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside). I’m still determined to travel to Prince Edward Island someday so I can see the setting for this book and the others by L. M. Montgomery. Anne was so real to me, and her books made me long to have a close friend like her. I’m glad I have a daughter to share this book with her someday. And while I liked all of the seriesLucy Maud Montgomery's The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) well enough, the first bookAnne of Green Gables - one of my most memorable books was definitely my favorite.
  6. Jane Eyre

  7. Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre - one of my most memorable books. I read this as a fairly young child (around 3rd grade), and to this day I remember the shock some people expressed when they found out I was reading it. I didn’t get the surprise – there was nothing that complicated to understand in the book, and it had such an exciting ending. I did reread it a few years ago, to see how I liked it as an adult, and yes I missed some of the subtleties, but it’s still not anything I would say I shouldn’t have been reading, which is the impression I remember getting.
  8. All Creatures Great and Small

  9. The James Herriot books (All Creatures Great and SmallJames Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small - one of my most memorable books, All Things Bright and BeautifulJames Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, All Things Wise and WonderfulJames Herriot's All Things Wise and Wonderful (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, The Lord God Made Them AllJames Herriot's The Lord God Made Them All (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books, and Every Living ThingJames Herriot's Every Living Thing (All Creatures Great and Small series) - one of my most memorable books). My mom got me started on these books, and she used to read one chapter a night. I’ve never had any interest in being a vet, certainly not a large animal vet in the Yorkshire Dales, but these books transported me. I still own them, and hope that my children like hearing them all, one chapter at a time.
  10. The Distant Summer

  11. The Distant SummerSarah Patterson's The Distant Summer - one of my most memorable books by Sarah Patterson. I first read this as a teen or maybe even a pre-teen as a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit how much I adored this story. It’s a sappy love story! Sappy love story or not, I read it multiple times, and have never forgotten the story or characters – it’s definitely one of my guilty reading pleasures! I’ve always wondered if I would still love it as an adult, so writing this post made me curious enough to order the book (long out of print, there are used copies available). I’m somewhat scared to see if reading it now will taint my fond memories, but I’m going to try it anyway. Someday.
  12. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

  13. The Harry Potter seriesJ K Rowling's Harry Potter series - one of my most memorable books. I was an adult when I read this series, but it’s so special to me because of my grandmother. She loved to read and in the last years of her life, when she was unable to get out much, I would do my best to keep her well stocked with reading material. As her eyesight continued to diminish, she got pickier and pickier about what she would read; it had to be worth the effort, and she knew she only had so many more books left that she’d get to.

    Harry Potter made the cut, and we would both anxiously await the newest volume. I bought very few new books, especially fiction, but made an exception for Harry. There was no way we’d be able to wait to get a copy from the library!

    I think I was more upset than my grandmother when book 6Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), was too heavy for her to hold, and so remained unread. She died before the final bookHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) - one of my most memorable books was ever published.

    I still love Harry Potter not just for the great story, but because it reminds me of my adored grandmother and how much she enjoyed it. And what a kick she got out of reading those “kids books.”

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Comments

  1. I LOVE your memory of your mom making audiobooks for you–complete with “turn the page” chimes! I also remember detailed scenes from the Little House books–one of my favorites was the detailed descriptions of the clothes that Ma and the aunts wore to the big dance in the very first book.
    What great memories–thanks for sharing!

  2. I LOVED the Little House books when I was little. I read the entire series, including all of the ones about her relatives. I never read Anne of Green Gables as a kid, but I’ve been wanting to as an adult…is it something that I still might enjoy, even though I’m in my 20s?

    • I don’t know your tastes, but I frequently reread the Anne series as an adult and really do enjoy it. Part of that may be nostalgia, but they’re really beautifully written.

      • I’ll admit that I might be blinded a bit by nostalgia, but I really do think the Anne books (especially the first one) are enjoyable to read as an adult, even if you have never read them before. Many books, yeah, I think you need those nostalgic feelings to fully appreciate them as an adult, but I’m leaning towards Anne being an exception.

  3. I loved the Anne books and Little House (you’ve made me want to reread those actually). Some others that had

    • Whoops. iPhone commenting and the buttons are too close 🙂
      …had an impact on me as a kid were many of Madeline L’Engle’s books as well as Nancy Drew.

      • I’ve made myself want to reread the Anne books and the Little House series. 😉

        I didn’t read any of Madeline L’Engle’s books as a child, or Nancy Drew. I wish I had though! I also wish I’d read the entire Narnia series when I was younger – I think I’d have appreciated it more then too.

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