Ten Books That Have Stayed With You - Top Ten Tuesday

There's a status post going around Facebook recently that goes something like this: 
"List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way.  Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard.  They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.  Tag 10 friends and me so I can see your list." 
Top Ten Tuesday
Books (c.) by their respective authors and publishers
So, besides the obvious (i.e. the Bible), here is my list (in order of when I thought of them, not importance).  I decided to do a blog post because I wanted to ... kind of annotate my choices.  Have you done this challenge?  Post your list below in the comments! 

1.  The Chronicles of Narnia - or anything by C.S. Lewis:  My first foray into Christian Fantasy and though I haven't gotten to much of Lewis' other works, what I have read is so ... thought provoking.  IMHO, the best Narnia book is The Horse and His Boy (because Shasta and Aravis are my favorites)!

2.  The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins:  I'm not a huge fan, but it makes the list because of that ending!  The bittersweetness, the small bit of hope despite everything that happened --that barely made the tragedies worth it.  The ending was "realistic" and giving the characters some magical happy amnesia or "fix" would be a slap in the face to everything that had happened.  The realness of the consequences and the effect the Games had on the characters ... I don't always see that in the books I read.

3.  The DragonKeeper Chronicles - Donita K. Paul:  If C.S. Lewis made me a fan of Christian fantasy; she made me realize there were authors writing it today.  I totally related to Kale, the main character (I still do, actually) and the books made me love dragons.  LOL, they also may have given me my first fictional crush, a certain squire who will remain unnamed.  =P

4.  Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility - or anything by Jane Austen:  I admit, it's a combination both Jane Austen's wit and the recent films/BBC miniseries that made me love these books.  When I first began reading them as a teen, the books were hard for me to follow at times, so I started watching the BBC adaptations as I read and it really helped me to keep track of the different characters.  I don't know what it is about this time period that I love: the clothes, the manners, maybe just because it's British?  But it quickly became one of my favorite eras to read about.

5.  The Blood of Kings trilogy - Jill Williamson:  This Christian Fantasy series showed me that the genre was growing.  Christian Fantasy isn't just for kids and teens.  Aimed at older teens and adults, this more mature series is not without faults, however, I never wanted them to end.  It also showed me not to write off "smaller presses" such as Marcher Lord Press just because they weren't well known names such as Bethany, Zondervan, or Thomas Nelson.

6.  The Sushi Series - or anything by Camy Tang:  Contemporary Christian fiction, normally featuring Asian American characters.  I never really cared about the ethnic heritage of fictional characters (the writing and story is more important, right?) but I have to admit, there's a part of me that really loves seeing Asian Americans in Christian fiction.  Even though the novels are set on the Mainland and not Hawaii, there were a lot of Asian cultural things I could relate to.   She's definitely one of my favorite authors.

7.  Redwall - or anything by Brian Jacques:  Where to start with this author?  He was one of my favorites as a teen.  He helped me solidify my love of medieval-styled fantasy worlds and was a brilliant writer.  The riddles, songs, stories, quests ... and the descriptive details in his prose ... Plus, he wasn't afraid to show real consequences of battles and war (yes, some characters do die).  It's not just a story about mice, hares, moles, or badgers!  It's classic good vs. evil, with "old school" values of honor, bravery, duty, friendship, and love.  I dearly hope you rest in peace, Mr. Jacques.  Definitely one of the series I can't wait for any future children of mine to be old enough to read.  Oh, and if you aren't a huge reader, try borrowing the audiobooks from the library: read/acted/sang by a full cast and narrated by the late Mr. Jacques, it's like a radio theater production!

8.  A Wrinkle in Time; A Wind in the Door; A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle:  I first read these three in middle school (thanks, Auntie Jayne).  It came at just the right time in my life: when I felt ugly, awkward, and stupid like the protagonist Meg Murry did.  I could totally relate to Meg: the eldest daughter, the precociously brilliant baby brother, that weird phase of life where you feel so ... wrong (sometimes I think I'm still in it, LOL).  In the end, through her love for her family, Meg learned to be a hero herself and seeing her grow up gave me hope that those awkward days would pass ... though I'm still trying to find my own "Calvin O'Keefe."  (Just kidding).  =P

9.  Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights or any Star Wars EU books: The Expanded Universe books have now been rebranded Star Wars: Legends since the Disney acquisition.  However, they're what really made me a fan of Star Wars, especially the post-Return of the Jedi novels.  I picked the "YJK" books to feature here, not because they're amazing writing (they're average for a kids' series), but because of the characters: how they stuck with me and how they became some of my favorite characters in the franchise as a whole ...

10.  Julie Lessman:  I might get called out for this, but anything by Julie Lessman.  She's definitely on the "spicy" side of sweet for Christian historical (I'll say it, romance!) authors and the CBA market in general, but compared to some other Christian authors of that genre, the spiritual aspect is strong (but not over the top "preachy").  For me, her books brought to life the passionate love God has for us, and they made me realize it's something I never want to compromise on.  Just make sure you read her books in order if you can!  There's always something that will keep you guessing 'til the end ...

Honorable mention (because the Little Women girls' retreat was on my mind): Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott:  She's known for the Little Women series, but this book was my favorite of hers.  Similar to L'Engle's books, I think I was at the right age to appreciate this:  Rose Campbell was trying to find who she was as a person and where she fit in the world.  Even though it was written nearly 100 years ago, she faced a lot of things girls everywhere do when growing up.  I could relate with "the good girl" in many aspects ... and there was just a touch of romance that I was beginning to discover I really liked to read about...

So what's on your list?  Feel free to share it below in the comments.  Remember, it should only take several minutes to come up with the list: pick the first books that come to mind.  (Then if you're like me, you take hours annotating it.)  =P 

(Edited for formatting)

Some of my friends did the challenge on their blog as well --check them out!

holtfan @ Fernweh's Call

LoveLeigh @ Secretly Love Leigh

Ten Books That Have Stayed With You - Top Ten Tuesday Ten Books That Have Stayed With You - Top Ten Tuesday Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/09/2014 12:41:00 PM Rating: 5

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