Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it, and list 15 books you’ve read that will always stick with you. They should be the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block
- 1984 by Orson Welles
- Soon I Will be Invincible by Austin Grossman
- The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Juniper by Gene Kemp
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
- Alias vol 4 by Brian Michael Bendis
- The Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L A Meyer
- American Girl 2: Ready or not by Meg Cabot
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
Lots of books from my childhood there, especially Juniper which is a strange little modern mystery and full of ordinary tragedies. I read it over and over and over as a child trying to work out the meanings of the dream sequences and when the lead character figured out what was going on. I didn’t repeat any authors although Meg Cabot and Neil Gaiman have certainly written more than one book that will always stick with me. I chose Curse of the Blue Tattoo as representative of the whole Bloody Jack saga as that’s my favourite one and scenes from it stick in my head.
1984 is there because of the horror. The weird images and confusion and the beautiful language all culminating in such horror. I’d kind of like to scrub my head clean of that book altogether but no, it will stay with me. I enjoyed Neuromancer a lot more but it’s on this list for much the same reason. I can recall with clarity the image of the cracked open wasp nest and stuff about Molly Millions.
Witch Baby made me feel, well, not accepted so much as understood. Its such a beautiful, lyrical exploration of how it feels to be an awkward teenager. To feel like you don’t belong where you live or with your family, no matter how they try to love you. I cry each and every single time I read it.
I put in Alias vol 4 because that’s the origin story of Jessica Jones combined with the story of why she gave up being a superhero. It’s powerful, dark stuff but absolutely wonderfully told. I love the rest of the series as well but this is the one that really resonated. Plus my copy is signed by the author. Woo.
Anyway, an interesting exercise. If you want to try it out, feel free to use the comments here or link back from your own blog. It’s fascinating as an author to think about the books that have ‘shaped’ you.