The witty Michael G. Munz tagged me a couple days ago on Facebook in one of those chain posts threatening explosions or the ghost of a demented little corpse to show up if you don't participate. The threat wasn't explicit, but we all know little creepy ghost children are part of the deal. To spare my dogs any trauma inflected by Emily the ghost, I will bestow upon the world my list of books that have stuck with me over the years.
The Shining - Stephen King
The first time I read The Shining, I was terrified of my bathroom. There were at least three late night trips to the loo that had me staring at the shower curtain. Stephen King has a gift for story telling which is reflected in both the quantity and quality of his work. The man is a genius.
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
I switched schools my sophomore year of high school, and the change in curriculum was staggering. I went from never studying to spending four hours each evening trying to catch up. Oddly, I loved it. This book was the first book I sat in a classroom and discussed with my peers with passion and interest.
Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The school I switched to in my sophomore year was actually a seven year school (combined middle and high school) that required students to take a foreign language throughout. Stepping into a school so late in the game was frustrating, but I was stubborn and determined to catch up to my peers. During an assignment, I was required to write an extended ending to Le Petit Prince. My teacher cried when she read it and insisted on sharing it with the other classes. It was the first time I truly felt as though I could keep up.
The Complete Guide To Dogs - Unknown
My poor mom. She gave me this book as a gift and ended up with a twelve year old girl hawking paintings and saving up for her own show dog. I think Bob the Bernese mountain dog is still her favorite dog of all time and I learned a lot about losing and winning the right and wrong way through dog shows, so it kind of worked out for the both of us.
This was my introduction to Science Fiction and it was amazing. Enough said.
The China Study - T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II, Howard Lyman, and John Robbins
In 2007 I became very ill and was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. Later I was also diagnosed with a rare mast cell disorder that essentially makes my body not recognize food properly. This book changed how I looked at food and led to several years of veganism. I am no longer vegan - it didn't work for me because my body developed too many allergies (all grains, all legumes, and many other foods) - but I still make thoughtful choices about what I eat because I recognize the impact my food choices have on my health. As a result, I have been able to avoid the standard medications and all of the lovely side effects that come with them.
Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery
This book stands out as the first time I fell in love with a fictional character - Gilbert Blythe. Anne was pretty great too, but Gilbert had me speed reading the series. It didn't hurt that my grandmother's family hailed from Prince Edward Island.
Hell House - Richard Matheson
This book is on the list because it's terrifying and it was my introduction to Richard Matheson, the same man who gave us I Am Legend. I haven't read a book by Matheson that I haven't liked.
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
How is it possible to read this heartbreaking story without feeling something profound? I sobbed.
One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
This series has brought me a lot of joy and is something I can share with my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. Evanovich has so much to offer to a wide audience. I wish I were half as creative. Who would think of a bounty hunter and all the fabulously strange potential that could come with the profession?
Surprised at the lack of vampires? I was shocked.
Now I get to choose who continues this post (I'm cackling and making my coworkers nervous again). Z.D. Gladstone, you're on deck!