1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: I cannot say that I waited long for this book. I didn’t even start the series until the last book was out. But this book was the final chapter of what I had come to love and obsess over. Who will die? Who will win, Voldemort or Harry? Is Snape good or evil? And most importantly, will Ron and Hermione ever kiss?!?!? Sure, I remember exactly where I was when the space shuttle exploded and fell out of the sky three days after my tenth birthday, I remember where I was when the World Trade Center also fell out of the sky, but I will remember until my dying day exactly where I was when I read about Hermione dropping basilisk fangs and jumping into Ron’s arms. “Oi, there’s a war going on here!” Le sigh. (And yes, I think I just sealed my fate as a geek.)
2. Cty of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Just falling into this series not knowing what to expect, I was immediately engrossed. It’s such a great set of books and I cannot wait to finish them. I’m still upset, though, about the casting of Jamie Bower as Jem.
3. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding: So unbelievably funny. I was recommended this book by a friend and it was at a time in my life that I wasn’t into reading as much as I am now (back in my early 20s when I actually had a social life). This book was very hard to put down and paralleled my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, so it, too became a favorite.
4. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer: I was out of the loop, apparently. I didn’t know anything about these books until the summer Breaking Dawn came out. So, I mosey over to Barnes and Noble and tell the clerk, “I’m looking for a book called Twilight? I’m not sure who the author is…” and she proceeds to lead me to a table I’d completely passed up to get to her, filled to the brim with all the books. I pick it up and pay for it, bring it home, and about twelve hours later, before I’d finished the book, I was back to B&N for the second, and then the third less than a day later. I’d finished them all in a weekend. And they’re not short books, they’re all over 400 pages long. I fell in love. Then Monday, I brought Twilight to work to convince my work wife she had to read them. She did, but she didn’t love them as much as I did. Oh, well, you gotta try to infect everyone else, don’t you.
5. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery: I was in seventh grade. I don’t remember which was first, the book or the movies, but this story stirred my little innocent heart. It’s still one of my favorite books and movies. Gilbert…such a horrid name, such a beautiful boy.
6. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: A beautiful, if somewhat dry, story about a woman trying to find the real Dracula through a series of letters left by her father. Most of the book is epistolary, told through letters. It was so very intriguing, but it’s been a while since I read it, so I cannot go into further detail except to say that it was an extraordinary book and I am so very glad I read it.
7. The Outsiders by SE Hinton: I read this book when I was young, early teens, maybe, because someone I admired said he liked the book. Of course, there was a movie about it, but he said the book was better. I had already seen the movie, so I took up the book, not expecting much. This became my first inkling that books are generally better than movies. This book really opened my eyes about seeing people for who they are rather than what they look like. I’m glad I learned this lesson at an early age. Everyone should read this book.
8. Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I had to read this book for 10th grade English. It really spoke to me, expressed things that I thought and felt but didn’t have the voice to acknowledge.
9. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: Easily one of my favorite books. I don’t even know how I stumbled across it, probably on one of my expeditions to the library when I would pull random books from the shelf, read the back and decide it might be interesting. It was hard to justify why I loved Rachel, who sleeps with her best friends fiancé, and then root for her and the fiancé to end up together. Sometimes things aren’t just black and white and I thought that infidelity, in both friendships and romantic relationships, would be just that. It really opened my eyes and taught me to remember that there are two sides, and sometimes more, to a story.
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Once again, I was out of the loop. I thought it couldn’t be as good as everyone else said (I pride myself on being the last to try a fad because the general population is sooo pedestrian). Boy, was I wrong. This book grabs hold of you and pulls you in. It was a hearty meal, the kind that is good for you and filling, not some sweet confection that makes you crash a couple hours later. I am ever so glad I picked this book up and gave it a chance.