There’s some meme going around on Facebook where you post the covers of ten books that have been meaningful to you or your favorite, or something. I haven’t paid that much attention, to be honest. I just keep waiting for someone to tag me, because clearly I love books, and no one ever does. Maybe they’re afraid it would be ten cat related books.
At any rate, I think part of the meme is that you’re not supposed to explain your choices, and clearly I am not a person of few words on a topic like this. So I’m going rogue and making my own rules, just like Bruce Willis in Die Hard. (Okay, maybe not quite that rogue)
So, I’m going to share with you ten books over the next few weeks that have had some sort of impact on me – some current favorites, some that I grew up with. No particular order, because that would be like ranking children, and we just don’t do that, okay?
I can’t talk about books without mentioning the Little House on the Prairie series. I could have lived and breathed Little House if left to my own devices. For a while, the show would come on every day at 9am, right after Bananas in Pajamas, so I would make myself comfy on the couch with my bowl of cereal and sit through the end credits to Bananas while I waited for Little House. For a while, I could pretty much identify which episode it was by what actors were listed in the opening credits.
I had some supplementary material for Little House, too. My parents bought me this book – it wasn’t entirely cookbook, because it had crafts too – anyway, I remember that it had a recipe for Nellie Olson’s lemonade in it. That was the first time I squeezed actual lemons for lemonade and it was delicious.
Between Little House and the Oregon trail, I may have been well-equipped to live in the mid 1800’s. I haven’t read the series in many, many years now, but some of my fondest memories are because of it, so Little House has to earn a place on my list.
Speaking of series, the Glenbrooke series by Robin Jones Gunn was another influential one for me – this time, in my early teens.
This series was my first foray into romance – don’t worry, they were extremely chaste. But what hooked me wasn’t just the sappy sweet romance, but that the characters carried over from one book to the next. Jessica may have been the main character of the first book, but it was her friend Teri whose adventures we followed in the next one. But these books didn’t just drop former characters like hot potatoes once they’d met their match – they continued to be minor characters and make appearances in subsequent novels. In short, these novels were set in their own world, and I loved them for it.
Ever since reading the Glenbrooke series, I’ve wanted to write stories like this, set in a world where we followed up on former characters. It’s been at least ten years since I visited any books in the series, but I haven’t forgotten them, so they have also earned a spot on my list.