I saw this blog post originally made by Golden Books Girl, and immediately knew that I wanted to write my own. Full credit for this post idea goes to her; you can read her post here. After a discussion about which books would make our list, my friends and I decided to turn this into a collab. You can find Natalie’s list here, Amber’s here and Patsy’s here. In no particular order, here are some of the books which made me a reader.
#1: Alice In Wonderland
I couldn’t write this post without mentioning Alice in Wonderland. Anyone who knows me knows just how much I adore this book. As a child, my Grandad had a hardback copy of this book in his garage which included beautiful colour illustrations and from the moment I saw it I fell in love. I can remember fighting with my brother over who’s turn it was to have AIW and who would get stuck with the copy of Wind in the Willows. I spent pretty much every World Book Day dressed in a blue dress, white knee socks and a white apron that had been lovingly made by my Nan, with my hair scraped back with a blue ribbon.
I think the thing I love so much about Alice in Wonderland, is just how crazy it is. In Wonderland, truly anything goes, from the wacky and eccentric character of Mad Hatter, to the horrific Jabberwocky. It’s a book which takes you on a magnificent adventure, from the first page to the very last.
#2: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events holds a solid position in this list. I was utterly mesmerised by the life of the Baudelaire children, refusing to take a break until I’d read all thirteen novels. My brother had a 3-in-1 edition of the first three stories, and I can remember staring at it on his book shelf for years, desperately wanting to get my hands on it. Of course, being the awful siblings we are, he wouldn’t let me read it, despite never actually reading it himself. My discovery of ASOUE came at a time in my life where we spent the summer living in my aunt’s living room, sharing a blow-up mattress on the floor. My main goal for that summer quickly became an obsession of having to complete the series, and so my mother and I spent the 6 weeks driving to every library in Hillingdon on a mission to find the next book. If one library didn’t have it, then we’d be straight back in the car driving to the next. Somehow I was successful in my mission, long before the 6 weeks were up and to this day, those books still have a very special place in my heart.
#3: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
If you’ve never heard of The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, honestly where have you been? This 10 book series had me laughing out loud, cringing and screaming at Georgia’s bad choices all at the once. I remember sitting in bed huddled over the books, shining a dull book light over the pages, quickly turning the pages in a desperate need to know what happens next.
The film was released in 2008 and quickly became an important rite of passage for British teens. I can remember going to my local cinema at 11 years old, and being turned away with my group of friends as we didn’t have an adult accompanying us. Luckily, my mum had been in the shopping centre and after convincing her to escort us, I think she ended up enjoying the film even more than we did!
#4: Harry Potter
Would this really be a list complete without the Harry Potter series? Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone was released in 1997, when I was 9 months old. Growing up, these books had a HUGE hype and I was first introduced to them when my Grandad and Aunt began reading them. In all honesty, I don’t remember how old I was when I began to read them, but I have a distinct memory of sitting under my bed in my bean bag, next to my bookshelf, with my copy of The Goblet of Fire in my lap. I also had a copy of the So You Think You Know Harry Potter? quiz book which I would make various members of my family test me over and over and over again.
#5: Journey to River Sea
If I’m being completely honest, I struggle to remember the full plot for this book as I sit here and type. This book was given to me at in Year 5 at school, as one of the books on our “book club” list. Journey to River Sea is one of those books which has stuck with me for years, not necessarily for its plot, but for its ability to completely captivate me. The second I opened this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s the first book I ever sat and read in one sitting and to this day I still remember the feeling it gave me.
#6: Rainbow Magic
I feel as though these books stand out so much compared to my other choices, but again, I couldn’t write this list without including them. The Rainbow Magic books were a collection of books, where each series focused on a different type of fairy, eg. The Rainbow Fairy’s, The Party Fairy’s etc. Each time a new series was released I would beg my mum to take me to Waterstones and buy me the whole lot. I can remember giving up my future pocket money for the next two months, just so she would buy me the books. And then, I’d sit and read each book in a matter of hours. Thinking back to it, these books aren’t really anything special but they added a bit of magic to my childhood.
#7: The Twilight Saga
Yes, the dreaded Twilight Saga has made it onto this list. When I was 12 years old my friend handed me her copy of Twilight and declared I had to read it. And so I did. And the other 3 books. Over, and over and over again, to the point where I had to repurchase the series because the spines were destroyed and the pages kept falling out. When I look back at my love for Twilight, it quite frankly makes me want to cry. I won’t turn this into a discussion of every thing that is wrong with the Saga.
As a Creative Writing graduate, there are a number of books that made me want to write. The Twilight Saga did just that for me. I discovered the world of Fanfiction and found myself writing pages and pages about what might have happened if Bella had died in Breaking Dawn. I uploaded my story to fanfiction.net and to this day it’s had over 120K hits. When I re-read it now, 8 years down the line it makes me want to cry at how bad the writing is, but I refuse to be ashamed of it because we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?
#8: The Giant’s Necklace
The Giant’s Necklace, a short story found in Micheal Morpurgo’s From Hereabout Hill, is a story that I still think about regularly. Once again, it’s another one of my brothers books. I used to steal this off his shelves when he wasn’t in, run to my room and quickly read one of the short stories, and then rush back to return it to his shelf before he noticed it was missing. The Giant’s Necklace is the first story in the book, and therefore the first one I read. The ending to this story honestly shook me to the core, I didn’t see it coming and I think it kinda terrified an 8 year-old me. It’s definitely one of those stories that sticks in your mind for the rest of your life.
Over to you: What books made you a reader? Did any of mine make your list?