Books That Will Stay With Me, Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of the 10 books that will stay with me. If you missed part 1 (which explains more about what this list is), you can catch that here.

Now let’s get into the books 6-10 that will stay with me.

  1. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. I don’t remember much about when I read this book. I know it was at some point in high school, but its haunting tone, images, and message has stayed with me for what has now been more than a decade. I learned a lot about independence from this book, and going against the grain. That is a lesson I have tried to remember and take to heart ever since.
  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. This is on the list for one very specific reason: it was the first real classic I ever read by myself and it taught me that I could. I could read them, even though they had always felt unapproachable before. It taught me that classics were accessible to me and that I could understand them.
  3. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. This is one that comes slightly out of left field, I suppose, in comparison with the other books listed. I’ve included it because of what it showed me fantasy could be. I had never really thought the genre could have beautiful writing. I didn’t think fantasy and literary writing could mix, until I read this book. It also taught me more than just about any other book I can think of about writing, as well as creating a world, characters, and high stakes.
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. When pressed to select a single favorite book of all time, I have often cited this one. I was head over heels from the moment I read this book (shortly after it came out, if memory serves correctly). I loved the originality of having Death as the narrator, and the lyrical style of the writing took my breath away. I was devastated at the losses near the end of the book but definitely admired Zusak for carrying it out. The idea that it’s about a girl who loves words, and about the power of words, also has no small part to play in why this book is so incredibly special to me.
  5. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Connie Willis has proved to be a hit-and-miss author for me (although in fairness, I have only read a small handful of her books), but I had to include this one. The scope and the intensity are what stands out to me with Doomsday Book. I raced through it, desperate to find out what happens to these characters–all of which are brilliant–and by the time I closed the book, the first word that went through my head was “unforgettable.”

And, because who cares about rules, I have to include one honorary mention: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. This is another book that really challenged my notion of what a book can do. The ingenuity and creativity behind it astounded me and when I finished it, I was in complete awe of what Sedgwick had done.

It takes a lot for a book to be considered life-changing or profound enough stay with me for years or even decades.

Those are the ones that make the cut.

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