So I’ve been firing up the ol’ Goodreads account (make sure to follow me there for some sweet, sweet book recs), and I’ve been adding in quite a few books that I read ages ago as a wee critter. Got hit with some major nostalgia reading some of those titles. I was always a big reader—there’s one story my dad likes to relate of one time he came home late from work and stopped in the kids’ room to check on us before he went to bed. He noticed the closet light was on and there seemed to be a pair of legs poking out.
It was me. I snuck into the closet to keep reading after lights out and fell asleep over my book. (I can’t say much has changed)
Although I can’t remember exactly what book I was reading in that closet, there are quite a few from my childhood that I enjoyed enough to make me grasp at every moment I could to read. In no particular order, here they are:
Literally Anything by Tamora Pierce
The Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, Provost’s Dog, The Immortals…all of her books set in Tortall. I could never get enough of them. A world of magic and knights and castle with some powerful female characters? Sign me the heck up. I just ate those books up, and I’ve gone back and reread quite a few of them over the years. They still hold up, and I find them just as enjoyable as I did when I was ten. Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books ended up being a huge influence in my own writing and on the magic systems in my books. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, what even are you doing with your life.
The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane
Another series I absolutely loved as a kid, and still love today. I actually own almost all the books. This was the time the Harry Potter books were still being published, and I loved any book that portrayed a world where magic lived (albeit secretly) alongside the mundane. It appealed to my desire for magic to exist in the real world.
Redwall series by Brian Jacques
Probably where my love for non-human characters originates. This was just such a wonderful series, full of stories of good vs. evil, courage, inner strength, and some of the most mouth-watering descriptions of feasts. Pretty sure I had several dreams about attending a feast at Redwall. One of the most devastating moments in my childhood was finding out Brian Jacques had died, and that would be the end of the Redwall books. Ah, I have to go reread them now.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
I started reading this series back when there were only a few books out. My siblings were also reading them at the same time, and wars broke out between us every time a new book was published. We all wanted to be the first one to read it. I usually got it, because I read the fastest, but I remember there was one, I think it was The Titan’s Curse or The Battle of the Labyrinth, that I didn’t get to read first. Well, until I snuck into my brother’s room, took the book, and read it in the middle of the night. I would have gotten away with it too, if I had been able to resist bragging about my midnight escapades.
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Rowling might be a bit of a problematic figure nowadays, but these books were my life. I was the kid who made her own wand (we have a video from someone’s birthday, I think, of me ‘casting spells’ at the camera), desperately waited for her Hogwarts letter (even though she lived in the United States), and knew pretty much every bit of lore in the books and movies. I devoured the books as they came out (another series I got to read first because of my reading speed—although my mom got two copies of The Deathly Hollows because we kept arguing over who got to finish the series first). Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood, and will always hold a special place in my heart.
These are only a few of the books I enjoyed as a kid—even as I was writing, more and more kept coming back. Books I hadn’t thought about in years, but once I saw the cover or recognised the author’s name…just waves of nostalgia. I’ll definitely have to go back and reread some of them.
Are there any books that have really impacted you? Any that stuck with you? Or even some that you’re reading right now and you just love?