I’ve really enjoyed this meme that’s floating around Facebook and blogs. One of my favorite things to talk about is books and reading, and anything that gets people discussing this topic is fine by me! I thought I’d take a page from Amber and Nora’s books (ha ha ha… get it?! Oh, puns!) and write my own blog post on the top 10 books that have affected me the most.
Here we go!
10. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe – A powerful book on love and the influence we can have on other people. It’s not a depressing book, even though Will’s mother is dying from cancer during it. It’s uplifting and Will’s words had an incredible impact on me.
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I read this in high school and adored it, and then read it a second time last year and loved it even more. It’s such a fabulous story, something that sticks with you for a long time after reading it.
8. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller – You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy this novel. It’s so much bigger than a simple novel about faith – it’s about passion and living and hope and opening up to all the world has to offer. The writing isn’t flashy, and you can tell it’s written from Miller’s heart – not for fame, fortune, or popularity. I loved it and him.
7. The entire Harry Potter series – Because duh. I read the whole series a few summers ago (Erin organized a Twitter book chat, which was a fun way to experience reading the series!) and it’s just fantastic. Everyone needs to read these books.
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This book was insane. I didn’t know who to trust, I didn’t know what was happening, and I had no idea how it all would play out in the end. I’m one of the few who actually liked the ending (I thought it was authentic, and any other outcome would have felt trite). I’m not of the belief that in order for a book to be good, the characters must be likable. I’m fairly certain Flynn wanted us to hate Amy and Nick, and she definitely did a good job with that! Anyway, this book wreaked havoc on my emotions. Such a crazy story to read.
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Gosh, I loved the characters in this novel. Between Minny and Aibileen and Skeeter… ah! I kinda want to reread this book because it touched me so much.
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I’ll admit I’m not the biggest John Green fan, but I loved this book. It was such an emotional journey – so hopeful and happy, but also tragic and sad. It’s one of those books that stayed with me for a long time.
3. Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin – Oh, goodness, this book. I knew it would be a sad book, since it’s a memoir about a man whose wife dies right after giving birth to their daughter. I just didn’t know how much it would affect me. I was in a severe book hangover for weeks. I read the book in a matter of days – and it was sad, but also engaging and witty and hopeful – and I didn’t know what to do with myself when I finished it. I couldn’t stop thinking about Matt and Maddy, started measuring time in how long it had been since I thought about the book. (No lie – I was all, “Oh, I made it an hour without thinking about the book! Progress!”) Sometimes, I regret reading the book because it just absolutely gutted me.
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This book was incredible. It really changed me and made me take a step back to see how much good is in my life. Even my worst days are nothing compared to what oppressed women in other countries are facing. This book was heartbreaking and chilling at times, but there was also goodness and hope and light and happiness. I implore anyone who has not read this book to GO READ IT. It’s simply incredible.
1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – And, finally, the number one book that has affected me as a reader. This book is still my number-one recommendation when anyone asks, and I’ve yet to find a book that impacts me on such a deep level. It seems like it would be a depressing story – it’s about assisted suicide, after all – but it’s not. It’s written in a way where you get to know these characters deeply, get to understand them and where they are coming from. I’ve never loved two characters as much as I loved Lou and Will.
What are some books that have affected you?