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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Favorite Pre-Blogging Books

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Pre-Blogging Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Though it feels like I've been blogging forever, it's really only been the last two and a half years. Before that time, I read a whole bunch of books, including some of my favorites. You must know about them! These represent favorites from some different periods of my life before blogging.

1. Graceling/Fire by Kristin Cashore

Undoubtedly, this one surprises no one, since I talk about my love of these books almost weekly. Reviews of her books are all over the place, and even people who love one don't necessarily like another, but I loved them both so much. Though I did reread Fire after I started blogging, I still didn't review it. I read these in 2009, waited for Bitterblue impatiently, and still haven't read it.

2. Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson

As with the first, I've proclaimed my love for this series several times, and I'm going to do it again, because that's how great it is. These were my favorite books from my long chick lit-reading phase in high school. They're cute, funny, and have an adorable romance. They're amazing and not nearly well-known enough.

3. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

I've read Catch-22 twice, and, though my experiences were a bit different each time, I loved it as a sophomore in high school and a senior in college. The first half is laugh-out-loud funny, and features a brand of dark humor I absolutely adore. The second half, due to the way he sold it, takes a turn for the macabre, and really conveys Heller's opinions on war.

4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Okay, so I fell in love with the movie first, the one no one else watched where Dickon dies. However, I did eventually read the actually book when I was a child, and I reread it during library school a couple years ago. This is one where I love the book so much more as an adult, now that I can appreciate the beauty of the language. The Secret Garden is magical.

5. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

During my teen years, I didn't read too many teen books, but I loved EVERYTHING Meg Cabot. I've read about forty of her books, and this series is by far my favorite one. I feel like too many Meg Cabot fans only know her newer stuff, not her best stuff imo, originally published under the pseudonym Jenny Carroll.

6. Watchmen by Alan Moore

A graphic novel! I've read Watchmen twice, and it's simply brilliant. The interplay of the panels, often covering two story lines at once, alternating panels. It's not a good graphic novel for someone to start with, necessarily, but, if you can handle the interplay of words and pictures, Watchmen is one of the best books there is.

7. Northanger Abbey/Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is cheating, but Jane Austen was the favorite of my teen years. Pride & Prejudice is, I think, her best work, but Northanger holds a very special place in my heart. I know Austen isn't for everyone, but her wit and characters make her work ever an unparalleled favorite of mine.

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Umm, hello, it's Harry Potter. Of COURSE, this series was among my favorites. Prisoner of Azkaban was always my favorite one, and Sirius my favorite character. I really want to reread the series, so that I can revisit the later books, which I don't think I appreciated fully, too overwhelmed by the feels.

9. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Though The Witch of Blackbird Pond is set in one of my least favorite historical eras (I could hardly care less about the pilgrims), I just love this book. I've read it probably ten times, and every time it captures me.

10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Straight up, this is one of the best-written books ever written. The wordplay in this novel is unparalleled. To this day, there are certain phrases I cannot think of without this book coming to my mind, like "jumping to conclusions" and "killing time."



Blogger @MelissaJoLynn_ said...

I love HP too! I can't ever decide which book I like best, but Sirius is pretty awesome. I always wanted to read Catch 22. Gotta read more classics! My TTT

April 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the Phantom Tollbooth! I adored that book. I think I have multiple copies of it, as I feel a compulsive need to pick it up every time I find one, especially in second-hand bookshops.
The Secret Garden is also an inspired pick. I read The Little Princess first, but TSG was so incredibly vivid for me that I couldn't get over how much I enjoyed it. Great list!

April 9, 2013 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I'm always so embarrassed to admit that I've never read Catch-22! And I was an English major and am now an English teacher! This summer...

April 9, 2013 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Montana @ The Book Belles said...

The Mediator series sounds great! I've heard so many good things about it. I also read The Secret Garden before I was a blogger. I really enjoyed it :) Amazing picks!

April 9, 2013 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I suspect deciding my favorite would be harder now, but when I was younger I was all about book 3. Catch-22 is a great classic! Plus, it's more accessible, since it's not that old and has modern language.

April 9, 2013 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Kami said...

I love The Secret Garden and The Phantom Tollbooth! They were childhood favorites of mine! Great list!

April 9, 2013 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Bekka said...

That Phantom Tollbooth! I had to read this for school when I was younger, and of course we were limited to a chapter a week or something ludicrous like that. I ended up reading the whole thing the first night and GOT IN TROUBLE FOR IT. It was the worst.

April 9, 2013 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

All I can remember about The Secret Garden is that the copy my mum bought me when I was a kid came with a bracelet that I *loved* and then lost. ha!

Love Harry Potter, Watchmen and Catch 22. Great books/series!

My Top 10 List

April 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Graceling and your taste in Classic literature!

April 9, 2013 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger lillylilac said...

Great list, I love Catch-22 as well although I weirdly didn't notice that the second half of the book wasn't suppose to be wickedly funny like the first I mean I knew it was darker but I didn't notice it became a drama like you did. Also The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the series as well.

April 9, 2013 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger Divergent Gryffindor said...

I actuallyhavent read any of these books yet except for HP! But Itotally love HP :)
Top Ten Tuesday
April Blog Hop

April 9, 2013 at 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a Secret Garden movie where Dickon dies? Weird. I read that book so many times when I was little - and A Little Princess too, although now I much prefer The Secret Garden - Mary's journey is vastly more interesting than saintly Sara's.
I read The Phantom Tollbooth with my little brother, and we both loved it. It's been several years though now, but I remember loving the part where the conductor conducts the sunrise into being, and the colour and the music. Such beautiful imagery.

April 9, 2013 at 3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great list! I could've easily had The Secret Garden and A Little Princess on mine too. It's hard to just pick ten!

April 9, 2013 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

I really must pick up Fire/Bitterblue sometime. I liked Graceling okay, didn't love it like everyone else seems to.

And Christina, THANKS so much for featuring Enchanted, Inc! I think it was from your slow burn romances post awhile ago. I read them all and loved it!

Ah, Mediator. It was one of my earlier paranormal books I read as teen. Feels so nostalgic.

April 9, 2013 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HP3 is my favorite HP book. It's the one that got me hooked and made me realize JK Rowling had plans for this series. And P&P is my all time favorite book ever!!!

Thanks for sharing :)

April 9, 2013 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I had two copies, but I ended up gifting one to a friend's daughter. That book is important for kids to have. Nurturing a love of reading for the win!

Both are amazing, and I need to find more of Burnett's books, because she's obviously brilliant. TLP I liked slightly less overall, but still love.

April 9, 2013 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


You must! You simply must!

April 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I've never heard of Enchanted,Inc but it totally looks like my thing so I'll be checking it out for sure. I also promise to read the Mediator series someday.

Also I LOVE The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

April 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ah, The Mediator is so funny and romantic and creepy. You should check it out!

April 9, 2013 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger alittlebookish said...

I loved the Secret Garden growing up. It's such a good read and I even enjoy re-reading it from time to time. It definitely brings some nostalgia.

My TTT: http://bookworm-meags222.blogspot.ca/2013/04/top-ten-tuesday-before-i-was-blogger.html?showComment=1365509731873

April 9, 2013 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Mine too, obvi. They stand up as an adult as well.

April 9, 2013 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh no! Teachers should NEVER punish kids for being enthusiastic readers, especially young ones. That sends a horrid message. Yeah, you were likely to spoil things, but your heart was pure!

April 9, 2013 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

This is why I don't wear jewelry much. I love it but I end up losing. *weeps for favorite sapphire ring lost somewhere in Pittsburgh*

Yay! A fan for Watchmen!

April 9, 2013 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Goooo me!

April 9, 2013 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I mean, there's still humor in the second half, but it does take a distinct turn to the more macabre. Like, there's that scene with the horse being beaten to death. There's a lot less hope in the second half.

Woo, Prisoner of Azkaban!

April 9, 2013 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Everyone does!

April 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That there is. He dies in the war. Then Colin comes back alive from the war and he's a very young Colin Firth. No lie.

I prefer TSG to ALP, as well.

Oh yay! That's awesome that you shared the story with your brother. That book is just perfect.

April 9, 2013 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I know! I've seen several that should have been on my list already. Gah!

April 9, 2013 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Actually, lots of people didn't like Graceling or Fire. There's a lot of division on Cashore's writing.

I am so flailingly excited that you found them and loved them. :-D

For real. They were my favorites as a teen.

April 9, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, It may also have been that I think that's how many were out when I first started reading, so it was the last one I didn't have insane expectations going into, since I binge read the first three.

April 9, 2013 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YAY! Please do. I force that series on so many people.

Woo! *fistbumps*

April 9, 2013 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Rereading is wonderful. :)

April 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh The Phantom Tollbooth. I almost put that one on my list but at the last minute didn't for favor of another books. I loved that book. The Secret Garden is another great book as well.
Check out my TTT.

April 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Renae @ Respiring Thoughts said...

I have crazy love for The Secret Garden. Maybe because I look EXACTLY like the girl who plays Mary in the 1994 film version. (Also, the version where Dickon dies was excellent, too.)

It's been about 10 years since I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and I remember liking it, but that's it. 7 year old me was annoyed by people who thought women shouldn't swim or read—my two favorite things to do.

April 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Angela @ Reading Angels said...

Oh Harry.... :D

April 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Hm so I haven't read any of these but I have SEEN The Watchmen. Does that count? No. Boooooo. I think this is the first list I have seen today without Twilight and The Hunger Games on it.

April 9, 2013 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That's what happened in my list too. Ten is just not enough. So many favorites left neglected.

April 9, 2013 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Someone else has seen that version and not hated it! I actually haven't seen the more popular version. O_O

Ha, well, I've reread that book so many times and I keep expecting to not love it and then I do.

April 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

He brings the blogosphere together.

April 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, well, it sort of counts, but the movie isn't nearly as epic! Oh, well, I was already blogging when I read Mockingjay, so I sort of discounted The Hunger Games. Also, my love of Twilight had already dissipated some by the time I began blogging. There are things I loved more, you know?

April 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Blogger10 said...

Watchmen was my first graphic novel, and I didn't expect much from it, but it really was fantastic. And I am totally due for a re-read of the Phantom Tollbooth...I don't think I've read it since 5th grade! I remember loving it though.

April 9, 2013 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Watchmen is one of the best graphic novels ever. I'm impressed that you could jump into the format with that one! I need to reread TPT too. There should be a readalong or something, except that I am far too lazy to arrange such a thing.

April 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I did debate about putting THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND on my TTT list as well. There are just too many to choose from!

April 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger molly wetta said...

Gosh, I forgot Catch 22 when I did my list! It's hard to remember all the fabulous books I've read, which is why I like blogging -- it helps me remember and keep track. I'd totally forgotten about The Witch of Blackbird Pond until I saw that -- I loved that when I was a kid!

April 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Way too many. I missed a bunch of favorites too.

April 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I missed bunches too! Blogging is great for that, and it's a big part of why I did.

April 9, 2013 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

I loved Graceling! I hope to read the other two books this year. I hate having unfinished series!

I need to reread Shadowlands, since I do want to read the rest of the MEDIATOR series, and it's been almost 2 years. I remember loving it though.

April 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I have so many partially read series. I think you would be driven crazy by all the ones on my plate. I wish I had time to rectify that, but I really don't.

You should! Easy enough to reread. They go so fast.

April 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite HP book too! And I have no idea why I didn't think to put Secret Garden on my list, considering I JUST did a re-read of it. Lovely picks. :)
Top Ten Tuesday!

April 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, probably because you can now review it for your blog, so it's sort of a blogging book now!

April 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Read Write Reviews said...

Graceling is brilliant but Bitterblue is the best in the series! You must read it! Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter book and film, it's always been the one that stood out for me, so high five for choosing that. Also Pride and Prejudice is great! Great list and Happy Reading!

My Top Ten!

April 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh really? I know a lot of people were disappointed with it. I've been giving myself time to lower my expectations, which can only help.

April 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About HP, I totally agree. I've read them countless times when I was younger, but I recently reread the 6th, and it was quite different, without (so much) feels. I mean, I did have to pause and gather myself for a while when I knew Dumbledore's death was round the corner, but hindsight tempers things, I've seen. :)

April 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I remember the series feeling really different in tone after book four, but I really need to reread and see how I feel about that.

April 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Nikki R said...

Oh gosh, I hadn't thought about The Witch of Blackbird Pond in forever! And Phantom Tollbooth is definitely still a favorite of mine, as well. Awesome list!

My Top Ten

April 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! It's fun revisiting childhood favorites!

April 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Cecelia said...

Love your list! I have an Austen and an Elizabeth George Speare on my list as well - and I absolutely adored THE SECRET GARDEN and the Harry Potter series. Fantastic picks!

April 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've not actually read any other Elizabeth George Speare, so I'll have to check that out!

April 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great list!! I love the Graceling series (that's not the name, is it?) Fire is my favorite of the series, even though I have yet to read Bitterblue. I read Fire way before I started blogging and never reviewed it until about 2 months a go.
New Follower
my TTT

April 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great choices! Joseph Heller, and Catch-22 in particular, is a favorite of mine, and The Phantom Tollbooth is a family favorite for sure! The Witch of Blackbird Pond as well -- must reread one of these days.


April 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I couldn't do this post because all mine would have been classics. Seriously, that's like ALL I read pre-YA and pre-blogging. And no one wants to read about all the books I read from the Canon. lol

April 9, 2013 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great list! Prisoner of Azkaban is such a good one!


April 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

I love Harry Potter too! Though I think my favourite book would have to be either Philosopher's Stone or Goblet of Fire. Both Enchanted, Inc and The Phantom Tollbooth sound great! I think I'll check them out and see.

April 9, 2013 at 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've totally sold me on Enchanted Inc. I shall check it out as soon as I can!

April 9, 2013 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

The series is called Seven Kingdoms, I think, though on GR it might have changed to Graceling Realm, so I don't know.

April 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I haven't yet read any other Joseph Heller but I own several that I hope to get to someday.

April 10, 2013 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, I love reading about classics! I would love to see that list.

April 10, 2013 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

OMG, you have no idea how excited I am about that.

April 10, 2013 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yes!! Someone else who's favorite HP book is The Prisoner of Azkaban!! Mine too!! I have Expecto Patronum tattooed on my arm because that scene is one of my favorite scenes in any book I have ever read. (And it has an awesome meaning) I loved The Secret Garden too!!

April 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I loved The Mediator series in middle/high school. Haven't read too many other Meg Cabot books, but, then again, I don't think her other ones could compare to the awesomeness of this series. The Witch of Blackbird Pond was great too! I really loved Kit's character and how she stood up for her beliefs in that ridiculously oppressive society. Graceling and Fire are wonderful, and you really need to read Bitterblue! I know some people think it's not as good because it's different than the other two, but, really, it's still Cashore and very well done.

April 10, 2013 at 8:15 PM  

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