Monday 18 July 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I Loved As a Teen

This is a book meme over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I realise that the theme this week is actually top ten books that every teen should read. As a tutor though I learned that so long as the teen is reading at all to leave them alone. Don't get me wrong, I am all for encouraging them to broaden their horizons so I'm not completely against the idea. Plus all those books about the right of ascension I usually hated. Instead I thought I would list top ten books that met a lot to me as a teenager.

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I know I hated all the characters and most of them have been listed on one of my top tens in a negative way. I still loved that book. Must have appealed to my dark side as a teen because it was back then that I read it over and over again.

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Not the first classic I read but certainly one of the first classics by a woman (if you don't count children's classics). I devoured this book and loved every page. Sadly I haven't read it since. It's overdue a reread.

3. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. The first Dickens book I read was the Christmas Books. The first one I loved was the next one, David Copperfield. I think this was my real introduction to classics and how wonderful they can be. I loved ever it and loved all the characters. Even the nasty Uriah Heep who still manages to give me the creeps.

4. Foundation by Isaac Asimov. I think this was my first science fiction book which led me to so many more. I loved the entire series plus it was something my mum, dad and I would pass round each other.

5. The Stand by Stephen King. Not the first King book I read but certainly the largest book I had read at that point (it was early in my teens). I was steadily working my way through King books at the time and this one stood out above the rest. They were all about good and evil but there was no getting away from that theme here. It fascinated me at the time.

6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I picked this book for an extended essay and although I must have had to read it about four or five times I never got bored of it. It was my introduction to dystopian novels which was quickly followed by Fahrenheit 451.

7. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. This is a fantastic book. It means more to me than just a fantastic story though. I had loaned it to a friend. When another friend saw her with it and asked if she was reading it she scoffed at the idea (I am sure this other friend couldn't care less). It was then I decided that I wasn't going to be like that. I wouldn't let anyone embarrass me just because I liked to read.

8. To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper. Okay, I am going to eat my own words here and say everyone should read this. It was one that got passed round all my friends and I don't know a single person who has read it and not fallen in love with it.

9. The Diary of Anne Frank. Well, I admit I wasn't a teenager when I first read this. I don't know how many rereads I was onto as a teen. I think though, as I neared the age Anne was I understood the real horror of it.

10. Dracula by Bram Stoker. If you don't count the point horror books I read this was my first real introduction to vampire stories. I compare all vampire books to this one now.

What's your top ten?


  1. Oh, I don't know how I didn't include Foundation. I love your list! Dracula should be everyone's first introduction to vampires - wasn't mine, but it should be!

  2. Great list! The Stand should be required reading for everyone on the planet, I love that book!

  3. We both included Dracula and Anne Frank, which I suspect will be an unusual combo in this one!

    Loved Foundation too but I have to confess that the only Stepehn King book I've ever read was his book about the Boston Red Sox!

  4. A great list and I do agree that it is better to leave them to their own choices, but also encourage them to broaden their horizons. That being said there are a few books on your list I still need to experience myself!

  5. I think this is the best list I've seen so far! A nice blend with some great classics!

  6. I love to see the inclusion of a couple of Brontes! Dracula was my first horror read! *shiver* I remember being fascinated over the spooky cover illustration on my dad's 1960s Pocket Penguin Classic!

  7. Such a great list! I definitely agree with including Brave New World. I remember it being one of the first books in high school that really made me think about the what ifs.

  8. Your teen reading was much more high brow than mine! I only really read classics for school and even then, we were generally allowed to read contemporary stuff too.

  9. +JMJ+

    When I was a teenager, I made a friend who was already in his late forties, and who believed the same thing about The Stand. He got me a copy and hoped it would change my life. I'm afraid to say it mostly flew over my head. =(

    Jane Eyre was already a favourite at the time, though. I reread it last year, for the first time in about five years, and thought it had never been more wonderful.

    And since you asked, here's my list! =)

  10. "The Stand" is one of my favourite books of all time! In fact, you've got a few of my favourites here!

    My Top Ten

  11. I loved the Grapes of Wrath in high school. It was one of the books that made me realize that "big, scary classics" could be great reads. I loved of Mice and Men too. I should have had Steinbeck on my list.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

  12. Thanks for your comments everyone.

    Ellie, I promise my teen reading wasn't really that high brow. I read a lot of point horrors, fear street, John Grisham and even Catherine Cookson. I am sure some of my reading material back then would make you shudder.

    Enbrethiliel, I honestly can say that The Stand didn't change my life. I just loved it.

    LBC, I loved of Mice and Men also but read that later on. I think I was at college by then. My favourite Steinbeck is actually East of Eden but I only read that a few years ago so couldn't include it.

  13. Hi, Karen. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday! Maus was one of the first graphic novels I ever read, and I still think about it a lot.

    Your list is great, too. If I'd gone with more classic-type books, To Kill a Mockingbird would have made my list for sure!