In The Hazel Wood, Alice searches through her memories and finds books. The books she read when she was living in California, the books from Montana or Ohio… for Alice, her memories are in the places and in books. I don’t think I’m quite like Alice, but a lot of my memories have books imprinted into them.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
I read The Book Thief aboard the Norwegian Breakaway in 2015. I had already seen the movie by then – I went to see it by myself at an afternoon matinee on one of my odd Wednesdays off and I absolutely fell in love with Liesel. I bought this book shortly after seeing the film, but I didn’t read it until I packed it away with the books I wanted to take on the honeymoon. So I have memories of reading this book on the balcony in the Caribbean, my husband still asleep as the sun came up over the bright blue ocean.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Another book read on the Norwegian Breakaway! This one on a more recent trip – I picked up the ship’s copy of The Hate U Give when I couldn’t get into the eBooks I had brought with me. Never again will I travel without a hardcopy book! Lesson learned. The Hate U Give kept me company while I was seasick and on the one sunny day we had aboard on the passage to Europe. Starr Carter’s story filled the empty hours with anger and passion and it was the type of book that made me want to holler at the world – and I couldn’t because I had nobody to rant or ramble at but my husband and stranger in the middle of the Atlantic.
Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce
I’ve written about my memories of Sandry’s Book a couple times. My memories of reading this book are largely tied in with my early book worming memories. I’d escape to the woods behind my house with this trusty novel clutched in my hand and lose myself in the forest until I found a good tree to climb. Then on the branches I’d be – Sandry’s Book in hand.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sabriel wasn’t the only book, but it was one of the many. I had a habit of hiding novels under my desk rather than paying attention in class while I was in high school – I wonder if kids these days still do that? When I was in high school, only one in four kids had a cell, and most of those were just trusty Nokias. We’d pass notes and doodle and read novels in class when we were distracted. People like to blame cell phones, but kids have been not paying attention for years. Sabriel and The Golden Compass were among the books I allowed to distract me.
Inferno by Dan Brown
The last time I sat in a waiting room, waiting for someone to get out of surgery, I read almost the entire novel of Inferno. My memories of reading this are spliced in with pacing the waiting room. I don’t sit still very well, and even less so when I’m worried. Pace the waiting room, read a few chapters of Inferno, pace the waiting room. Everything went perfectly, of course, but now that memory is stuck to the book.
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
I struggled to read Terrier the last time I went to Disney World. My husband and I flew Jet Blue and I get horribly airsick most the time. This was no exception – the plane bounced around like it was nobody’s business and it was impossible to keep my stomach. Add on the fact that I was in a car accident the day before, and my head was a mess. So I tried and tried to read Terrier and the whole trip only managed a chapter or two. I ended up finishing the book sitting at my father’s side when he was hospitalized for appendicitis. I went to sit so my mother would go home and sleep.
Servant of the Bones by Anne Rice
During Spring Break for my junior year of high school, my father took me on the Obligatory College Tour. There were only two colleges – I was only allowed to apply to religious schools (all girls would have been preferred) and there were only a few of those that had a Writing program… and I wanted to go to school for writing. So we went to one school in New York and another in Pennsylvania and on the endless hours on the road, I tucked into the backseat of my father’s Jetta and buried my nose into Servant of the Bones. I was all about Anne Rice that year.
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The English class I took in my senior year was incredible. It was a science fiction and fantasy based course, and the first book of the year was The Color of Magic. For those unfamiliar, The Color of Magic is the first book in Pratchett’s incredible Discworld series. We were assigned to do a project on the book, and my friends and I gathered together to make a short film about this book. We were able to use a small inn and restaurant nearby that one of my friends had a connection to, and I got to play Rincewind because I took the best stage punch. The footage still exists, but you’ll never find it.
Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
I was married in September 2015, and everything about the lead-up process drove me crazy. I only had a wedding budget of about $3000 (if you’ve been married yourself, you know most wedding dresses cost this much) and I had to do a lot of thrifty shopping and DIY to get it done at all. It wasn’t a glamorous wedding, but it was fine and the day was perfect. I have no regrets, even though a proper wedding dress would have been nice. But the place I went to hide from the wedding stress? My current read – Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I finished reading Catching Fire on a Wednesday night lying on the floor with my feet on a chair and my heart hammering. It was my first all-nighter in a while and it broke me to pieces. The book was precious – I couldn’t stop reading it. I was wrapped up entirely in The Hunger Games, the first book series that completely captured my imagination after Harry Potter. I picked up Mockingjay immediately after, but only made it a few chapters in before I fell asleep.