The Books In the Places I Remember

Posted July 24, 2018 by Amber in Uncategorized / 26 Comments


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

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

Terrier by Tamora Pierce

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 and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen

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.


What books do you have strong memories about?

Do you take books on vacation?

What book stands out to you during an important time of your life?

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26 responses to “The Books In the Places I Remember

  1. I also love to take books on vacation! When writing my own Top Ten Tuesday post I realized that some books are indeed tied to certain places. The Book Thief reminds me of my old library. When it was closing, they sold a lot of books and I bought The Book Thief. That library is now a gym. But I still have that book 🙂 (and luckily enough there is another library in my town)

    • Amber

      I was all ready to be outraged when you said the library is now a gym!!! I’m glad at least you have another library though. 🙂 The library in the town where I grew up is now an historical society, but the library moved to a pretty new, bigger building, so it’s okay. 🙂 The more I think about it, I want to tell the stories of ALL my books in ALL the places. 🙂 I think all the books we love best also come in memorable parts of our lives.

  2. I think it’s neat when books bring back certain memories, or are associated with places or times in our minds. I can totally relate to Catching Fire- that was my favorite of the books and having just read the series (for the first time) recently I can definitely remember being pretty tense!

    • Amber

      Yesss, thank you! Catching Fire is my favorite too and I feel like it just doesn’t get enough love. 🙂 It was so intense, and I loved the arena in that one.

    • Amber

      I will definitely be seeing the film – for starters, just because I think the message is important, but also because the casting already looks really good to me. I have a lot of confidence that the story will be pretty good up there on screen. Not perfect to the book – they never are – but good. 🙂 What about yourself?

  3. Bringing books to vacations with me is a must, although I mostly bring ebooks along because the amount of hardcopies I would pack would send me over the baggage limit! The memory you have of the Book Thief is so beautiful, nothing like nature and reading together ♥

    • Amber

      🙂 I tried to only bring eBooks with me on my last vacation in April, and it just wasn’t the same. I ended up finding the ship’s library and checking out a book (The Hate U Give) which I devoured. I agree though – books take up so much space when you are trying to pack smart or light. I have to make myself take paperbacks at least, haha.

      Reading in nature is so tranquil, isn’t it? One of my favorite things in the world.

  4. I love this!! What you said about Sandry’s Book was so nice! I’m jealous, I wish I had a forest I could run off and read in when I was growing up. I also loved what you said about Sabriel!! Oh my god, I used to do that reading under the table thing too. And the Nokia brick phones!!! 😂 Plus, it looks like we both went on Hunger Games reading benders!

    Loretta @ The Laughing Listener recently posted: TTT: Trips Down Memory Lane
    • Amber

      It’s bittersweet – I miss my forest! My family rented the house, so they now live in a suburban house in a different town with no land, and I live in an apartment in the middle of downtown. So, good memories, but they spoiled me. 😛

      Did you ever get caught reading in class? I remember my French teacher coming up to me, looking me over while I casually tried to slip my bookmark in, and sort of just shaking her head and walking away as if to say “well at least she’s reading and not texting”.

    • Amber

      Yes – me too! We were the original kids who could navigate a congested hallway without paying attention to anyone around us!

      I was also the one with a notebooks and books and coloring while my brother loaded up on toys and games for the car. I still am, haha. 🙂

    • Amber

      The Hunger Games definitely pulled you in as a reader! It’s no surprise it did so well… it sparked the dystopian revolution. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as me!

    • Amber

      Haha, I don’t know about your experience, but planning my wedding was *not* super fun, even as lowkey as it was. What was your wedding-stress book of choice?

    • Amber

      Haha, midnight is STILL late for me! 😛 But I’m an early bird. That book just ensnared everyone, I think!!!

    • Amber

      It was like 3-4 hours. I think the last hour was probably just waiting for him to wake up (my husband does NOT handle anesthesia great, it knocks him clean out and he’s groggy and weird for the next couple days) and it wasn’t supposed to be a big thing? But the hospital did not communicate anything, so it was nice to have a book. 😛

    • Amber

      Thanks! Reading in the woods is one of my favorite childhood memories. Do you have childhood reading memories that are particularly precious to you?