Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

CJ's Selections

I'm a pretty sensory person, so there are a lot of books I associate with flickers of a feeling, smell, or image. Unfortunately, most of those memories are of reading in bed, so I tried to pick some the more interesting ones from the bunch. Here are five.  
1.Caraval / Stephanie Garber - I was in a bad mood, in my apartment in Memphis, waiting for my parents and family to get there for Thanksgiving. I was really missing them and feeling down, so I picked up CARAVAL. I read it in one sitting. It was just what I needed to escape into.

2.All the Bright Places / Jennifer Niven - I cried a lot when I read this book. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom in Michigan, half in and half out of the closet, holding it and crying. I'd read it in one sitting and I immediately went back and re-read all the parts I'd dog-earred. Then I got my paints out and painted, because there was just so much emotion I needed to let go of.

3.I'll Give You the Sun / Jandy Nelson - I was on the beach in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic when I read this book. It was part of a stack of ARCs I'd brought back from my first (I think) BEA. I totally fell in love with the characters, and I remember smelling that lovely ocean breeze while I flipped page after page.

4.The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Vol 1 / Diana Wynne Jones - I remembering getting this book from my parents in my Easter basket. It was super thick, so my mom was hoping it'd take me longer than a day or two to get through it. I ended up reading it in Australia. It also sparked a lifelong love affair with Diana.

5.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / J.K. Rowling - I remember just getting this and then having to go to a party or something for my riding instructor (I was still riding horses back then). I was so annoyed because all I wanted to do was sit down and devour it. I ended up carrying it around with me pathetically the whole time.

Whitley's Selections

1.Alanna: The First Adventure / Tamora Pierce - I don't know if it was this book specifically, but it was this series. I first read it in middle school, and I still associate it with the feeling of sunshine. In fact, I associate it with a specific picture of myself from middle school, me and the girl who recommended it to me posing in front of a brick wall. I remember standing next to that brick wall and waiting for her to show up so I could squeal about how excited I was having just finished reading...whichever book I was on.

2.Lies / Michael Grant - I reread the first two books in order to read this one when it came out and JUST SO HAPPENS at that time I was also in a week long Combat Lifesaver course. These are unrelentingly grimdark books, which is one thing when you're reading them a year apart, and another when you're doing three in a row while there's powerpoint slides full of bloody wounds showing. I still feel acutely uncomfortable with this series and have never finished it.

3.Beauty / Robin McKinley - This book will always make me think of that maroon minivan my family had while I was growing up. I took this book with me on every single road trip (twice a year, Christmas and summer) to visit grandparents, and dutifully reread it each time.

4.Dragon Sword and Wind Child / Noriko Ogiwara - I found it in a school library. I can't remember which school, or which grade level, or literally anything else, but I can still tell you the exact layout of this library and every single section in it. I remember where this book was (along the left hand wall, on the shelf closest to the floor) and how I found it because I was so bored I just flopped over on the ground. I remember the other books I found while randomly killing time in that room, too, but this one was my favorite. 

5.Wren's War / Sherwood Smith - Elementary school, in that tiny apartment right after my parents split up, my mother's bathroom. I can still see her, curling her hair to get ready for something, as I burst into the room sobbing uncontrollably. I scared that poor woman so bad, she had no idea what was going on for several minutes as I just cried at her, only to find out I'd read a book that didn't have a perfectly happy ending with all the loose ends tied up and all the dead people brought back to life.

I was young, it was the first time that had happened to me! [[C.J.: Omg Whitley. x_x;;;;]]  

Your turn! What books do you associate with strong memories?

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