My mom instilled in me a love of reading at an early age. I remember always taking walks to the library that was only a block or two away from my home when I was young. We’d spend hours there and I loved every minute of it. Throughout my life though she’s recommended a variety of books to me and these are the ones that left the most lasting impression over the years.
The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keene
These are some of the first books I remember my mom recommending me. My mom grew up in the same small town I did and would tell me stories about hanging out in the library and reading all the Nancy Drews (and Hardy Boys). I never got around to the Hardy Boy’s and I didn’t finish all the Nancy Drew’s but I sure did love them.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This is my mom’s favorite book and she passed along that love to me. I went on to read many of Scott O’Dell’s stories but there was something truly special about Island of the Blue Dolphins. We’re about to do our first ever re-read soon, right mum? 🙂
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth’s Children #1) by Jean M. Auel
I read this at an incredibly young age when you consider how much cave sex was going on. People these days would tend to think this is a bad thing, but her never limiting what I decided to pick up was vital to my growing love for reading.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
I was a bit late to the Potter party but my mom was the first to get me a copy. I lived with my other parent for a short period of time who was one of those weirdos you hear about that, for religious reasons, wouldn’t let Harry Potter in their house. Hail satan. I would sneak my copies into my bedroom and read under my sheet at night with a flashlight just like Harry did. Best mom ever.
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
My mom and I read these together, well, as together as we could back before Kindles when we only had one copy. I read them first and she quickly scooped them up. I had just handed off Dragonfly in Amber to her and grabbed Voyager to take with me to work that day. I worked in a gold mine and I hated it so bad, I was constantly sneaking off to hide in the bathroom to read. My copy of Voyager was so old and beat up it had split in half and I accidentally grabbed the second half. It was the worst day ever but still good for a laugh to this day.
Edgar Allan Poe
My mom gave me my first introduction to Edgar Allan Poe by way of a small little book that was crumbling it was so old and if you couldn’t tell it was ancient, the $0.35 price tag gave it away. He quickly became one of my all-time favorites thanks to that little book.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
I was a huge Goosebumps fan but fell out of love with horror as I got older. She clued me into this one (I read this before I had even picked up Stephen King) and it reminded me of everything that I used to love about the genre.
Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
My mom told me she tried reading this book when she was pregnant with me and that one particular story grossed her out so bad that she put it down and didn’t come back to it for months. I laughed, thinking she was over-reacting. Then I read The Raft and I knew what she was talking about. I started reading this in March 2014 and didn’t manage to get back around to it and finish until March of 2016. I actually think Survivor Type is even more horrifying though.
That Same Flower: Floria Aemilia’s Letter to St. Augustine by Jostein Gaarder
My mom came to visit my several years ago (we live in separate states) and when it came time to say goodbye in the extremely early hours of the day she left me this book, told me it was beautiful, and that I had to read it. I was much too sad to think about going back to sleep so I stayed up and read this cover to cover. It was beautiful and got me through the saddest times of that night.
The Collector by John Fowles
Fowles was a generalized recommendation from her many years ago and not sure quite where to start, I started at the beginning. The Collector may be crazy psycho (it’s about this guy that kidnaps this girl and keeps her in his basement — so what) but what an incredible book to claim as your debut novel. I have yet to read anything else by Fowles (it’ll happen, I swear) but this remains the best recommendation ever.
Thank you, mommy. I wouldn’t be the reader I am today if it wasn’t for you. <3