Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (#5)


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Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey (significant books and authors)

1. Jane Austen
I think it’s only fair to start this list with Jane Austen, since one of her novels introduced me to the man of my dreams, and her other novels provided me with good back-ups. Her novels also introduced me to some wonderful people (I miss JALS days so much) and through my interest to her novels I ended up doing quite a bit of research on Austen and the society she lived in during high school. I ended up doing my high school (IB) extended essay on the significance of dance on Pride and Prejudice and Emma.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
So that man of my dreams I was talking about… Well, he can be found from this book. I think you all know who I am talking about. This is the book I’ve probably reread the most times during my life so far, and I’m hoping that I get to read it many more times. I think I found this book exactly at the right time, and after reading it I fell in love with all the other Austen novels as well plus the films, spin-offs, modern retellings etc.
3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I am in the blessed position to be able to say that I grew up with these books and these characters. I don’t think I even have to explain why these books are so meaningful to me because everyone who has them on their list this week (I have a hunch that I can find J.K. Rowling mentioned on several lists this week) knows what these books mean to those who have read them.
4. The novels of Laurie Halse Anderson
This is the author who introduced me to YA books properly for the first time (and in English). I had read some YA books in Finnish (and by Finnish authors), but it was Halse Anderson’s books (especially Speak) that got me curious about other YA novels in English. Speak is still probably one of my favorite YA contemporaries I’ve ever read.
5. The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
We all might joke about this series (I definitely do pretty much all the time), but despite all of that joking, I bet a lot of us admit to reading and loving these books at some point. I definitely can do that since I was pretty much obsessed with these books at some point (a proof of that is this super ugly Edward Cullen throw/blanket I still have in use because it’s super warm). I was so in love with Edward it’s ridiculous. I never really was a fan of Bella, but despite that, I used to love these books. Since then, I’ve matured as a reader and started to expect different types of things from fiction, but I won’t be ashamed to admit that at some point in my life, these were pretty much the best books I’d read.
6. Collected Stories of Woody Allen
Woody Allen is probably one of the most opinion-dividing individuals in popular culture, and I know some of you might be completely horrified by the fact that I have him on my list. I’ve had so many arguments about this before and people have tried to make me feel bad about liking his works but I won’t budge, since I think he’s first of all a cinematic genius, and second of all, a brilliant writer as well. His personal life is not really a matter of interest for me and I won’t comment on it, except to say that NONE of us will never know what actually happened within his family. The work of Allen, especially his films, have been so influential to me that I actually mentioned him and some of his films on my application letter to university.
7. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Sarah Dessen, but this has a particular importance for me since it was the first Dessen novel I ever read. I was living at US at the moment and my host-sister had a copy of this on her bookshelf – I needed something to read and she recommend this one. I think one reason for why  I hold this book in such importance is also the fact that I was INCREDIBLY happy at the time I read this one (don’t get me wrong, I’m happy right now too, but not in this super sappy, teenage love type of way I was back then).
8. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
I think while reading Macbeth I really GOT Shakespeare for the first time. I’ve read this so many time since and it has become my Shakespeare favorite. I was able to see this from the front row when it was performed at Shakespeare’s Globe back in 2010 and oh my, it was incredible. Also, Elliot Cowan from Lost in Austen played Macbeth and was shirtless in front of me for like 2 hours, so YES PLEASE.
9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
This is a new addition and a book that has not even been published yet (MY REVIEW WILL BE POSTED HERE TOMORROW) but I just had to include it here because I want as many people as possible to read this one because it honestly just was SO GOOD. I loved everything about this book – if you’re interested about my thoughts about this book, come back tomorrow for the review. I made an 8tracks playlist inspired by this book which you can find from here.
10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Also a more recent addition to my favorite books. I loved Eleanor and Park by Rowell, and when I heard about this book, I knew that I have to read this! The characters are wonderful, I loved the college setting and I liked how much I was able to identify with the main character Cath. If you identify yourself as a fangirl, you should definitely read this one.

36 comments:

  1. Such a brilliant list Milka! I definitely agree with so many of the books/authors you've chosen on your list as they've also influenced me when I was growing up.

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    1. Thanks! It was so hard to limit it only to 10 and the moment I posted this, I was thinking I should have included other titles as well, but if I'm limited to 10, these are the ones I will go with :)

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  2. I have yet to read most of these books, but I agree with Potter. A magical series, and I grew up with them as well so it's extra special for that :D
    Happy reading!

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    1. Thank you! :) Harry Potter seems to be making an appearance of several lists this week!

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  3. Yes to Pride & Prejudice, yes to Harry Potter and YES TO MACBETH! I love that play soooooo much! Great list!

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

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    1. YAY! I haven't seen Pride and Prejudice on many lists yet. And surprisingly there hasn't been any Shakespeare either on the 30 something lists I've looked through so far.

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  4. Great list! I completely agree with Pride and Prejudice, and I should have put Macbeth on my list!

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    1. Haha, there have been so many books I've seen on these lists that have made me thought that I should have included them as well! :) Macbeth is a great one though :)

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  5. What a fabulous list. I know many of these. I've never read one of Austen's books, which I think is truly a shame. I definitely need to chance that at some point. Open Road Summer and Fangirl are on my wish lists.

    Thanks for visiting The Book Connection.

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    1. Austen's books are amazing - you should definitely give them a go at some point. I know a lot of people start with Northanger Abbey or Pride and Prejudice and I would recommend those as well (especially Northanger Abbey because I feel like it's a bit more "action-packed" than the other novels)

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  6. Great list! Jane Austen almost made my list this week but I already had another classic on my list this week, lol; I had read Pride & Prejudice in high school but didn't think too much about it at the time because I had assignments associated with it. Re-read it again sometime in my first year of undergrad and it just blew open the doors to reading all of the classics :)

    Macbeth is a great play and yay for Fangirl being on your list as well *high fives* Awesome list :)

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    1. I've noticed too that I tend to like books more when I'm not forced to read them (for assignments and such). The same's with films (I study film in university).

      Macbeth is so intriguing! And Fangirl is SOOO ADORABLE and good and basically a book about my life (expect I don't have hot guys just casually hanging around in my room wanting to hear me read fanfiction...)

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  7. Yay, Jane Austen! I just re-read Mansfield Park and watched two versions of the movie based upon it. Yeah, still going strong here. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Mansfield Park is SO GOOD! I love the version with Blake Ritson (I think it was made in 2007 or something like that). There's also a miniseries from the 80s which is really good. :)

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  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You have some great books on your list -- I completely agree with Laurie Halse Anderson, and am slightly regretting that I didn't include her on my list. I love that each one of her books is so unique and different ... unlike some authors who write similar type stories, but with different characters and settings. And yay for The Truth About Forever -- that's one of my all time favourites too!

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    1. Yeah, her stories really are super original and different from each other. I was so taken my Wintergirls a couple of years ago that I had to read the whole thing on one sitting. The film adaptation for Speak isn't bad either, even though I don't really like Kristen Stewart.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Yes to Twilight, Speak, and Harry Potter! Fangirl is also such a great book.

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    1. Fangirl was just so good! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Absolutely Harry Potter!! I know this sounds strange but it's the first book my husband read for enjoyment and while he's still not a reader he devoured all of those books like there was no tomorrow. Great list!

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    1. My brother isn't a big reader either, but he completely loves the Harry Potter books and has probably reread them more times than I have. I guess there's just something about those books that catches the attention of also people who normally don't read, which I think is great. :)

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  11. Great list! Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Twilight... So many amazing stories! I've heard so much about 'Fangirl', will add it to my to-read list since it's apparently quite good!

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    1. It is SO GOOD! I hope you enjoy it whenever you end up reading it :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. This is a great list. Macbeth is my favorite play. It makes me so happy to see everyone's list this weeks. Books do really have power!

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    1. So true! And it's great to hear which books have been meaning for different people and especially why :)

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  13. Great picks! I have yet to this day read a Jan Austen novel
    Here's our TTT
    Doris @ OABR

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    1. You should! They're great! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Shamefully I've never read a Jane Austen novel! It just has never appealed to me, although I would at least like to try one one day!

    Pleased to see Open Road Summer on your list! I pre-ordered that a few weeks ago and I can't wait to read it, it sounds fantastic!

    I've got Fangirl on my shelf, as well as a couple of Sarah Dessen novels. I must take time to read them!

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    1. I know Austen is not everyone's piece of cake - it's not exactly super action-packed or anything, and mostly just talking about relationships etc. I would recommend starting with Northanger Abbey if you ever get interested to read one of her novels since it's probably the most eventful of them all. The story of Pride and Prejudice though is probably a really familiar one because that same dynamic has been used on so many contemporary works.

      Open Road Summer WAS AMAZING! I can't wait to hear what you think about it.

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  15. Speak is one of my favorite YA Contemporary books ever too!! And Sarah Dessen was a big reason why I decided that YA was the genre for me. I also loved and totally related to Cath in Fangirl. Everyone should read that book!!

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

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    1. I really need to reread Speak soon since it has been ages since I last read it.
      Sarah Dessen is amazing - I am already waiting for the summer because that's usually when I read several Dessen books in the sun.

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  16. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book. I'm not sure if it's the one I've re-read the most but it is just about!
    Since you like Austen spinoffs... have you heard of the Austen Project? I just heard about it recently myself. Google it! :) I'm interested to see what comes out of it.
    http://youmeandacupofteablog.blogspot.com/2014/04/top-ten-gateway-booksauthors-in-my.html

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    1. Yeah, I've seen the Sense and Sensibility one in bookstores, but haven't yet picked it up. Sounds interesting though - I think the Northanger Abbey one was published last week or something. And it's actually set in Edinburgh, I believe, where I live, so that's cool!

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  17. Yay! Fangirl!
    Great list and thanks for stopping by my blog! =)

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  18. I really need to read Fangirl. I'm happy to see Twilight on so many lists :) Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Fangirl is so good! I hope you enjoy it if you end up reading it! :)
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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