Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
I have a foreboding feeling that this one is going to be hard for me. What a time to return to posting, right? I can’t think of any books off the top of my head that really have any sensory moments for me, but I’m gonna go on a search through my shelf to see if I can find one, so here we go!
10. Journey to the Volcano Palace by Tony Abbott
This one is kind of faded due to how long ago it was, but I have distinct memories of a somewhat cramped car ride and the smell of cow dung associated with this book. I read it when my family drove cross-country from California to Disney World in Florida. At the time, we were driving through a part of Texas that just stank. I’ve since had this smell association with the state from that moment, which I’ll admit is unfortunate and likely not a representation of the state as a whole, but seven-year-old me was quite positive that Texas was the stinkiest state out there and that I never wanted to go back.
9. Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot
Princess in Love reminds me immadiately of pink, which could be strange considering the fact that the copy I owned was blue. But this was also more my sister’s book than mine—though she never read, so I don’t know if it’s fair to say she has a much of a claim on it—and it will forever remind me of being in her old room, which was painted a bright pink and had yellow sponge splotches all across it, I guess to resemble daisies. The visual memory I have of that room is pretty striking, in its own way and admittedly not one that I’m overly fond of, lol. But it’s still interesting to have a book remind me of it.
8. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This book reminds me of geese, and even less pleasing, of geese poop. This is because I listened to this book via audio as I was biking to and from work last summer. Geese are large and annoying…and they poo everywhere. The reason this memory is so vivid is not because I had to smell anything nasty or because I stepped in any of it, but rather because I spent an inordinant amount of time trying to avoid driving over it with the bike and it was difficult. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have some fond memories of listening to audio books on the bike, but this particular moment is one that I couldn’t help finding annoying (albeit amusing).
7. The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
You’d think with how many books I listen to in the shower that there would be more of them that fall under this category, reminding me largely of water falling onto my skin, but I believe the reason I associate this one so strongly and not others is the fact that I listened to almost the entire series while showering and didn’t really bother to listen to it anywhere else. Unlike many other audio books that I bring around the apartment with me and listen to as I’m cleaning or cooking, The Gender Game was only listened to in the shower.
6. The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
This book reminds me of heaviness because, well, the book itself is massively heavy. Over a thousand (or more) pages long, the unabridged version gives you wrist cramps like you wouldn’t believe while you’re reading it. It’s kind of amazing. But when I think of books that are heavy to pick up, this is one of the first that come to mind. I suppose you could argue for text books, but honestly who is going to really waste their time remembering those?
5. The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson
I have very strong memories of sitting cross legged on the floor listening to my second grade teacher read this book out loud to us. I remember the texture and color of the rug we sat on, the fighting of the kids sitting around me, and the extreme focus I had on the story. I lived for story time as a kid, though many of my friends did not. I was so impacted by this particular book that I went out and bought it for my little brother when he was about five years old so that I could read it to him. I wont say it’s the best book or series around, but it definitely still holds a place in my heart.
4. Light by Michael Grant.
Exhaustion. That is what I feel when I think about this book. And I personally don’t think this has a whole lot to do with the book itself, but rather with the fact that when I finished Light, it was right after I had read the five other books in the series and I did so within four days. Man, did I need a nap. There just seemed to have been so much that happened over the course of the series and it truly left my brain feeling like goop. I’ve only had this feeling twice in my life, the other which will make it to this list later, and I think it’s kind of quite fascinating.
3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
This book totally killed me, but in the best way possible. I think a lot of the book wasn’t exceptionally memorable and I definitely didn’t fall in love with it through almost the entire thing. It was just another book, by a pair of decent authors, that I was interested in that didn’t really impress me all that much. And then I got to the ending, and the standing up moment, and I literally just started bawling my eyes out. To this day, I’m really not sure what it was about that moment that affected me so much, but I just had one of the strongest moments of emotion that I’ve ever had in my life and it was pretty powerful.
2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
And herein lies my only other exhausted book. I stepped away from reading Ender’s Game, started and finished in the same day, and felt a desperate need to take a nap. I wasn’t physically tired in any way, of course. Not even the tiredness that comes with having a typical day. But that book exhausted me. Something about the thoughts it provoked and its own crazy plot left me utterly incapable of coherent thought from that moment forward until I got some sleep. I’ve always been fascinated by the moments in which books have exhausted me, which is why, even though I didn’t love the book, Ender’s Game is still sitting on my shelf.
1. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
Somewhat of an utterly abhorrent person, Tucker Max’s book is basically a diary of his awful drunken shenanigans. And boy, is it hilarious. I’ve cried while laughing at this book, shared it with my friends who also cried while laughing at it, and I’ve been massively embarrassed by this book. It was my Sophomore advanced English class and my teacher had instructed all the students to rearrange their desks so that we were all in a giant circle facing inward in order to have a discussion on a book that I literally could not have cared less about. I hated discussions in English class (probably still do, but who’s to say?) and I have never really paid vast amounts of attention to them.
As was my habit in class, I had this particular book hidden under the desk and was reading it. And then I heard my teacher call my name. I cannot even begin to describe my own mortification in that moment, the chilling fear that my teacher would confiscate the book from me since I was clearly not supposed to be reading a book while we were meant to be discussing another. She said, “It pains me as an English teacher to have to ask you to put your book away.” And I just about died right there of utter embarrassment. It would have been one thing if I were reading a normal book, but instead I was reading one that detailed the sexual exploits of a college graduate and all the drunken disasters he had been a part of.
Thankfully, she never confiscated the book, but my skies, that was embarrassing.
And that’s all for now! Happy reading, everyone!