Francine’s Firsts: People say you never forget your first love. Well, these are my first loves in books. Here are ten books that sparked up my love for new things in books that definitely broadened my horizons and made me love reading more and more. (Of course this only spans what my memory is capable of) I guess these books kind of shaped up my love for books and show what kinds of things I usually love. These are books that I’ve mostly encountered even before I knew all the book blogs out there – when life was so simple that you had to go to the book store to see what’s there to find. I didn’t include my childhood picture books because I can barely remember those plus I didn’t really choose those (but they surely helped). SO without further ado~
1. CLASSICS – I don’t really read a lot of Classics because I find the language a little bit difficult, but I do remember loving The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett when I was a LOT younger. I remember reading my copy a lot, and trying to keep it in mint condition because I used to be a neat freak. I guess I really loved it, even though I can barely remember it now. My copy is in my hometown, which I don’t go to anymore so I cannot really grab my book. I’m not sure if the words were made child-friendly or something, but I remember appreciating it any way. Other Classics that I adore are The Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.
2. FANTASY – The first set of books that I bought for myself were Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black’s The Spiderwick Chroniclesbooks. I don’t really remember what made me buy them, but I remember loving them and staying up all night to read them. I ALMOST completed all the books, including Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide and the Notebook for Fantastical Observations (which I read but didn’t write on because it was so pretty, and yes, because I was a neat freak). I wanted the Care and Feeding of Sprites too, but I didn’t have money back then and then I just found new books, and I’ve kinda grown out of it. I still dream on buying those books, but they cost a lot for children’s books that only have a few pages. Oh, and Tony Diterlizzi’s sketches are amazing! These books made me believe in fairies and those unnatural things~ Other fantasy books I love include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Splintered by A.G. Howard, Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and so much more.
3. ROMANTIC COMEDIES – I think this one developed somewhere along my high school years because I wasn’t one to dream of boys or relationships when I was younger (like most people, I think). The first one I read was Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, which was in 2009 so I was about 16. I was a late bloomer I guess. Although I did like watching chick flicks even before that so I think those also influenced me. What can I say? I love the sweet moments and I love laughing. I most likely would love a book if there were GOOD romance and humor in it. I got a FREE copy when my mother and I watched the movie. Little did I know that it was an adult book so I guess it also started my delving into adult books, even though young adult is still my favorite. Other romantic comedies that I am extremely fond of are Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Train Man by Hitori Nakano, etc.
4. DYSTOPIA – The first dystopia book that I ever read was The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, BUT it was Lissa Price’s Starters that made me fall in love with it. That book was just so riveting, interesting, and entertaining. I LOVED it, and it made me want to read more books under that genre. I love the idea of how our worlds can change in these apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic scenarios or how society can transform over time. I love how authors build these different worlds that seem impossible but are believable. Other dystopian books that I adore are the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Beta by Rachel Cohn, etc.
5. BOOK SERIES – Don’t we all just love it when we get to read more about our beloved characters? My first and longest books series ever was A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. I didn’t really buy my own copies because my brother bought all of the 13 books and let me borrow them. In terms of pages, I don’t really know if this is really my longest book series, but 13 is a pretty big number. And I loved each and every book. And I needed to read the next one right after I finished the last one. It was an obsession. Waiting is just horrible. It takes forever! Other book series that I love are the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, Banished series by Sophie Littlefield, Delirium series by Lauren Oliver, etc.
6. MULTIPLE POINT OF VIEWS – Now this one was a delightful surprise for me when I found As You Wish by Jackson Pearce last year. I didn’t know that some books are written in multiple points of view. I find it interesting that we get to know the thoughts of more than one character in the story. I think it paints a whole different world as it shows how people never really think alike. No one’s ever the same so we should listen to what others have to say. I love this style of writing, especially when the author/s do it so well. Some books with multiple POVs that I really love: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin, Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen, etc.
7. NON-FICTION – I’m not a big fan of non-fiction, but I fell in love with Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It was a required reading way back in high school, and I was expecting to hate it because it seemed boring. But I was really surprised. I guess I like those touchy feely sentimental crap that some people feed us. I find other people’s stories interesting sometimes, especially when I can draw something from it. I mostly like those that are inspiring or include a lot of humor into the book. I admit it’s hard to get into books like these, but there are some exceptions albeit hard to find. Other Non-fiction that I liked are The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and Bossypants by Tina Fey.
8. BEAUTIFUL COVERS – I admit it! I’m a cover whore. I just cannot help myself when I see all those pretty covers! This is the first book I bought with a very beautiful cover – The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snickett. Look at it. It’s so pretty. And it’s hardbound and the “LETTERS” part is cut out so there’s texture too. I love this book so much even though the content wasn’t as interesting as I would have liked. Who can ever resist all the pretty covers? I know they say that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I think it’s important that the book presents itself well. Hey, if we need to get all dressed up for job interviews, then books should get all dressed up too. Although not all lovely book covers mean good books and not all ugly covers mean bad books. I just really like looking at all the pretty-ness. Oh, if I mention all the lovely book covers, this post will take forever! I think you’ll be able to see my choices in my other Top Ten posts anyway.
9. SHORT STORY COMPILATIONS – In my years of reading, I always chose the novel-type books, and I didn’t really care much for short stories. But there was this one point in time where I wanted to read more from John Green so I bought Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. Ironically enough, it was Maureen Johnson’s story that made me love the book. Each author contributed their own little stories that can work as a stand-alone story, but they still connected all the other characters form each story. I enjoyed the short stories so I started going after some other books with short stories from great authors. I liked Zombies vs. Unicorns that was edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, and Geektastic that was edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. (I didn’t include the authors because it’s quite a long list.)
10. EBOOKS – I was one of those people who are VERY reluctant to use ebooks because it’s not the same as a physical copy. I still LOVE physical copies, but I find that ebooks are so convenient. You load them all up in one device and you’re pretty much good to go. I don’t have an e-reader, but I downloaded the free Kindle App and I love it. So my reason for downloading the Kindle App was City of the Falling Sky by Joseph Evans, which was a pretty good read for something free/cheap. Joseph Evans followed me on twitter way back in time when I didn’t really have any followers at all. So I followed him back and he posted that his book was free on Amazon and I can also download the Kindle App for free so I tried it. And wow oh wow was I surprised. I fell in love with ebooks. And it helps that amazon has a LOT of free books that I could download, and there are a couple of really good ones. I have more than 200 or 300 already! I also started buying some books by indie authors or books that are not available in our country. I also resort to ebooks when the hard cover is too expensive and I don’t have that much money. I also love the sales!