I honestly can’t picture what my life would be like without the many books I’ve found refuge in over the years. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the ways reading has changed my life so it got me thinking about the books that really made me love reading and pretty much were the accompaniment to my child / early teenage years. There’s a range of books on this list, so hopefully you guys will find one of your favourites there or even find some new ones!
*All links in this post will take you to the Goodreads pages for these books*
I feel like this series and the unique and meandering story as well as it’s kind of dark and mysterious elements really influenced my reading tastes growing up and even till now. I loved the Baudelaires and following their various misfortunes as they go from place to place, all the while trying to escape from the clutches of the evil Count Olaf and simultaneously figuring out the secrets of their parents. I wanted to be as resourceful as Violet and as well read as Klaus and I loved seeing these characters develop and change but still retain who they were and their closeness as family. There’s 13 books in this series and I enjoyed every moment of them. Although they are classified as childrens books, I feel like teens and adults can still enjoy these novels.
I loved these books growing up and I still have a special place in my heart for them. I have such fond memories of going to the library as a kid and finding each instalment and getting drawn back into the magical world of Narnia and the Pevensie siblings. I feel like this book is so wonderful, precisely because of the escape it offers. Imagining the endless possibilities of walking through a door into a whole new world, full of magic and wonder and talking animals to boot, was so fun to me. This series was my first real foray into fantasy novels and made me fall in love with the genre.
I nearly finished writing this post then I remembered the Goosebumps series, it would be a total crime not to include this series on my list. I think reading Goosebumps and watching the tv show growing up has made me a lifelong horror fan. There are so many different Goosebumps stories but some of my personal favourites were: Welcome to Dead House, Say Cheese and Die, The Girl Who Cried Monster and The Haunted Mask. All creepy and fun horror reads.
I remember picking up this book in the library and reading it so fast, this was one of the first books which made me cry and really feel for the protagonist. It follows the story of Princess Rosalind, beautiful in every way except for the fact that she has a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. Her mother forces her to don gloves at all times, to avoid the shame and also so a long believed prophecy which promises to restore them to the throne is fulfilled. There’s so much more to this novel than meets the eye and as well as the fantasy elements, I remember really connecting to the complex mother-daughter relationship which is explored.
I read these when I was in primary school and borrowed them from a boy in my class because he was the only other person I knew who read them, Ashley you were the real mvp, thanks! I loved the whole spy element of these books and reading as Alex was recruited for MI6 and all the dangerous and thrilling situations he gets into over the course of the series. I stopped reading at Crocodile Tears which was the 8th instalment which was around 2009, as I sort of grew out of the series and got into my Twilight phase, what a time to be alive.
I really enjoyed this series and while some of the deeper theological ideas went over my head when I first read it, it’s definitely still one of my all time favourite novels. The series follows Lyra Belaqua, a young girl who has grown up in Jordan College, Oxford and stumbles upon secrets which will change the course of her life forever. Along her adventure she meets witches, armoured bears and enters entire other worlds, with a host of complex characters. I remember reading and being enthralled by the story. By the way, I still wish Daemons were real, I like to think mine would be a feline of some sort, maybe a lynx or a snow leopard, can you tell I’ve given this a lot of thought?
This series is so popular and well loved to this day, with a new adaptation on the BBC right now which is brilliant, would definitely recommend checking it out, after reading the books first though, of course!
I got into Enid Blytons novels because my mum grew up with her books and really enjoyed them. I’ve read a lot of Blytons work but I specifically remember loving The Adventures of the Wishing Chair because it was so whimsical and light hearted. The novel follows Mollie and Peter, as they discover the magical wishing chair, which has the power to grant wishes and can fly and transport them to distant, mystical lands. I mean, who wouldn’t love this story as a kid?
I really enjoyed writing this post and remembering all the great books which affirmed my love of reading, hope you guys enjoyed finding out about some of my favourite childhood books and perhaps it even reminded you of your journey as a reader. There’s probably some I’m forgetting to include here so maybe I’ll do a part 2 someday.
What were some of your favourite books growing up? Have you read any of the books on my list? Would love to chat in the comments!
Until next time,