First Books

I’ve recently become really overwhelmed by the realization that there’s just not enough time to read everything that I want to read.  I’m unemployed and not taking classes right now and there’s still not enough time.  So I’m drinking coffee at 1 a.m. and reading compulsively.

And one of the things I came across while reading compulsively at 1 a.m. was this blog post.  So I decided to write one of my own.

First Book I Loved

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I guess the title of this book is appropriate to my feelings on reading in general lately, hah.  I read this book in the fourth grade.  A friend loaned it to me.  I came home from school, sat down, and read the whole thing.  While I was reading, a friend turned up at the door and asked me to come outside and play.  I turned her away.  An hour later, another friend showed up.  I turned her away, too.  This concerned my mother, who tried to convince me to go out and socialize.  We reached a compromise: I would read outside.

First Book I Hated

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

…And just about every other book I had to read for American literature class my sophomore year of high school.  I don’t think we were assigned a single book by an author who wasn’t a white man, actually.

First Series I Read

The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin

Or, technically, The Babysitter’s Club Little Sister books.  I was really geeked when I decided that I was old enough to advance myself to the “real” series.  I lived for these books in elementary school.

I also recently learned that a lot of these books were ghostwritten, which is a little soul-crushing for me.

First Sci-Fi / Fantasy Book I Read

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m not a big sci-fi / fantasy person.  Never was.  But my fifth grade class presented this book as a play, and I was assigned the role of narrator.  After reading through the script, I decided to check out the book.  I then read the next three in the series before getting bored.  Still haven’t read books 5-7.  We can still be friends though, right?

First Book That Made Me Laugh So Hard I Cried

I honestly do not know the answer to this.  Did I just have no sense of humor as a child?  So instead I’ll list the first book I can remember that made me cry:

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

(I bet the people who skipped the explanation below the header are looking at that saying “Really, Amelia?  You laughed at dead dogs?”)

No, you asshats.  I bawled my damn eyes out.  Because when I read this as a fifth grader, I realized for the first time that I probably relate better to animals than I do to humans: a fact that remains true to this day.

First YA Book I Read and Loved

This one’s a no-brainer.  Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan.  It’s one of those books that I took out of the library and loved so much that I went out and bought my own copy when I was done.  And then I read the rest of Nolan’s books and, ten years later, still implore others to do the same.  She’s brilliant.  I want to high five her before I die.

First Horror Book that I Read

The Goosebumps series is probably the closest thing to a horror book that I have ever read.  I’m lame as hell, I know.

There was also that time I picked up Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, at the library and flipped through it because I’m a pro-choice troll.  Totally counts as horror, as does Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.

Yep.  I went there.

First Book I was Completely Obsessed With

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Oh my god you guys, this book.  Read it.

I’m probably biased because it’s set in my hometown (the book’s name comes from a street in Grosse Pointe Park that’s a mere 3 blocks from where I live).  And books are always better when you understand the geographical references.  My bookworm friends and I actually drove up and down Middlesex at 3 a.m. once, trying to figure out exactly which house the protagonist of this book lived in.

A close second is Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.  After I read this book, I made a rule for myself: No more reading Atwood for fun while school’s in session.  Because I wanted to skip class until I finished it.

The Latest Book to Make Me Laugh So Hard I Cried

Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead, of course.


About Amelia

feminist, seafood enthusiast, bookworm, blogworm
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3 Responses to First Books

  1. Zen says:

    I had no idea The Babysitters Club were ghostwritten! That disappoints me. =[ And hey, Goosebumps are great books, though you should’ve progressed to the more mature (and better) Fear Street books. =D

    • Amelia says:

      They weren’t all ghostwritten, but I guess I’m not entirely surprised to learn that some of them were. There are A LOT of books in that series, and all of them follow the same framework. I remember consistently skipping the second chapter because it explained how the BSC was formed, and I didn’t need to be reminded of that each time. 🙂

      It’s still a bummer though, because those books definitely helped me to become the avid reader that I am today.

  2. Sarah says:

    I don’t remember my first loves, hates, or indifferences. I spent about a week feeling badly about that, actually, but now I am just in awe of your memory and the fact that you can! I think you could also call The Handmaids Tale a sci-fi/fantasy book. And you loved that. Dystopias count. They do. And literary fantasy is still fantasy. I think Michael Chabon argues about the idea of why so-called serious fiction writers write science fiction pretty well. In the essay “Dark Adventure” about Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Chabon says, “We are accustomed to thinking of stories that depict the end of the world and its aftermath as essentially science fiction. These stories feel like science fiction… because typically they deal with the changed nature of society in the wake of cataclysm…for inevitably these new societies mirror and comment upon our own. Science fiction has always been a powerful instrument of satire…this may help to explain why the post-apocalyptic mode has long attracted writers not generally considered part of the science-fiction tradition…” (95). That is, writers who might want to comment on culture end up sometimes turning to post-apocalypse to engage in critique and/or satire. And I think you do like books of that kind. But I can see not liking the traditional “science fiction” set of books, and I am not trying to argue you into those. But, if you’re going to start with sci-fi and fantasy, read Octavio Butler’s short stories. For the record.

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