"My Fav Books" Challenge
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For 2019, I challenged myself to read 25 brand new books because I’m the world’s worst at rereading what I love and then for 2020, I decided to lean into my nature and reread my favorites which I’m not exactly done with yet but we will see. All of that, goes to show that I love books and I love to hear about others favorites so here’s some of my favorites…
A book that you’ve read more than three times.
All the Harry Potter series and all the Anne of Green Gables series. I’ve read some of these books at least ten times! It’s like going home.
Harry Potter Set (Amazon)
Order of the Phoenix (Amazon)
Your favorite series.
This is a toss-up for me between the Harry Potter series and the Anne of Green Gables series. I literally can’t decide.
Anne of Green of Gables Box Set (Amazon)
A book that makes you sad.
I have a LONG list of books that make me cry. In fact, I’m more likely to cry over a book than any other thing in life but if I have to choose one that makes me cry from true sadness I’d have to say “Rilla of Ingleside”. This is the final book in L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne” series but it is from the perspective of Anne’s youngest daughter Rilla (Marilla). Set against the backdrop of the First World War, you can understand why it might make you sad plus it was published in 1921 so you know every emotion was so fresh for Montgomery.
Anne of Green of Gables Box Set (Amazon)
A book that reminds you of home.
I'm not sure I've ever read a book that reminds me of my home or hometown, however, I believe that through books we become residences of other locales. I reread books to visit old friends and romp through old haunts. I feel that dear old Avonlea is just as real as any place I’ve actually traveled and I would gladly call it a home.
Anne of Green of Gables Box Set (Amazon)
A book you hated.
The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. It’s about exactly what it says…an old man and the sea...also there’s a fish. We were forced to read it in 8th grade AP English. Maybe I should give it another try?
Your favorite writer.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery). I’ve never read anything by her that I didn’t like and I’ve probably read 15 or so of her books. They are just timeless!
Book turned movie and completely desecrated.
I LOVE Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It is one of my favorite books but the movie is an absolute mockery. I get that they had to cut stuff for the sake of time but they had already cut so much from the previous movies that by the time you get to the 5th movie so much is missing between Sirius and Harry that the ending doesn’t have the same emotional impact for those who haven’t read the books. It was the only time I left the theatre angry!
Favorite male character.
Gilbert Blythe! Any day of the year Gil will win my heart! (Jonathan Crombie’s portrayal didn’t hurt my feelings towards this character!)
Favorite female character.
Anne Shirley. Her spunk, love, work ethic and imagination are things I strive to achieve! She is so relatable and absolutely timeless which is why she has been a favorite heroine for nearly 112 years.
Favorite quote from your favorite book.
I could no more choose one quote than pick a favorite star. I will say that while I prefer real books, I do enjoy that I can highlight passages in eBooks to remember later. (I would never highlight in my physical book.) So here is a short selection of quotes I love…
From “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” it has to be a toss-up between…
“Thoughts could leave deeper scars than almost anything.” and “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
From “Anne of the Island” I have to give the “revelation” I mention later in this post…
“There is a book of Revelation in every one's life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness. She loved Gilbert -- had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her. And the knowledge had come too late -- too late even for the bitter solace of being with him at the last. If she had not been so blind -- so foolish -- she would have had the right to go to him now. But he would never know that she loved him -- he would go away from this life thinking that she did not care. Oh, the black years of emptiness stretching before her! She could not live through them -- she could not! She cowered down by her window and wished, for the first time in her gay young life, that she could die, too. If Gilbert went away from her, without one word or sign or message, she could not live. Nothing was of any value without him. She belonged to him and he to her. In her hour of supreme agony, she had no doubt of that. He did not love Christine Stuart -- never had loved Christine Stuart. Oh, what a fool she had been not to realize what the bond was that had held her to Gilbert -- to think that the flattered fancy she had felt for Roy Gardner had been love. And now she must pay for her folly as for a crime.”
"I can never forget the night I thought you were dying, Gilbert. Oh, I knew -- I KNEW then -- and I thought it was too late."
"But it wasn't, sweetheart. Oh, Anne, this makes up for everything, doesn't it? Let's resolve to keep this day sacred to perfect beauty all our lives for the gift it has given us."
"It's the birthday of our happiness," said Anne softly. "I've always loved this old garden of Hester Gray's, and now it will be dearer than ever."
"But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne," said Gilbert sadly. "It will be three years before I'll finish my medical course. And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls."
"I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. You see I'm quite as shameless as Phil about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination' without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We'll just be happy, waiting and working for each other -- and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now."
Gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her. Then they walked home together in the dusk, crowned king and queen in the bridal realm of love, along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed, and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew.
The first novel you remember reading.
I know I read books from a very young age but the first true novel that I remember was “Farmer Boy” from the Little House on the Prairie series. My aunt gave it to me as a gift and my mother forced me to sit on the front porch and read one hour a day before I could go play during the summer. That one hour got me nowhere because I would read a line and whine and read another and moan. I didn’t finish the book that summer. In fact, I didn’t finish it until 25 years later!
A character who you can relate to the most.
I think at present I can most relate to Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”. Anne is 27 and unmarried though she had the opportunity for love many years earlier but was persuaded to give the man up by an older mentor. Years later she has a chance encounter with him and finds her feelings have not changed, though her pride will not allow her to openly admit or initiate any situation with him and he has not easily forgotten her betrayal. I can feel for Anne and how she tries to navigate life when her role is uncertain and she seems to be left behind.
The most surprising plot twist or ending.
I know there are all kinds of incredible plot twists but so often you somewhat expect it even if you don’t know what it will be, however, this interaction between Professor McGonagall and Harry from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix still gets me every time…
“Is it true that you shouted at Professor Umbridge?"
"You called her a liar?"
"You told her He Who Must Not Be Named is back?"
"Have a biscuit, Potter.”
He’s sent to her for discipline and she gives him a cookie! This was the moment that I realized Umbridge must have no redeeming qualities if even McGonagall was okay with disrespecting her.
Favorite title of a book.
I love books with bizarre or clever titles so I’ve read some doozies. Like, I have had people ask what book I’m currently reading and my first thought was to lie so they don’t think I’m a serial killer but the two that stand out as just great to me are both by Caitlin Doughty. One is titled “Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?” and the other is cleverly titled, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Tales from the Crematory”. Hilarious!
So, those are some of my favorites and if you want to check out some of the interesting titles I read for my 2019 challenge you can look at the tag “books” here on the blog.