I’ve been a reader all my life. My mom and I didn’t get along for a long time during my teenage years and early 20s because of what teenage girls do. However, she is and will always be an amazing and spectacular mom because not only has she given me the gift of life and unconditional love, she gave me the gift of reading. I probably would not love reading as much as I do now if it wasn’t for my mom reading to me and making books a priority in my childhood. My mom read to me every single night and took me to the library all the time. She is the reason for everything and I am so grateful to her.
Okay, sob fest over, with thinking about my mom and the year ending, I was thinking about a lot of my first books from every genre that I read and decided to create a list based on that!
First Picture Book (that I remember)
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
I love love love this picture so much and recommend it to everyone! It is about a mean ladybug that doesn’t like to share, but soon learns the errors of his ways and calms down. My mom used to read this book to me and my brothers all the time and will always have a special place in my heart. I even dressed up as the grouchy ladybug for Halloween one year. (No one who I was! haha)
First Chapter Book that My Mom Read to Me
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
When I was about six, I remember my mom reading a chapter of this book to me every night. I was delighted with the idea that a child could just go through their closet and enter a magical world, just like that! I also was fascinated by Turkish delight. They sounded like the most amazing candy in the world to me and I couldn’t wait to try them. My mom bought them for me and I was so disappointed to find out that Turkish delight is disgusting!!!! Even though one of my dreams was dashed, I still will always love this book and the memories of my mom and I reading together.
First Collection of Poetry
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
This book has been in my bookshelf for as long as I can remember and I feel like every kid should have it in theirs. It is full of such cute poems and cartoons that any kid would find it a joy to read.
First Dystopian Novel
The Giver by Lois Lowry
I read this book with my class in the sixth grade and I was so fascinated by it. I loved the characters and I was so interested in the world they lived in. I think I read this book at least seven times in my life and each time the story becomes more and more amazing. When I read it the first time, I didn’t understand the true dynamics of the book so I didn’t appreciate it as much. However, when I read it when I was a teenager in high school, I thought it was an amazing book and that sixth graders shouldn’t read it.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Yes, yes, I know that it is very cliche to say that this book is my favorite and first classic, but SUE ME it was. I loved this book and I’ve probably read it at least four or five times and my favorite character changes with each read. The last time I read it, I discovered that my favorite character was actually Mrs. Bennet. Yes, she’s crazy, obsessive, and definitely a helicopter mom, but she wants her children to do better for themselves and the only way for women to do that back then was to marry well. (I’m so glad I was born in a different time!) I also love her crazy antics, they always made me laugh.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
I read this book in the seventh grade, right after Pride and Prejudice, and I loved this book so much! Mina was a badass heroine that anyone would aspire to and I loved reading about the original vampire that later would create the Twilight craze. The story was also extremely weird and thrilling in the best possible way.
First YA Romance
When it Happens by Susane Colasanti
Oh this book! I was honestly obsessed with this book from the first time I read it and it got me through some very tough times. I loved the characters of the book so much and the circumstances surrounding the characters were very unique and different from anything else I had ever read. The romance is also extremely adorable and they are probably one of my favorite fictional couples of all time.
First YA Fantasy
Need by Carrie Jones
This book is the start of a series that is so great and I wish more people would talk about it! It is a fairy fantasy that responds more to the German idea of fairies which are pixies. The setting is in the state of Maine and I’ve always wanted to go there because of this book! I loved the characters and the thrilling and unique plot so much! I think it’s time for a reread in 2021!
First Adult Romance
Mr. Maybe by Jane Green
So I read this book when I was in the sixth grade…. When I was that age, the book selection for young adults was so small and I had read most of them. One day, at the library, I wandered into the adult romance section and picked this book up. This was my first introduction to sex so openly and I was instantly obsessed. My mom had no idea I was reading this very adult book and I would hide under the covers with a flashlight so she didn’t know I was reading it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I read this book during my senior year of high school as a choice for my novel class. I had this amazing class during my last semester of high school where the teacher asked us to pick novels to read for a book club we created with three other members of our class. We got to choose four books and we would write book reports for each book and discuss them. This was our last choice of the four books we picked and we LOVED IT! Once we read the book, we watched the Swedish movie of the book and I still think it’s much better than the American version and no one else can tell me differently.
First Historical Fiction
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
This book is still one of my favorite books of all time and I’ve probably read it at least five times. It is a story of a servant girl who works for a broke artist in the 1600s. The artist is known as Johannes Vermeer and one of his most famous paintings is known as the “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” I had grown up with a mother that was not only interested in books and reading, but was also very interested in art. This book was in my mom’s collection of books and I picked it up one day because I had no other books left to read. I loved it!!! It was so interesting and so heartbreaking.
First Adult Fantasy
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
This was the first series fantasy that I read that was more adult and I was in love with it and still follow it to this day! I love the author’s take on shifters and shifters from different cultures. She is also extremely well researched and her writing style is amazing. Mercy is also one of my favorite characters of all time and she has been such an inspiration to me.
First Movie Adaptation
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
So when I was fourteen, I was OBSESSED with the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and everything Audrey Hepburn. My mom and dad took me to New York City when I was sixteen so I could actually have a croissant in front of Tiffany’s like Audrey did in the movie. I read the book when I was a little older and the book is NOT at all like the movie. I love the movie and the book, but they are definitely not the same thing!
All of these books have a special place in my heart and I wouldn’t be who I was today without them. Make sure to check them out! If you have any thoughts on any of these books, make sure to add a comment in the comment box below!