A Different Take On Mainstream

My Top Ten Books: Nostalgia Edition

HELLO EVERYONE! I’m back! I Missed you people! Seriously, don’t look at me like that.

You’re looking at me like that.


I HAD FINALS AWRIGHHHTT??? It was extremely stressful and I barely had time to go to sleep.
The first week of finals, I woke up one morning, at 3:30 am– to finish my work.
The second week of finals, I went to bed one morning at 3:00 am, then woke up at 5:30 am to go to school.
The third and final week of finals, I went to bed at 4:30 am, then woke up at 6:00 am. That is an hour and half of sleep.
   So–so– that’s why I haven’t properly blogged since early December.

You’ll forgive me eventually.


       Today I wanted to share with you my top ten absolute favorite children novels when I was growing up.  The magic of children books is that no matter how old you get, the magic and fairy dust in every story still stays with you, even as everything else becomes so much more real. Sometimes, when I get really nostalgic, I’ll just open up one of my ye olde children’s books, breathe in that magical papery scent, and read one or two pages– just randomly in the middle– and I’ll remember what it was like to be a dreamy 11 year old again.
       Well, here we go, I’m talking too much once again, so here it is– my 10 most yumworthy books, nostalgia edition:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia–C.S Lewis

I absolutely loved this series as a girl growing up. For those of you who may have never heard of this series, it was actually written in the 1930’s, about a group of four siblings who stumble into an old magical wardrobe that leads them straight into a fantasy wonderland called Narnia, where it is perpetually winter. It is here that they meet a hospitable faun, an old talking beaver couple, a noble and kingly lion, and an icy icy witch-queen. 

My fave: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (#2)

 2. The Mysterious Benedict Society–Trenton Lee Stuart

**If you are wondering why some of these pics are actual pics and not just an image of the book, its because I decided–for nostalgia’s sake, to go back to my old library that I went to as child, check out the same books I probably checked out as a girl, and do a little book shoot- so yah, enjoy. #authenticity. 
Anyway, I’ve never seen a book series like this. Ever.  Again, it starts with 4 very peculiar children.  They, along with many other little children, are invited to participate in a number of mysterious, challenging tests. The winners– they get their own adventure. but there is something more to this new mission they are assigned–to go undercover in a gifted learning institute where the only rule is that there are no rules. Or are there…?

3. The Secret Garden–Frances Hodgson Burnett

If we are being honest here, I’ve read this book at least over 3 times. You’d think a classic would bore little Cynical Duchess to tears, but I actually love love loved this book growing up. This one is about a spoiled 9 year old girl named Mary who has grown up like a princess in the heart of imperial India. But when a sudden illness strikes both her wealthy, beautiful parents, Mary is shipped off unceremoniously to northern England to live with a depressive uncle she has never met, in his giant drafty house. But this house has more secrets than the many hidden rooms within it, and Mary intends to uncover them all. Especially the tragically beautiful garden she has found that for some reason, is locked and hidden away. 
4. The Thief Lord–Cornelia Funke
Teen books have yet to be this creative. I clearly remember this book– it was one of the first books I ever read as a kid that truly made me love reading. It is about 2 brothers – Prosper and Bo, who run away from their uncaring aunt and uncle, into the heart of Venice, Italy. There they are taken in by a group of street kids who make their home in an abandoned film theater, and are lead by the charismatic orphan, Scipio, who calls himself the Thief Lord. Just read the book. I don’t care if you’re 25 and grownup and you actually watch the news and stuff– just read it anyway. 
5. Ella Enchanted–Gail Carson Levine
Yah I’ve read this 6 or 7 times. Or more. *awkwardly scratches head. So if I were to compare books to  food, I’d call this that delicious 100 calorie milk chocolate from Trader Joes that surprisingly, tastes amazing, and for some reason, is only 100 calories. Ok so maybe thats not such a good comparison, but suffice to say, if you have not read this book at least once, then you are a sorry excuse for a human being  you are losing out my friend. Yah. 
This is basically a hysterical twist on the classic cinderella story, but frankly, more creative. It’s set in a fantastical realm where fairies give blessings to all new babies born. But when Ella is born, she gets a bit of a kooky fairy, named Lucinda, who blesses her to always be obedient. Now, Ella must do exactly as everyone says, down to the littlest colloquialism. Enter evil stepfamily, and we have ourselves a party. Well, almost, that part’s soon. 

6. The Penderwicks–Jean Birdsall
Four Sisters. One summer. And a look at life through the strange eyes of quirkiness. This is the book- both young and old– for the soul out there who loves the purity of words, and of children just drinking in the beauty of their energy and innocence. 
7. The Invention of Hugo Cabret–Brian Selznick
I just remember finishing this book and thinking “wow” as a 12 year old. Half the book is told in brilliant illustrations, so it plays with the art of storytelling, experimenting with different forms of how to give over an artistic message. But then the story itself– about a boy who up ’till now has lived with his uncle, who is the clock-keeper in the Paris central train station. Until his uncle dies that is. Hugo is then left up in the labyrinth of the train station’s clock, left to live among the cogs of the clockwork, and bring them to life each day. Beautiful book. Five stars. I feel like I’m critiquing some fancy french food or something. Tre’ Magnifique!
8. Ink Heart–Cornelia Funke
This is a book of true sophistication, which many adult authors haven’t come up to the level of imagination, or intellect that this author has created. The book is about a German girl named Meggie, who lives with her Father, Mo, a bookbinder. The two of them live for books, they breathe pages like the rest of us breathe air. However, The only thing that is never allowed in their household, is reading the books aloud. Because what Meggie doesn’t know, is that Mo can bring the characters of books to life, just from his voice– and so can Meggie. 

9. The Giver–Lois Lowry

Another book I read about 6 or 7 times– this children’s book discusses a world where color and feeling isn’t allowed. The populace– split up into controlled communities– only know black and white. They don’t know what cold is, nor extreme heat. And love has been reduced to a myth. The main character, Jonas, lives through this perfect utopian world generally satisfied– until he sees the color red.  
10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone–J.K Rowling

You didn’t honestly think I’d have a top ten nostalgia books post without mentioning Harry Potter at least once? THIS is the book that started it all. I still remember where I was when my mother gave it to me at the age of nine. I was standing right outside my bedroom, and at that time, my parents couldn’t get me to read anything. But then I opened this book, and it changed everything. 
Well, that’s it for now folks, this post took me way too long to write, probably because I waxed poetic about every single book. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. I don’t know. Can you please honestly tell me in the comments if something like this is interesting? I honestly don’t know, and I’d like to know, so that I can create things that are interesting to read. 
Still, I hope you enjoyed this bookish trip down memory lane, I certainly did– my heart kind of jolted when I googled Harry Potter and this image popped up. 
Kay I’m gonna stop talking now. 

I need to set up an instagram. uuuuuuhh.