TTT: Thanks for the Memories

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

November 24: Thanksgiving themed Freebie — ten books I’m thankful for, authors I’m thankful for, Ten fictional families I’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.

Oh no. Another freebie.

I started out by thinking about ten books I’m thankful for, and I realized the ones that were prominent in my mind were from when I was growing up. I would sit in my room for hours just reading and re-reading my books.

With that in mind, here’s my top ten. These are ten books that have had a lasting impact on me, and helped shape me into the reader I am today.

Top Ten Books (From Childhood) I’m Thankful For


Before I get started, a note about this week’s book collage graphic. With the exception of The Santa Claus Book, these are all actual pictures of my own books. These books all mean a lot to me, and I thought it would be fun to include the genuine article, instead of a canned picture. You can even see my grandmother’s initials “M.J.H.” written on The Museum Comes to Life, another thing that makes that book special to me.

I was unable to get a picture of The Santa Claus Book because it is packed away with our Christmas decorations. It should be making an appearance in our house this coming weekend.

An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball by Jane Yolen

My dad had several books he would read to me at bedtime, and this was number one. This is the book that taught me to read, and I still remember many of the verses. “One little mouse in great distress looked all over for a floor-length dress. If she can’t find one smaller than small, then she can’t go to the Butterfly Ball!

Walt and Pepper by Lisl Weil

The second favorite of my bedtime stories. I loved to hear my dad tell this tale of bitter enemies Walt (the dog) and Pepper (the neighboring cat) fighting over THEIR street.

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

When I was around 9 or 10, my grandmother gave me a stack of Nancy Drew books. Some belonged to my grandma, others to my mom as a girl. The Hidden Staircase was the first one I read and it’s been my favorite Nancy Drew ever since. And my love of a good mystery was born.

The Museum Comes to Life by Maribelle Cormack and William P. Alexander

Another hand-me-down book gift from my grandmother, this book was published in 1931. I read this book many times, it was so interesting to think of all the animals coming to life in the museum when everyone had gone for the night.

The Mystery of Chimney Rock (Choose Your Own Adventure) by Edward Packard

As an ’80s kid, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. You get to choose your own path and get a different ending every time – what’s not to love? Chimney Rock was my favorite one to read.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I’m not a big reader of classics, but Little Women is an exception. I’ve enjoyed Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy’s adventures many times over the years. A beautiful coming of age novel.

The Santa Claus Book by Alden Perkes

The Santa Claus Book answers every question you’ve ever had about Santa. And even some questions you’ve never had. As a kid, I read this all the time during the Christmas season. When my oldest kiddo was born, I started collecting Christmas books. This was the first book I had to hunt down to add to our collection. It even includes Santa’s favorite cookie. Important information for sure.

Double Love by Francine Pascal

I discovered the Sweet Valley High books in sixth grade, and it quickly turned into an obsession. I used to beg my parents to take me to Target so I could spend my allowance on the latest book. They cranked those books out so fast, there was a new one every month. Ah, those were the days…

The Body by Stephen King

Technically, The Body is a novella from King’s Different Seasons collection. I really debated which King book to put in here. It could also have been ItThe Shiningor Pet Sematary. My dad got me started on Stephen King. He wasn’t a big reader, but he loved King and Anne Rice. I read The Body in middle school before I got into King’s horror later in high school.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

My senior year in high school, we read Earnest in AP English, and it was my school’s spring play that year. I loved it. And I still do.

Butterfly Ball Quote Blue

My poor mom. She loved books about cowboys and horses and wanted me to love them too – Black Beauty and Smoky the Cow Horse come to mind. What a reading disappointment I was with Sweet Valley High and my dad’s influence of Stephen King!

What about you? Do you have childhood books that have stuck with you? What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend? (This includes all my friends in other countries, even though you aren’t stuffing yourselves with turkey this weekend!) Link up to your own TTT if you’ve got one.

Happy Thanksgiving.

49 thoughts on “TTT: Thanks for the Memories

  1. I was distracted from your actual questions by The Santa Book. For many years I bought a new Christmas book each year. I had heard about a family who would gift wrap all of their Christmas books each year and open and read one each night as a countdown to Christmas. That sounded very sweet, but I could never be bothered with the wrapping or the waiting! After a large number of years our Christmas book stash was getting overly large and it was hard to find new gems, so some clunkers worked their way in and I stopped buying new ones. Thanks for sharing your list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You never have to answer my questions Elizabeth! 😉

      I think we need to do a slight purge of our books this year. The boys have definitely grown out of some. I will never part with The Santa Claus book though. 🙂


  2. oh how marvelous! I always know I’m going to love your posts 🙂 What a great collage of photos – so touching to this fellow bookworm who still has several of her own childhood books too! Like – several Nancy Drews, the Little House series (the yellow box set), the Chronicles of Narnia box set that still had all the books in their correct order (lol), etc. My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

      • And read The Body. That is an EXCELLENT coming of age novella. It’s the basis for the film Stand By Me. Also The Shawshank Redemption is another story in the Different Seasons collection. I haven’t read that one yet, but I plan on it.


  3. I love the “freebie theme” you picked out!
    I discovered Sweet Valley High in the same grade. I was hooked. My friend use to let me borrow her books but she had a rule that you couldn’t bend the spine of the book. It was always stressful reading her copies. LOL
    My TTT-

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t it funny how things from childhood, or growing up, have such an outsized influence on us? I like the Nancy Drew pick and Choose Your Own Adventure- loved those as a kid. I remember when those were on book shelves in stores and I always wanted one!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea for a freebie! That’s so cool that you still have all of the copies of the books that mean so much to you. So many of the books that I read as a child have been given away because I never thought I would want to read them again. Now, as a big reader, I really wish I could revisit them! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw, this is so sweet! I still have my childhood copies of a few precious books as well, although for the most part, a lot disappeared when my dad moved while I was in college (and I’ve never gotten over it.) I think there’s nothing like great childhood books to turn someone into a lifelong reader! Wonderful list.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is an excellent topic pick! I love seeing the different books you grew up with. I have an old copy of the Nancy Drew mystery “The Secret of the Old Clock” that got me started on mysteries as well. I had never heard of The Museum Comes to Life but I might have to check it out. It sounds like a cute children book.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great topic! I feel the same way about treasured children’s books. Some of my childhood favorites are the Oz series and the Mary Poppins series, but like you I also read (devoured) the Sweet Valley High books, Choose Your Own Adventures, Nancy Drew and Stephen King. I was also a big Lois Duncan fan. The Neverending Story and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle were other favorites. I could go on and on…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: TTT: Favorite Quotes I Read in 2016 (ish) | Hidden Staircase

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