Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Sensory Memories

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Sensory Memories

Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for another great TTT!

Indiana’s Five

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I read this one during winter break off from college. It was the first break where I didn’t work and it felt luxurious to sit by the fire and just read this book alllll day. I’d like to go back to that time.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

I remember the process of reading this one even more distinctly than the others. It was during summer, I think between third and fourth grade and I was so happy to finally have gotten to the fourth one that I took it everywhere with me; by the pool, in the car, in the rain. Everywhere.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I started reading it on a beach in Alaska, chilly yet sun-kissed and it was just perfect. The words followed me around the rest of my trip, long after I had read the last page.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Though I wasn’t riding a motorcycle, I was going across the country when I read this one. I was helping my sister move from the east coast to the midwest, which involved many, many cornfields and many hours in the car. It was the perfect book for the trip.   

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

I picked this up shortly after I moved to New York City and it was the perfect subway book. Light in weight, but heavy in content, it was divided up nicely into short essays. It also lead to a few great subway conversations.

Pete’s Five

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

This book marked the end of my hiatus from fantasy books. I was in college and reading a lot of classic literature, but the magic (and cynicism) of this book had me transfixed. Brakebills was so mesmerizing and evocative that I had to take a trip to the grounds of Yaddo, and artist’s retreat in Saratoga Springs. This place wasn’t the basis for Brakebills, but its lush gardens and imposing mansion may as well have been.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I read a good chunk of this one while sitting on a dock by a wooded river—nothing at all like the book’s setting, but it was the perfect peaceful place to enjoy this classic.

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

I discovered this book in eighth grade, around the same time I discovered The White Stripes. I somehow ended up listening to “Seven Nation Army” on repeat during the book’s climax, and now I can’t think of one without the other.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Indiana and I read this one together right around when she had introduced me to coffee—in particular, iced coffee, which I drank a lot of while reading this book in the library.

My Struggle: Book 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I read most of this book on New York City subways, complete with their rumblings, sounds, and strangers. I remember laughing out loud in a mostly empty station at almost midnight. Fortunately, it was the city, and I didn’t get many looks.


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