Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories.

I’ve been reading for a long time; I picked up the Harry Potter series as a child, I picked up Twilight as a teenager, and I never really stopped picking up books. In all the years I’ve been reading there are some books that stick out so clearly in my mind, not so much because of the story or the writing but because of the memory attached to them. The topic this week is ‘Sensory Memories’, but I’ve chosen to feature my more sentimental memories when it comes to books.

Top Ten Tuesday #113

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

One of my best friends was as big a reader as I was in high school, and one of her favourite series from childhood was His Dark Materials. She spent ages trying to convince me to pick this book up, and I have a really clear memory of us standing in WHSmiths (a UK bookstore chain) talking about this book before I eventually decided to buy it.

No surprise I loved the series so we spent a good while fangirling over the books and the characters. She was also the one I went to see the movie with when it was released, but it’s not a good movie so the less said about that the better.

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

I’ve spoken about this book and this memory before when I took part in the Unforgettable Bookish Memories Tag. My parents gave me a copy of Goblet of Fire as we were heading home from holiday, and I stayed up way too late until it got too dark to see properly reading it. I can’t remember whether I put this book down because my parents told me too or if I fell asleep reading it but I do know I didn’t get to the end of Goblet of Fire in one sitting.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Now I know there are better books than Twilight out there, but this is the book I credit with getting me into the YA genre and I can so clearly picture in my mind when I brought this book as well. I was standing in the Bluewater branch of Waterstones with my friend (the same one who recommended Northern Lights to me) browsing the bookshelves and I picked this one up. I read the blurb and knew Twilight was a book I needed to read.

Once I finished Twilight I dove straight into New Moon, and over the next couple of weeks I re-read both books more times than I can count.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I only read The Great Gatsby after I saw the movie; this isn’t my usual genre but I really enjoyed the film adaptation so I figured I should read the book as well. However that isn’t why The Great Gatsby made my list this week. My sister, who isn’t a big reader at all, loved the movie and wanted to read the book too and this ended up being the one book she took with her when we went to Cancun later that year.

Love You to Death by Meg Cabot

This was a series that defined my teenage years. I picked up these books on the recommendation from a couple of my friends and loved them. I have so many memories of sitting with my friends while we were in maths class (supposedly paying attention to the teacher) talking about these books. The wait for the Heaven Sent was my first experience enduring the agonising wait for a book to be released.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

When I first read this book (it was recommended to me by a friend, the same friend I’ve referred to three times in this post so far) I fell in love with Laini Taylor’s writing and everything about this book, but my favourite part was the way she described Prague. It was this book that led to me going to Prague myself a couple of years later.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

You can tell how much of a defining experience the Twilight series was for me growing up just because of the fact that I included two books in this week’s post.

When I went to Milan with my parents one year I was only allowed to take one book with me (cruel I know but we had limit luggage allowance so sacrifices had to be made) so I chose the newly released and anticipated Breaking Dawn. I finished this book on the plane journey over so for the four days I was in Milan I was forced to re-read this book over and over again, and I think it was that more than anything else that made me start hating this series.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

So the story isn’t great, I’ll admit that, but I saw the play live in London before the book was even released. Once the first half was over in the interim before the second half started (because I saw part one and part two on the same day) I met a couple of my friends for dinner and we sat in Five Guys for about an hour talking about the play. This book just reminds me of the amazing day I had.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is not only one of my favourite YA contemporary authors but the author who led me to the genre in the first place. Just Listen was the first book I picked up by her and I loved it, after I finished reading I immediately went out and brought all the others she’d released at the time.

I ended up recommending this book to my friend (the same one who’d recommended so many amazing books to me) and she loved it as well. While Just Listen is my favourite book by Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever is my friends’.

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar

This is the only book on my list which I never read, and to be honest I likely won’t be reading it either. This was a series my friends loved, and whenever I see these books or anything related to the TV adaptation I think of them and all the conversations I overheard as they fangirled over the books and over Ed Westwick.

So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so what are some of the books that carry strong sensory or sentimental memories for you? Is there a friend who defined your reading experiences growing up, or has there been a series you and your friends fangirled over while in high school?

50 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories

  1. Ok I loved all of your memories but can I just say, reading you going to Five Guys and talking all things HP and teh Cursed Child made me think when I make it to your side of the world, we are soooooo doing a Five Guys Book date haha! ❤ I also feel like Twilight played a major part in my journey into YA. Laini Taylor is totes responsible for even getting me to look up Prague with stars in my eyes haha! Loved this post & very clearly remember your memory behind Goblet Of Fire 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lilly, and yes that would be amazing! I imagine given how many books we both love we’ll spend all day sitting in Five Guys fangirling. Twilight seems to have played a part in so many people’s YA journey.
      I love Prague and I love Laini Taylor, match made in heaven. 😀
      Ha, yeah as much as I love the series Goblet of Fire is my favourite because of that nostalgia. 🙂 ❤️


  2. Goblet of Fire was my favourite in the series!! I devoured it while on holiday. Our situations are kind of in reverse, since I got a copy right before we left. Great answers! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to say, I think it is so amazing that you have such a great friend recommending you the best books haha 🙂 I also have fond memories of the Northern Lights series, but you’re right, let’s not mention the movie at all. What a disappointment. I’m excited about the series though – well, if that’s still a thing? I haven’t heard from it in a little while haha. And wow, re-reading Breaking Dawn so much… I understand why you started hating it from that moment haha 🙂
    Lovely post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s definitely come in handy, and looking back she has recommended some of my favourite books so I owe her a lot of thanks (and probably a lot of chocolate to show that thanks!)
      Ohh, the movie is a sore point for sure (the Northern Lights deserved better) but don’t worry the TV show is definitely still a thing. I’m keeping a close eye on all news surrounding it to make sure. Yeah even before I picked up Breaking Dawn I was kind of over Twilight, that holiday killed the series dead for me in the end.
      Thanks so much! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well yeah there are better series out there I’ll admit it, but in terms of books I read while in high school for me and my friends The Mediator was all there was. 😀 Oh we spend so much time during our maths lessons swooning over Jesse! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great one to take part in, basically an excuse to go back to the books I loved growing up. 🙂 Yeah no matter what I always know anything Laini Taylor has written is going to be a beautiful read, even before I’ve picked it up myself! 😀


    1. I need to do some re-reading of Sarah Dessen’s books, basically all of her releases I loved as a teenager but haven’t picked up since (Just Listen is number one on my list so I hope you love it this time around as well!)
      I know I’ve read both of those but I can’t remember anything about them (further proof I need to do some re-reading! 😀


      1. Yes it was! And then I figure out years later that there are so many books that actually better than that 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Big yes to The Great Gatsby! Novels from authors of the Lost Generation like Fitzgerald and especially Hemingway always get me all dreamy which is the feeling I love to get after reading. ❤
    Awesome choices by the way! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t read anything by Hemingway it has to be said, but The Great Gatsby was a good read. I thought the beginning with the wild parties was kind of magical. It seemed so far away from our own world I get how they made you feel dreamy. 🙂
      Thanks so much! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great list! I distinctly remember reading Twilight in my 7th grade English class, because my mom loved the movies and I had heard all about the books. It definitely wasn’t my favorite series but it’s one I’ll never forget. I’m jealous you got to go to Prague, DoSaB first introduced it to me as well and it seems like the most beautiful place on Earth! ❤️

    My TTT:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah I feel like the Twilight movies introduced a lot of people to the books, and I’m the same because even though now it’s not a favourite I’m never going to forget it. It introduced me to the YA genre so I can’t hate it for that. 🙂
      Oh Prague was amazing, definitely beautiful but hopefully you’ll make it there one day as well (I’m sure you’ll think it was worth the wait!) 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely loved Just Listen! My favorite series as a kid was The Clique and Dork Diaries and Pretty Little Liars! Those will always stay close to my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I watched the show first and then read the books! Even though the plot in the books were better, the characters were way better in the show! I would love to reread Just Listen and read the rest of Sarah Dessen’s books! I need to get on that XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh same! I don’t really reread often but I think I would like to reread when it has been a long time. When I read Just Listen I was in 7th grade and now I’m in college so I think it’s time XD. But I still have to catch up to my TBR

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I put both Harry Potter and Twilight on mine, but interestingly both were more recent memories, I just read Twilight for the first time in June. Unfortunately the memory that is attached to this book wasn’t a good one for me. While I was reading Twilight and listening to the audiobook for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, my cat got really sick and sadly ended up passing away, but both books provided a much needed distraction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh so what did you think of Twilight then? I’m kind of curious to see what someone who picked up the book more recently and without the nostalgic memories attached to it. Oh god I am so sorry about your cat Trisha, that can’t have been easy but at least you had the books to escape into for a little while. I hope they helped somewhat. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did find Twilight to be an entertaining, but there were many issues I had with it. Unfortunently I didn’t like Bella at all, and one of the biggest issues I had with it was how she seems to become obsessive over her relationship with Edward. I have a full reviews for the first three books in the series if you would like to check that out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The last time I picked up Twilight was when I was a teenager, so obviously I loved it. 🙂 Looking back now I do realise there were a lot of problems with Bella and her relationship with Edward, so I likely wouldn’t have enjoyed it if I read it now I suppose. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I feel like there are also a lot of tropes that might have been popular back then but are disliked a lot more now, such as triangles and instalove.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I also injoyed when I first started getting into reading when I was about 13, but now it’s something that really annoys me. I DNFed a book a few months ago because there was instalove at the beginning and I couldn’t stand it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great picks Beth! Haha I’ve read the Twilight series a few times as well. Reading about you remember reading them has reminded me reading them as a teenager. According to my mum I really loved them, but I don’t remember loving them. I remember when the first movie was coming out I was excited to see the movie, that was the only movie out of the franchise I saw. I may go back and watch them one day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. 🙂 Yeah Twilight has got to be one of those books that introduced a lot of people to reading, it was such a phenomenon wasn’t it?
      I actually clearly remember being obsessed with them, and obsessed with finding every piece of information on the movie I could find. I can’t say I’d recommend the movies now, but I suppose if you’ve only seen the first one it’s practically required viewing that you see them all once at least! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh it was big. I remember the arguments that would irrupt in my French class in high school. My poor French teacher had to separate the class into two “team Edward” and “team Jacob”. Yeah it got to that point. Me and my friend wanted no part of it haha!
        Haha, right? Maybe one day I will!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a great post! There are so many books I love because of what they mean to me.

    And it’s great to see someone else who likes Sarah Dessen! The first two I bought were Just Listen and Lock and Key, I read Just Listen first because my sister decided to take Lock and Key to read. I did a review of her novel Dreamland recently (its here if you’re interested ). I was trying to find it for ages, and when I finally read it was heartbroken. I think it’s too sad to be my favourite, but I really did love it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah and when you’ve been reading a long time there are going to be plenty of books that mean a lot to you. 🙂
      I don’t think I’ve read Dreamland yet, but Just Listen is always going to be my favourite by her (and not just because it was the first one I picked up). She writes such amazing books and there’s always an incredible family relationship which I always enjoy reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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