Top Ten Tuesday- Books That I’d Grab If My House Was Burning Down

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week we’re listing the top books we’d save if the house was going down in flames. Now, clearly I’d save my family first.  And my pictures. But then, the next thing would probably be my books.  The ones I’m listing aren’t necessarily my favorites (though some are), but they all hold a little sentimental value.

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett– This is a very sweet book, but I didn’t totally fall in love with it.  What I do love is that my grandmother, from whom I inherited this insane love of reading (although Grandma prefered those racy bodice rippers to everything else. I may have perused a few books showcased by a shirtless pirate/cowboy/savage embracing a busty beauty who probably shouldn’t but did fall madly in love with him and his, um, throbbing manhood). In any case, my grandmother gave me a copy of The Secret Garden in high school and told me it was her absolute favorite book and because of that, I love my copy.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee– For some reason, a few years ago it was difficult to find a hard bound copy of TKAMB. There were paperback versions everywhere, but I wanted a nice copy that I could read again and again and that I could hopefully persuade my girls to read one day.  Every time I went to a bookstore I’d look for it and would get grumpy that I couldn’t find it. Was there some crazy TKAMB fan out there buying up all the hard covers?  I still haven’t figured it out. One Valentine’s Day, my husband presented me with a beautiful copy. He’d been calling around and found that it was currently out of print. Somehow he located a copy and gave it to me. This is one of my all-time favorite books, but I’ve also always loved that my husband did something so thoughtful when I didn’t even realize he was listening to me grumble about it.

3. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffinegger– This is my favorite book. The copy I have is tattered and the pages are all dog-eared, but I think that’s why I love it.  I’ve loaned it out to tons of people and re-read it a billion times over the last seven (?) years. I don’t think a new copy would ever make me as happy.

4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman– I’d have to save this book. We’re sort of married.

5. My Princess Diaries Books by Meg Cabot– I love all of these books and have read them repeatedly. I would especially have to save Forever Princess because it is signed by The YA Goddess herself (and meeting her was such a fantastic experience for my daughter and I).


6. The Allie Finkle Books by Meg Cabot- This is my oldest daughter’s favorite book series (and one of them is also signed by Meg Cabot. I mean, I can’t exactly save mine and not hers).

7. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- I love this series. I’d already fallen in love with them after borrowing them from a friend, so my husband bought me the series as a gift.  He’s pretty awesome.

8. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott– This is a wonderful book for anyone who likes to write.  One of my closest girlfriends, Tammy, bought it for me a few years ago and I totally loved it. Plus, it meant so much to me that she took note of something that I love to do and looked for a way to help me enjoy it more.

9. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak– I’ve read this so many times with my children that I can still recite it. And I love that they love it, no matter how old they are.

10. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown–  Ditto! Our copy has scribbles in it from when my youngest went through her graffiti stage (Really. Books, tables, seat cushions. It was ugly).

The work of a budding artist?

*** So many more: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (one of the first chapter books I read aloud with my oldest daughter), The Truth About Forever and Austenland (books that I read again and again when I need a smile), The Classics (Persuasion, Emma, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice). I’m sure there are more that I can’t even remember right now!

19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Books That I’d Grab If My House Was Burning Down

  1. Lovely list! While I hope you don’t ever have to actually save books from your house burning down, if for some reason you ever have to I hope you can save all of these – they seem like such treasures! When I was making my list I didn’t think of any books that were sentimental to me… I think they’re all up in the attic, so chances of me grabbing them are slim to none. I loved The Secret Garden as a child; I remember reading it several times in 2nd grade (it was one of the few books on my teacher’s reading shelf). Happy Tuesday!

    • Um, seriously. Me and all the other ten-year olds waited in line for a long time for that signing (really, It was actually a signing for the last Airhead book, but most of the girls were getting Allie Finkle books signed. And then there was me, the lone mom who was spazzing outabout Michael and Mia and the fact that Meg Cabot was RIGHT THERE. Whatever. It was awesome.)

  2. Oh, you have a few books on here (To Kill A Mockingbird and Where She Went for sure) that I *wanted* to include in my list but just didn’t have the space. I also wanted to include The Princess Bride (but didn’t) for nearly the same reason you included The Secret Garden… my uncle gave me the book when I was in middle school because he said it was the only book he ever actually enjoyed reading.

    the novels I’d save

  3. You and I interpreted this TTT in a similar way. I also had lots of books given as gifts or with signatures in them. I can buy additional copies of the books I love, but I can’t replace the ones with sentimental or personal value!

    • Exactly. I remember putting dog ears on all of those pages and eating chocolate while reading it–which is why there is a smudge on one of the pages (I was pregnant and therefore hungry all the time). Such sweet memories.

  4. Great list, and what a heartbreaking decision to ever have to make. I think what I’d save is older books with sentimental meaning to my kids and me, or my high-school copy and annotated version of a few classics. Doesn’t everyone have a graffiti-filled or chewed upon version of “Goodnight Moon”? 🙂

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