Sensory Reads | Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl was recommended by my book club friend, Jessica at A Cocoon of Books. We’ve been reading together for a long time, so you know I was going to do her prompt.

Books with sensory memories are those that make you think of a specific time of year, location, what you were eating, etc. I think this topic is fabulous; I have so many of these. Here we go.

IT by Stephen King — I read most of this in the bath, late at night. I was single at the time, and everything freaked me out. I had a landline and was frequently getting wrong numbers. And then the scene with the blood in the bath tub… Let’s just say I didn’t take a bath for a year after that one.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green — Same house as above. I had a green basket chair in my room. I remember reading it the night it came out and just bawling because it reminded me of home (I’m from the same part of Indianapolis where the story is set, but at that point, I hadn’t lived there for six years).

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein — Same house as above. I slept on a futon because I was cheap. I remember having a conversation with my friend Hannah about this one as I was reading it, curled up in the corner of my futon. I was crying.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult — I was with my ex at the time. She had a blue (I think it was blue) easy chair in her bedroom. I remember that it was winter and I’d just come back from visiting my family. I was depressed to begin with and this story just made me lose it. More crying ensued. (I’m sensing a theme here.)

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult — I had a thing for a while about books with school shootings. I listened to most of this one in my desk chair while playing Temple Run. I forever associate Temple Run with this book now. There was also crying.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anne-Marie McLemore — I can’t remember why I picked this up, but I remember when I finished it. It was last year and I was curled up against my wife on the couch. We were both reading. It was one of those times I felt so loved and seen. And I was crying. Yeah. I don’t think I have any memories of books that don’t involve crying. Weepy punk, I am.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness — I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that there was crying involved in this one. I remember I read it in one sitting. I remember being so moved by it and just sitting in the chair outside my door and ruminating. There was nothing else I could do after the end of that book.

The Death Cure by James Dashner — No crying this time. At least not by me. I was hanging out in the Dallas airport waiting for my connection back to El Paso. There was a very loud baby crying near me. I don’t know why I remember that.

Kindred by Octavia Butler — The first time I read this, I was a senior in college. There was this girl in my women in literature class, who, in retrospect, I think liked me. We did much of this reading together in my dorm room. And then she tagged along when my aunt took me to lunch. It makes me think of cigarette smoke because that’s what she smelled like.

Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper — This memory isn’t of my reading of Tears of a Tiger, but it does involve crying. I recommended this book to one of my students in my first year of teaching. He was a kid who’d gotten in trouble for something or other, and was in an after-school program designed to make sure that he didn’t get into trouble again. I remember how he came to class the day after he’d finished the book. He was angry with me because of how the book ended. I remember his name. I remember what he was wearing. And I remember how he still came to me for books after that. This was 12 years ago.

What books hold sensory memories for you? Leave me a link to your TTT so I can check it out.


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