I’ll be heading off to college in the August, so I think this would be a nice post to look back on as I leave the nest next month.
This was the beginning of my love for fantasy and Gail Carson Levine. I don’t remember what made me love it that much, except that it was the first time I got so engrossed in a novel that I spent the entire afternoon (and another) finishing it. Then I spent forever gushing about it; maybe it’s time for a reread. 🙃
I’ll guiltily admit that I’ve watched the movie with Anne Hathaway more times than I’ve read the novel. Ella was one of my favourite heroines for the longest time 🙂
I don’t think this list can be complete without mentioning Harry Potter. I think everyone I know has read the series, and it was thanks to some of my very insistent elementary friends that I actually picked up the books. I was (very) late to hop on the Hogwarts Express, but I’m glad I got on in the end.
One word: MAGICAL. I watched a theatrical adaptation of the the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe back in grade 10, and it brought back so many memories of when I read the book alongside my friends.
This book scared the hell out of me. I don’t know what else to say.
Whenever I was in a reading slump, I always resorted to Geronimo Stilton. What’s not to love about the colourful and wacky fonts and the hilarious drawings? I absolutely loved reading the special edition books, where Geronimo went on adventures in magical kingdoms. There was a long while in elementary when I didn’t enjoy reading at all, and Geronimo Stilton got me through.
I collected these gems like it was my one and only goal in life. When I bought every copy that was available. I grew up with my friend Yiling, and we would pretend that we were Rachel and Kirsty discovering new fairies around our apartment. I remember spending hours with her drawing and creating our own fairies. Ahhh, I wish we were kids again.
I remember sitting on the carpet with my grade 3 friends as our teacher read the book to us. I definitely remember bawling my eyes out at the very end. This was probably the first of the many books that I cried to.
I just realized that this was written by the same author of Charlotte’s Webb. But after crying over Charlotte, I borrowed this from my classroom library because my mom loved the movies. So I decided to read the book. For some reason, I took it EVERYWHERE: to lunch, to gym class, to recess; I recall very vividly my teacher telling me not to take it to the washroom when I asked to go. It was pretty funny, now that I think back.
Love You Forever
I feel like as a child, you never forget the covers of the picture books you’ve read. Some of them are still clear in my mind, like The Rainbow Fish, or The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or Where the Wild Things Are. But earlier this year, I picked up this book, because I recalled reading it when I was younger. THE COVER IS SO MISLEADING. I thought it would be a heartwarming and happy read. But nooo. At the end, I CRIED LIKE A BABY. Sorry, Charlotte’s Web, did I say you were the first book I cried to? If I knew what I was reading about when I was six, then Love You Forever would have been the first book to make me cry. But sometimes there’s a 11 year delay in emotions, so I ended up crying myself to sleep at seventeen instead.
Writing this post definitely brought a lot of nostalgia. I think each of these books have some memories that go along with it. It’s also funny how when I was a kid, reading was a collective effort of me and my friends. Now that I’m writing about it, I realized that I spent a lot more time at the library in the past than I do now. I remember as a kid, my mom would take me to the library where she’d study for her courses and I’d walk between the shelves, inspecting book covers that piqued my interest. Looking back, I’m quite thankful for all those weekends at the library.
Lol, this has nothing to do with the post, but I felt compelled to share it. I spent that last year writing applications for university applications, and this was a draft that I wrote for MIT before it got scrapped. Writing this post reminded me of all the time spent at the library with my mom, and I guess I wanted to share it with you guys.
Warning: It’s sappy. But when was I never 😛
I come from a world of bookstacks that reached up so high that they almost touched the ceiling. I grew up looking at those stacks, testing the highest shelf I could reach, and watching my mom test her limits as well. While kids trapezed across monkey bars at a playground, I spent my afternoons somersaulting between aisles, making rounds to each study table, like a merry-go-round, shyly peeking to see what each adult was studying.
At the age of 35, my mom went back to college to earn her bachelor’s degree. As a single working mom, she was always on the move and as her devoted sidekick, wherever she went, I went. While she buried herself in books on C++ or Java, I went on adventures with Geronimo Stilton and later, mystery endeavors with Sherlock and Watson. As my mother immersed herself in another foreign computer language, I delved into mine. I transitioned from the realm of prealgebra to its more complex counterparts, calculus and number theory. It was no surprise that after years of observing my mom’s love for computer engineering, I too decided to pick up one of her old books as well.
Braving everything with a smile, my mother surpassed the barriers as a first-generation immigrant and thrived in a male-dominated field. She taught me to be undeterred by challenge, unafraid of failure. The odds were stacked were against her, but she rose to the challenge and reached above. And because of her, I will too.