Let's Talk: Books That You Value the Most

Friday, November 15, 2013

Let's Talk is a weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What books on your shelves do you value the most and why?

On any given day that someone asks me this, I reserve the right to change this answer. That said though, there are a few books on my shelf that mean the world to me and have for a long time now. These books have a little love in their pages. They hold heartaches and secrets and, at times, these books were my hideaway…my escape. For that reason, these books hold a pretty treasured spot on my shelf.

Many Waters is the first of Madeleine L'Engle's "Time" series that actually worked for me. Funnily enough, it's also the fourth book in a series of five, and it's the only one that focuses directly on Sandy and Dennis, the twin brothers. In this story, the boys are transported back to the time of Noah's Ark and discover that, while much of the world is as the Bible tells it, there's so much more to it, as well, including mammoths, Seraphs and the snide Nephilim. 

This book singularly sparked my desire to read all day every day. I read it in one sitting, and I've read my copy so many times that cover fell off. So, these days, I keep three copies on my shelf. My first is damaged but well-loved. My second is hard-cover for safety and the third is by my bedside…always.

When I started book blogging and discovered Goodreads, I learned that I'd actually been reading fantasy long before I ever knew that I was doing so. I was a pretentious little reader when I was younger, and I was of the school of thought that the bigger the book was, the smarter I was. So, while my friends were bringing their Babysitters Club books to school, I proudly hefted these to class every day.

I got so enmeshed in this incredible world that Brian Jacques created in Redwall that I've read every single book in this series. And, to be honest, I don't even know how many of these books there are now. This, however, was my first, and I treasure my copy along with the rest of its successors.

I've read a lot of books while book blogging, but few books have made such an impact on me that I verbally coerced an Australian friend to send me a copy before we actually found a way to buy it in the states. Raw Blue is such an intense, vivid read that not only tugs at your heartstrings, but it almost draws out your hidden pain and makes you confront it, as well. 

Kirsty Eagar has written what I largely consider to be one of the most underrated books ever outside of the blogosphere. There is a delicate, pulsing pain to this novel that radiates throughout, but we heal through it, as well, all the while doing so alongside our protagonist, Carly. This book is one that I share with everyone I meet…but they can only borrow the second copy.


  1. I treasure my Australian books, Melissa because for one they were hard to get a hold of back then and two, because the writing it amazing. Melina Marchetta is the queen! I also treasure my author signed copies. I've always wanted to pick up Raw Blue. I'll have to get on Fishpond again. Great post! :)

  2. The books I treasure the most are in my closet and some of them are signed . I also keep them because they affected me in a good way or reminded me of good memories I had. I also saved some books for my kids to read as they got older ie. My dd is reading insurgent :)

  3. I'd say my Harry Potter books are the ones I treasure most. I'm planning a trip to Australia this winter. I'm going to pick up Kirsty's books and probably some Melina Marchetta ones.

  4. Raw Blue definitely left a great impression with me too Melissa. I have quite a few favourites, but tend not to lend them anymore since one of my friends spilled tea on my copy of Can You keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella. The books which I value the most also tend to be the ones that I can turn to when I'm in dire need of a comfort book. I've never heard of the first two books that you've mentioned before Melissa, but I will try and find more information!

  5. I love this link up, Going to start mine right now, and schedule it in a few days :)
    Kala@ TheWishfulLamb.com

  6. Oh to love a book so much you have multiple copies! I must say I haven't had any books like that before, I'm typically always on the look out for my latest read. Great post hun! I'll have to pick up Raw Blue.

  7. This is a cool feature. Last Spring I started to think about my most treasured books, because I definitely have some weird behaviours when it comes to preserving books. I realized that what I was really doing was keeping certain books safe so I could pass them on to my kids, and I'm not even a parent yet. I started doing a weekly post called For My Children just to keep track of them all and to justify my weird behaviour lol.

    My most treasured ones are probably the Harry Potter series. I don't know what I'll do if my kids aren't into fantasy and magic lol.

  8. I loved the Redwall series too! They were the first long book series I read and I still remember them fondly :)


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