Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is top ten characters I’d like to best friends with, but I’m tweaking it slightly. These are ten books that have been my best friends. They’re not necessarily my favorite ten books; but they are books I have repeatedly gone back to; books I have found comfort in, books that have taught me things I needed to know, or simply books that I have lugged around the country with me because I couldn’t bear to give them up.
First off are two classics; my Norton Shakespeare, and my Complete Works of Lord Byron. My Shakespeare is still in very good condition; it’s a hardcover, with those tissue-thin pages like a Bible. My Byron, however, is missing its cover, title page, and the contents pages are starting to look pretty ragged. I have highlighted and dog-eared and beat the crap out of that book, and I keep going back to it. In my high school Emo phase, I hand-wrote Lord Byron’s The Tear onto a huge sheet of paper and posted it on my bedroom door. (Now I look back on that and think OMG I was so melodramatic…) Regardless, Byron and Shakespeare are still always there for me when I need them.
Next we have three childhood books whose plots have embedded themselves in my mind and are partly responsible for my lifelong love of fantasy and dragons. I mentioned Dragon’s Bait and The Forbidden Door a few weeks back, in childhood favorites. They remain two of my most-loved books. The third is Black Beauty and Thirteen Other Horse Stories, an omnibus of amazing stories for the young horse-obsessed girl I was.
In the category of friend-who-tells-you-the-hard-shit-you-need-to-know, I have Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which opened my eyes to how awful my science and history education really was, and The Jealousy Workbook, which helped me work through the beginning of our journey in polyamory. Both books are full of truths in very different ways, and helped me immensely at different stages of my life.
God Bless the Gargoyles is that friend who you absolutely adore for no real reason that you can define. It is a gorgeous gothic picture book and I just love it. I’ve tried my best to keep it in nice condition, but as a picture book, it’s prone to getting bent up. My copy is starting to show its age, which makes me sad, as I want it to stay pristine because I love it so.
Lastly we have the food friend. You know the one. Always making amazing things for dinner, always baking new experimental things and bringing fantastic things to parties. That friend. Cheesecake Extraordinaire taught me how to make cheesecakes and have fun with it. From that book I learned that cheesecake is an extremely versatile dessert and can be turned into almost any flavor you can imagine. (I won three blue ribbons at my county fair back home and use to dream of starting a cheesecake cafe!)