Top Ten Tuesday: Books with sensory memories

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme was submitted by Jessica at A Cocoon of Books. It’s an interesting and unique theme: books with sensory reading memories (where I was, what time of year it was, who I was with, what I was eating, etc.) At first, I thought I’d have trouble with this theme, but then the memories just started rolling in.

  • Honestly, I remember little to nothing about What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. I read it in the summer after seventh grade (2003) and Far Away by Staind was super popular. I remember that it came on the radio while I was reading and now every time I hear that song, I think about this book.
  • I remember that it was hot as all heck when I read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
  • I read Room by Emma Donoghue in an airport when I arrived five hours early for my flight because I am an anxious person and for some reason, I was just convinced that the plane was going to leave without me.
  • I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett in an airport amid a blizzard as my flight was delayed one hour… then two hours… then three hours… then four hours…
  • Some backstory: back in 2013, I lived in a more or less abandoned area of town in a huge house that had been converted into multiple apartments. The house was actually pretty nice but it had five doors. As I mentioned, I am an incredibly anxious person and was therefore always checking to make sure all five doors were locked. It didn’t help that this apartment was like a quarter mile from this super seedy motel where actual murders had happened. My boyfriend had to go to New Mexico for like two months for work and I made the brilliant decision to read Gone Girl while alone in the house.
  • I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher on the last shift of my last college job. RIP jobs that paid me to read. I did not take advantage of it nearly enough.
  • I read Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie in the guest room of my mom’s house and felt suuuuper awkward about it.
  • I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green right after my boyfriend moved halfway across the country. Honestly, it was probably not the ideal time to read a sad book like that because I remember sobbing like crazy. I don’t usually cry when reading!
  • In 2011, I had a job that I absolutely loved tutoring high school kids after school. I made a lot of really great friends and I hope that I made a difference in those kids’ lives. I was in my senior year of college and it was our spring break when I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy over the course of a weekend (plus Monday morning). I wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that it was not actually the kids’ spring break, so I went to the high school a total zombie. I told all my kids to read it.
  • I was so excited when Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie finally came out. It’s probably my favorite book that they’ve ever written and Luka is one of my all-time favorite characters. I was anticipating it so much that I considered taking a day off work to read it. I ended up not doing that because I couldn’t justify it, but then I woke up with a horrible cold the morning after it came out. I never get sick! I ended up taking a sick day and reading most of the book while trying (and generally failing) to breathe.

Honestly, I could keep going! I have sensory memories about so many books, but I’ll stop here. Do you ever get transported right back to where you were, what was going on in your life, or the people you were with when you read a particular book?

29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with sensory memories

  1. Loretta @ The Laughing Listener says:

    I’m seeing The Hunger Games a lot and love seeing everyone’s memories about the same books. I read that series over a weekend too!! And oh my god, your comment about Lovers Like Us made me laugh. I’ve never read it, but it’s in my tbr and I know what it’s about so uhhhh… yeah. SUPER awkward. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Educated Negra says:

    Thanks for sharing these memories, I feel that way all the time when I’m reading. On the rare occasion that I reread a book, it usually takes me back to the point of my life I was in the first time I read it. Books are truly magical!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leslie says:

    I also forgot that I read ‘Before I Fall’ on a plane.. I didn’t know it was about a plane crash and I’m a nervous flyer! All your airport answers reminded me of that! Oh yeah, reading scary or psychological thrillers when you have to be home alone is not fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      I’m also a nervous flyer, so I don’t know that I’d be able to read that kind of book while on a plane! I have two new airport books to add to my list… maybe one of these days I’ll make a list about books I’ve read in the airport. On Friday it was We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I’m flying back home tomorrow and hopefully I’ll finish Darius the Great is Not Okay on the plane.

      And I try to read really fluffy YA if I’m home alone now! (Although at least I don’t live by a scary motel anymore.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Leslie says:

        Yeah, I decided to just go with it. It was not a good idea! hahaha. My husband was reading on our shared kindle. Not now! I just got my own on this last Prime Day! Whoop!
        Ohh.. Safe travels!!! That’s some great reading achieved. The good thing about flying, great reading time!

        Oh yeah, thank goodness! I would not want to live by a scary motel either!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Winged Cynic says:

    I have an extensive sensory memory for almost every single book I read, so I loved reading through your experiences with yours! I find it pretty amazing that you arrived five hours early for your flight though…I get to the airport like, thirty minutes before. Almost missed a flight once. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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