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19 Books That Mean the World to Me

What’s up, I’m Arin, I’m nineteen and there is a slight chance I f*cking learned how to read. 

In other words, hi, I’m Arin, and today I turn nineteen. By the time this goes up, I will have been nineteen for nineteen whole minutes (how iconic). That is right, nineteen years ago on this day at 9:41 in the morning I decided to arrive on this planet (arm first, because why not give my mom and doctors extra stress by not doing things properly) in a very small, rundown hospital in the middle of nowhere. How fun. Now, before this turns into something that resembles my mom’s sappy facebook posts, let’s jump on in.

In honor of this fun milestone, I will be sharing nineteen books that have impacted me in the past nineteen years. I will be attempting to keep these in somewhat chronological order, but that will inevitably become inaccurate at some point. Without further ado, here is a rambly and inevitably emo list from yours truly.

I. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein


I feel like I have talked about this picture book quite a few times, but it is just so pure and I love it. My mom read it to me all the time as a kid and I have read it to some of the kids I work with and it is just so good, I’d highly recommend it to everyone even if it is a picture book.

II. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner


This series defined my reading for like, half of elementary school. It felt like I was always finding one I hadn’t read yet and I was always in for new content, I miss that if I am being honest. I also got to bond with my grandfather over these books and that is something really special I will always cherish.

III. The Cul-de-sac Kids by Beverly Lewis


This is a Christian series and it is the first series I ever binge read. My local Christian Book Store was doing a summer reading contest where when you read one of these books you got however many points and whenever you got so many points you could get a free book and second grade Arin was all over that, I spent almost a whole summer reading these books.

IV. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder


This series and Little House on the Prairie were my jam as a kid. I got like, super into this period of history. I made my parents take me to this local living history museum and I bought a bonnet and I wore it like nonstop. I recently reread the first book in this series and rewatched some of the series and I think I found it all a lot more magical as a kid, but it is what it is.

V. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling


I feel like I am the odd one out because this series did not like, define my childhood or anything. I wasn’t allowed to watch the movies, but my parents let me read the books? It was an odd situation, but I kind of felt like I wasn’t supposed to have read and enjoyed them for a while after I did so I kind of forgot about them until I formed a friendship in middle school by talking about these books, then I slowly stopped caring and just went for it I guess.

VI. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan


I would like to thank Rick Riordan for causing my brief stent as a classics major by writing these books. But for real, I love Percy and Annabeth and Grover and all of them so much to this day. I literally just finished a reread of this series, it is just so good.

VII. The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan


This series first exposed me to Latin and Roman culture and as someone who still loves the Latin language despite the fact that I suck at it, I will be forever grateful. Also, Hazel and Frank are great.

VIII. Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Would it be one of my posts if I didn’t mention Elementals? Probably not. I feel like I have told the over dramatic story of how I picked up Storm from my teacher’s bookshelf and then read it all in like three hours so I will save you from going through that again, but I will just say that I love all of the Merrick brothers and will until the end of my days.

IX. Secret by Brigid Kemmerer


What is this, another Elementals book? Yes, yes it is. This is the first book I ever read that had gay content and I will never be able to ignore that. I got to read about a strong and powerful gay character getting into a healthy relationship with someone else and being accepted by his family afterwards and it still means so much to me, I cannot explain.

X. Gone by Michael Grant


I feel like this is a book I have never talked about on here before and that is because I have literally forgotten everything about this series other than the fact that the main characters names are Sam and Caine, but once upon a time this series meant a lot to me. It is the reason I ever interacted with the bookish community as I made a tumblr account to talk about them with other people who had read them. (FYI: that tumblr still exists and has the same Gone centered username, lol anyways follow me on tumblr at samstemple)

XI. The Selection by Kiera Cass


Hi, I’m Arin and I am trash for The Selection. I know we have been over this a lot, but we will once again. I know these books are like, not the best and I will never try and give them a medal for their literary merit, but these books are so much fun and I love them so so much. Also, America is an amazing main character and everyone needs to back off.

XII. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving


I feel like this book seems very, very out of place on this list, but that is because it is the only classic I have ever enjoyed. I read it for AP Literature (and even wrote an essay about it for the AP exam) and I loved it to pieces. This is pretty much the only book I have ever analyzed and sometimes I still randomly think of it and how complex it is and have a Moment.

XIII. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare


I feel like the only surprise concerning this one being on the list is how far down it is, but I was attempting to say in chronological order. I could take this time to rave about how much I love Clary Fairchild, but instead I will talk about how this book lead me to this community. I read this series as part of a Facebook readathon and I got to talk to other people about them and discovered that like, blogging was a thing when people shared their posts and here I am. Thanks, TMI. Also, thank you Clary for just existing (we all knew I couldn’t make it, let’s be realistic here).

XIV. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare


Given that I honestly didn’t like this book and have openly said that, it may seem weird that it is on this list. However, this post was originally titled something along the lines of “19 books that impacted me in 19 years” and this book has had a big impact on me. I started talking to Brianna because of this book and not to be dramatic, but our friendship is one of my favorite things and I have this book to thank for causing us to actually start talking and become friends. We may have started out by just flipping out about this book and these characters, but now I honestly tell her everything and she is one of my biggest supporters and ugh, I just love it and her so much. I will now stop before I get too too emo, but we get the point.

XV. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth


I could say so many things about this book and I plan to, I have an outline of a post that is just a list of reasons why I love this book so much and why it means so much to me and I plan on sharing it soon, so for now I will just say that I love Cameron Post so so much and this book literally changed my life.

XVI. Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer 


The only reason this book is on this list is because it is the first book I ever reviewed and that always makes it stick out in my brain. I guess this book made me realize that I could actually write reviews, so that is pretty cool.

XVII. You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman


This book is about academic pressure and it made me feel so seen, it validated high school Arin so much it couldn’t not be on this list. Also, it is gay so it gets points for that.

XVIII. All the Worlds Between Us by Morgan Lee Miller


This book wasn’t like, peak content or anything, and I honestly am not the biggest fan of it. However, this was the first book I ever read that was just about a very cute sapphic romance and that will always stick out to me. Also, I am still super proud of the main character, like, what an icon.

XIX. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins


One thing this list doesn’t reflect is my childhood princess phase, but let me tell you, that was a thing that 100% happened and this book about a gay princess falling in love at boarding school has my entire heart and I am likely to reread it soon.


Okay, so, this got long and I totally don’t blame you if you just zoned out or scrolled through. But, before you go, let me know what book means a lot to you! Have a great weekend, pals!!

14 thoughts on “19 Books That Mean the World to Me

  1. I love so many books on your list! Probably the book that means so much to me is Beauty by Robin McKinley. It’s my go-to comfort book and I just love it with all my heart.


  2. Happy Birthday! Welcome to the 19 club! 😋 Glass Houses means a lot to me, it’s my go-to book when I need cheering up. So much so that I read my copy to death and had to get a second one. (The pages started falling out, and I’m a super careful reader!!)


  3. First, happy belated birthday!!! =D Thank you for sharing this sweet post. The Harry Potter series did play a huge part in making me the reader I’m today. This series made me fall in love with reading when I was a child. Since then, I can’t put a book down (unless I’m obliged because life is busy and very stressful).

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret


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