Best Book Ever: Nostalgic Book

Welcome to Best Book Ever here at Short and Sweet Reviews! 

Are there any books which remind you of a memory, or a certain time or place? Sometimes when we re-read a book it takes us to the place that we were when we first read it.  We're going to look at those books this week, as we talk about your favorite nostalgic book.  

Now for this category, I have to say, I asked Amanda if I could use this book because it's not the book itself that's nostalgic, it's the storyline.

I could have gone with a story from my childhood that I adored such as The Hobbit or Black Beauty. But CHANGING MY WARDROBE by Deb Hanrahan is my choice.

I grew up being bullied. I don't know what it was about me that made me the perfect target. Was it my quietness? My tendency to keep to myself? Was it that I didn't dress in quite the right way to be part of the popular crowd? Whatever it was, I was the ugly duckling that got picked on a lot. So when I read the blurb for this book as part of Reading Addiction Blog Tours, I knew I had to read it. It's about a girl whose best friend tries to convince her that a change in her wardrobe may change peoples conceptions of her. Unfortunately, things aren't quite as easy as that.

I can't tell you more but if you want a book that touches you in ways you didn't know were possible, pick this up.

Keren @ Gothic Angel Book Reviews

My Best Nostalgic Book Ever is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six Others by Roald Dahl. This collection of stories and essays is the source of one of my most cherished childhood memories—a moment full of perfect contentment and comfort, that I most associate with the joy of encountering an amazing book. I vividly recall reading this library book on a cold winter day, snow falling outside, me curled up in bed under a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. I was moved by so many of the stories, particularly the titular “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” shocked by “The Swan,” and saddened by “The Boy Who Talked With Animals.” I’ve never read a collection that prompted such a range of emotions with each piece, and I’ve never recaptured that feeling of blissful happiness in reading with any other book, or even when rereading this one.

E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)

Despite me saying this book is nostalgic for me, I have to say I wasn't particularly happy when I first read The Stand. It was December 2001, I was a senior in high school, and both lingering on the edge of a mental breakdown and suffering terminal senioritis. The world had recently gone completely off its hinges. And early winter in the US Midwest--the gray and brown just before the snow--is grim even in good times. This was probably not the most ideal time to read an epic novel about the end of the world, the failure of government to stop it, and the decline of humanity. 

Or maybe it was, because The Stand isn't just that story, but a book of three parts. Yes, it begins with the grimness of apocalypse, told in unsparing detail (it's Stephen King, after all), but then moves to a second narrative, one of my favourite literary concepts, of survivors rebuilding and reconstructing society in their own images; and the third is a story of good and evil in direct conflict over what narrative will rule the new world that's been created.

At the risk of a terrible cliche, out of the cold and slush came holiday lights and a new year, and in that spring, I made it out of the dark place where I'd been. The Stand's final bittersweet hope, a faith not in any religion or creed, but in the ability of humanity to take any situation and turn it around, is something I've carried with me ever since.


As for me....

To Kill a Mockingbird is my pick for favorite nostalgic book.  I don't remember the first time I read it, although it was probably for school.  Probably like a lot of you, I was one of those kids who took her school-assigned reading to heart, and read above and beyond expectations for kids my age.  To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that means different things to you at different ages.  As a young child, you don't really understand the full gravity of the situation, but you can identify with Scout, with the strengths of her convictions, her devotion to her father, and her childlike innocence.

I've gone back to re-read the book several times as an adult now -- every few years, I'll pick it up again -- and it means something different each time.  As a grown woman who can see bits of herself reflected in Scout, I wonder what kind of woman she would grow up to be, how she would have applied the lessons learned from that ordeal during one hot summer in Maycomb, Alabama.  To Kill a Mockingbird reminds me of growing up, sticking to your beliefs, and trying to do the right thing, even if it may cost you in the end.

So what is your favorite Nostalgic Book? Please share in the comments below!

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