Top Ten Tuesday – books for my younger self

It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt takes us back to our younger selves. What books would I recommend to little Juli? Just for reference, I am still little, aka short, but much older 😉 This question actually fits well with a personal quest I am on, which entails reading books kids in the USA read growing up. I did pull a lot from that list when compiling today’s TTT. But I also added a few more recent books. I refuse to consider whether or not a book I recommend here was published while I was young. I am just going to imagine myself time-traveling back to young Juli and bring those books along. As you’ll see my list is also far longer than 10 books. I read all the following books as an adult but wish I would’ve done so much earlier. These are in no particular order and are not an exclusive list. Their titles are linked to Goodreads.

Books that would’ve made me feel seen. I spent my most formative years living with just my dad and younger sister. My grandma was a sort of surrogate mom. Both, my dad and her, were super open and for the most part tried to make me feel heard. But, you know how it goes, teenagers are notoriously secretive and difficult and I was no exception. I often felt like I had no one to ask the hard questions. I selected these books because in one form or another I found myself in them.


The Princess Saves Herself in that One

Anne of Green Gables


The Poet X

Books that would’ve given me magic, warmth, and wonder. I have always been a ferocious reader and definitely used books as an escape from reality. When I read the following books I felt like a kid again and I can only imagine how I would’ve loved them as my younger self.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

A Wrinkle in Time

Little Women


The One and Only Ivan

Books that would’v been perfect for my broody teenage angst. Who hasn’t been there? I seriously channeled my inner teenage asshole into watching every horror or Gothic film I could get my hands on. Why I didn’t actively expand that to dark and eerie literature is beyond me. Anyway, I think the following novels and short stories would’ve blown my mind back then.


The Phantom of the Opera

Wuthering Heights

Janet Eyre

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Books that would’ve broadened my horizon. I was kind of a German-literature snob with the occasional excursion to authors of adjacent countries. I mean I don’t regret reading Schiller, Fontane, Goethe, Böll, Kästner, and Rilke except that because of that I discovered own-voices literature way too late. I mean even the female voice wasn’t very loud in my youth. So, I wish I would’ve explored more and read books such as the ones below.

El Deafo

To Kill a Mockingbird


I’ll Give You the Sun


Link me to your TTTs so I can check out what you’re recommending to your younger self. Does a book I listed resonated with you? Why? Or why not?

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – books for my younger self”

  1. I love your idea of reading books kids grew up with in the US, what a fun thing to do! Anne of Green Gables seems to have been a formative read for lots of people in the blogging community, I’ve noticed, and while I’ve never Mockingbird I know people who love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way you’ve curated this list! It’s kind of a tradition in my house to watch Little Women (the one with Winona Ryder) every Easter, but I haven’t read the book yet. I think little me would enjoy it too. As a formerly angsty teen who was obsessed with the Phantom of the Opera for quite some time (still am to be honest), I’m sure you would’ve enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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