The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
I was obsessed with C. S. Lewis’s fantasy series, ever since my third grade teacher read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe out loud to my class. I probably checked each book out of the library an average of at least five times each over the course the next couple years. So I was thrilled when I got an anthology of the whole series as a gift from my grandfather. I could read all the books any time I wanted, and I got some great nerd street cred bringing it to read at school where other students (then fifth graders) marveled at how I could be reading such a large book. (I’m not sure some of them ever understood it was really seven books, but whatever.)
Pilfer Academy by Lauren Magaziner
It’s so exciting to me that I actually know someone, in real life, in person, who has published a book. (In fact, Lauren has published two middle grade books so far, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches and Pilfer Academy, and she has two more coming in 2018, Wizard Match and Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion.) However, I was never expecting Lauren to send me a personalized ARC of Pilfer Academy, complete with a doodle of an ice cream cone, so this is a special book for me.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
During my last year of college, I had to take a “senior seminar” as part of the graduation requirements for my English major. (Apparently taking one my junior year didn’t count because the class was a senior seminar, but I wasn’t a senior…but that’s a different story.) My professor–one of my favorites at the college, incidentally–decided that because the class was fairly small, he was going to buy us all a copy of one of the required books for the course, Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick was a surprisingly more interesting read than I was expecting, based on popular opinion of the novel, but it’s not exactly my favorite book. Still, I am very happy to have this copy as a memory of completing my English degree. (And I still aspired to be the kind of person who can just drop money on buying ten copies of the same book to generously give away!)
The Annotated Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
As readers of the blog know, Anne of Green Gables is one of my very favorite books. I first read it in fourth grade, and I’ve probably reread it about a million times since then. It never gets old, and it always surprises and delights. So I was absolutely thrilled to receive this annotated edition from friends. Along with Anne’s story, I get fun fact and insightful essays, as well as some illustrations.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings is my other favorite book, besides Anne of Green Gables. Knowing this, one of my friends gave me a very nice edition of the whole trilogy (not pictured above) when he was leaving college. At first I felt guilty accepting because it was his personal set, and it really is very nice, but now that I have it I am going to hoard and love it forever and admire the beauty of its pages.