Have you ever had a book that sticks with you days, weeks or longer after you've read it?
As a child and teenager I remember re-reading the same books (and this may give away my age) but books like: Stranger With My Face, Sweet Valley High, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Meet the Austins, A Wrinkle in Time, Dicey's Song. Honestly, I haven't picked them up since early high school, but I do have all but the SVH on my shelf. I loved them; they were comforting, familiar and well used like your favorite blanket or toy as a young child.
Nowadays, I find books that stick with me for other reasons. An example are two books written from a dog's POV: A Dog's Purpose and Racing In the Rain. If you have a dog, love a dog or just work with them, these books will definitely change how you relate and view them. I tend to give my cat and dog voices (think Doug in the Pixar movie "Up") and notice other animal lovers do this, too. When reading them you can't help but think of your own dog. Or, even cats! I read Dewey, The Library Cat years ago and couldn't help but think of mine in some of those chapters. As an adult, we have seen and heard more about animal abuse or neglect than many children so these kinds of book can strike you at your deepest, emotional level.
Some of my other favorites like: Outlander, The Language of Flowers, A Certain Slant of Light, Harry Potter and The Fever series I love because of a 'lighter' side. These books were different enough to catch my interest and had characters that were real and vivid to me. The storyline was unique and I hadn't read anything like it before which is why they are on my bookshelf and will be some of the first books I recommend to people if I am asked.
Sometimes, though, especially when on vacation I just want what I call a "beach read"--you sit back, read and don't have to think or feel sad. My go to books for this occasion are Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series or some Nora Roberts books (I recently read Chasing Fire by her and thought it was very well researched and less romantic than her others.) I did read Stephen King's Under the Dome while on a cruise two years ago but it was so riveting and different I didn't mind that it made me think at the end!
So, what are your go to books? Do you have favorites on your shelf that are the first ones you'd recommend to a friend? Are there books that you've read and you could not stand for whatever reason?