My Top 15 Books When I Was 15

Brian at Boppin’s Blog challenged us to post “My Top 15 Albums When I Was 15“.  Since I was more into reading at that time he suggested that I rebel by posting My Top 15 Books When I Was 15.

Here is a list of the books that came to mind the quickest, once I’d located myself in time and space.  Many of these books were treasures from others’ bookshelves, gifts and recommendations.  They were significant to me then and I’d like to re-read several of the classics now.

My Top 15-ish Books When I Was 15-ish:

1984, by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Anne of Green Gables (the series), by L.M. Montgomery
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
Dracula, by Bram Stoker
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
Flowers in the Attic (the series), by V.C. Andrews
Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Women, by L.M. Alcott
Love Story, by Erich Segal
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
The Shining and Pet Sematary (and many more), by Stephen King

Honorable mentions:
Awesome science magazines (assorted)
Metaphysical poetry (assorted)
Trashy romance novels (assorted)


What were your Top 15 Books and/or Albums when you were 15?

An open invitation to everyone:  join the fun and post!  Send your links and I’ll include them here. 🙂


My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read. ~Abraham Lincoln




69 thoughts on “My Top 15 Books When I Was 15

    1. So many books and so little time! Reading lists must be a challenge — how to keep them interesting for the classes (and the prof!) and include titles that are new to students. Maybe we should do Top 15 lists of the obscure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been enjoying short stories recently. Lots of books are available in audio format, if you’re interested. I used to listen to audio books during an early-morning commute a while ago. In the right setting they can be great but they might cut into music time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes my music time is critical — I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you my collection is so large that there are albums I’ve never heard.

        I love short stories. One of my favourite books is a huge collection of all of Arthur C. Clarke’s short stories. Sci-fi is my genre. Good suggestion Danica!

        My top 15 list from when I was a kid would have been pretty much 100% sci-fi. I had started to begin reading biographies too. My dad has an old, old book on Baron Von Richthofen and that got me hooked on those.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mike, I’m not at all surprised that your music collection is so large that you haven’t had time to listen to all your albums. That’s a rich life!

          You’d probably like Ray Bradbury’s work if you’re not already familiar. He was an early contributor to the original Twilight Zone series, among many other credits. He was a prolific writer including short stories. Stephen King’s short stories were published before his novels, early in his career. A book titled Different Seasons includes four of his short stories: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption; Art Pupil; The Body; and, The Breathing Method. Three were made into movies: The Shawshank Redemption; Art Pupil; and, Stand by Me (based on the story, The Body). There are also wonderful science fiction and fantasy anthologies featuring works by different authors.

          In case you want to alternate with music sometime….I believe that books and music are closely related.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to orient myself too. It’s a specific time frame that maybe we haven’t contemplated much. Once you find yourself there it should all come back to you. Once I’d found my bearings and after a couple stalled starts, the list then came pretty easily.


      1. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
        Tunnel In The Sky – Robert Heinlein
        King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
        Lord of the Rings – Tolkien
        Behold the Man – Michael Moorcock
        Prester John – John Buchan
        Elric of Melnibone – Michael Moorcock
        Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
        The Final Programme – Michael Moorcock
        The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
        The Weirdstone of Brisingamen – Alan Garner
        Foundation – Isaac Asimov
        Dune – Frank Herbert
        The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut
        The Day Of The Triffids – John Wyndham

        And I still own everyone of these it seems as I looked at the bookshelves for inspiration of course having a 15 year old son helps.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What a wonderful list, Neil! I think I’m the only person who hasn’t read Lord of the Rings. I’ve even had a copy here and there. I loved Isaac Asimov’s books then too. I haven’t read any in ages. Kurt Vonnegut! C.S. Lewis! Your book shelves must get raided regularly. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My children do and then I have to go and retrieve them from under beds etc.
            Tolkien has not been revisited since I read it aloud to all my boys once and swore off it although all five of us have our own copies.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I know The Outsiders was there. Rumble Fish. Lord of the Flies. Stephen King. Louis L’Amour. The Rats – James Herbert.

    I can’t remeber the rest.

    I like your list. Good on you for remebering them all. Do you still own all of them, and would you read them from te to time?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. I still love that line! I’d like to read that one again. I must have read Rumble Fish but I don’t really remember it. Lord of the Flies made me uncomfortable enough that I didn’t include it. That’s a sign of a well-written book!

      Oh no, I’ve had to downsize my book collection many times. It’s been a painful experience every time. Maybe one day I’ll fill a place with books (and music) and live there too. A book and music house!

      I’d like to do a retrospective and read my old favorites again. I’d try to discover more details about the writing itself: what made them so good that I remember them today?

      How about you? Do you still have your book collections? Your album collections?

      Thanks for this most excellent challenge, Boppin. I enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have none of my old books. I mostly read biographies now, but if I saw an old book I once enjoyed I would pick it up.
        As for music, I went through phases where I sold a bunch off, but I now have so many I may never be able to listen to them all, but at least I have a lot of choices.
        I’m glad you did this. It may inspire us to relive our past and re-read the books we loved, and try out the books that others loved.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m trying to remember the last biography I’ve read. It’s good to have a lot of music choices! Do you make playlists?
          I agree that re-reading books we loved is a great idea! Books that others loved make excellent endorsements.
          I’m glad that you urged me to rebel 🙂


  2. I think my 15 at 15 would feature a lot of John Grisham, with the Firm and A Time to Kill probably topping the list.
    Finally read Brave New World this year – I might not have appreciated it at 15 but I really liked it 18 years later!
    Great Lincoln quote too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should read more of John Grisham’s work. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure I’ve read any of his books.
      Brave New World is another one I’d like to read again today. It would be interesting to compare impressions in time.
      Glad you like the Lincoln quote, Geoff! 🙂


  3. Good question Danica. As well as all the usual Conan and Michael Moorcock books, I read Catcher In The Rye at least twice when I was 15, possibly three times, I also got obsessed by The castle by Kafka – I picked it up at the library because I thought it was a detective story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Danica! I have loved 10 of your favorite books, not sure they would all be in my Top 15 but you chose some really good ones. I like how you have included different periods and different styles of stories, too. I would add “Out of Africa,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Jane Eyre” and also, “Great Expectations” for older ones, but really would keep The Little Women, Little House in the Prairie, Love Story, 1984, Dracula, Anne of Green Gables, adding Tom Sawyer to Huckleberry Finn. Take care and have a wonderful rest of the weekend, my friend, Danica! Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful selections, Robin! I discovered Jane Austen a little later. Out of Africa would have to be added to the list to read now! Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn really do go hand-in-hand.
      Thanks so much and you as well, Robin! I want to read some Jane Austen now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Few more books to add to your list:

    A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    The Dragonlance Chronicles (Volumes 1-3) by Hickman & Weis
    Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Anything by Arthur C. Clarke

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fantastic additions, Vic! Sherlock Holmes is another for my ‘read now’ list. A Separate Peace as well. I haven’t read The Dragonlance Chronicles but am intrigued based on your inclusion and the title. Thanks, Vic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wasn’t that avid of a reader, but I share 6 of your faves:
    1984, by George Orwell
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Anne of Green Gables (the series), by L.M. Montgomery
    Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
    Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
    Little Women, by L.M. Alcott

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Congratulations on both of your published books! I didn’t realize that they’d both gone to press. The subject matters are diverse and very interesting. I especially like the cover of For He Was Weird.


              1. Yes, I am working on a third but it’s a slow process. It is a series of short stories about people being let down by the justice system who then join together to form a vigilante group. Thank you for your kind words about the cover.

                Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin

    Hi Danica. I know this is an older post, but since I have only recently discovered this wonderful blog (via Rich Kamerman’s wonderful blog), all posts are new to me. I love to read, but since I’ve gotten older (46, now) my attention span isn’t what it used to be (I wonder why?). I also find myself steering away from books with heavier, dark themes. Life is heavy enough, when I read, I want to escape. Here are some of my favorites. Maybe you could suggest some more?
    1984 and Animal Farm – G. Orwell
    Brave New World – A. Huxley
    Breakfast Of Champions, Mother Night, Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse 5 – K. Vonnegut
    A Confederacy Of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
    The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
    High Fidelity and About A Boy – Nick Hornby
    The Divine Invasion – Phillip K Dick
    The Goblet Of Fire – J.K. Rowling (all of the Harry Potter books, but this was my favorite)
    Good Omens – Neil Gaiman
    The Circle – Dave Eggers (a modern day 1984, if you’re interested)
    Childhood’s End – Arthur C Clark
    His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman
    11-22-63 – S. King

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for checking out my older posts, Kevin! This one doesn’t seem that it was so long ago…. Rich’s blog is one of the very best out there, music-related or otherwise.

      Interesting observation about a shorter attention span. I’d add that it may be due to the speed of media and ease of access and not so much due to age. I understand what you mean about reading to escape. The world does get heavy and dark with enough experience, doesn’t it.

      Nick Hornby is one of my favorites and I smiled seeing two of his books on your list! I also believe you’d like Stuart McLean’s “Vinyl Café” series. Alexander McCall Smith is what I’d call a gentle read and I admire his writing style — he creates very memorable characters that keep readers coming back for more. Mitch Albom’s “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” is also one of my favorites. If you have a little more time Louis de Bernieres is a master storyteller and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” is so good that I couldn’t bring myself to see the movie adaptation. That tends to be my approach to movies… one exception I’m glad I made was Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient”. The book is outstanding and the movie adaptation was excellent, although streamlined. Can you believe I have yet to read J.K. Rowling? I know, I know….


      1. Kevin

        Thanks for the recommendations, Danica! I’ve written them down and will be seeking them out on my next visit to the library, hopefully soon.

        I’m happy to see you’re a Nick Hornby fan also. I really like his style; generally light, but he can be poignant at times also. He is obviously a huge fan of music, and being a musician and music fanatic myself, I can relate. Although, sometimes his characters hit a little too close to home. At times while reading High Fidelity or Juliet, Naked, I thought I could have been reading my own biography. It can be interesting when you can learn something about yourself through a fictitious character in a book.

        As far as J.K. Rowling goes, I can understand why an adult might not be all that excited to get wrapped up in a story of child wizards. I was that “adult” once. My friends’ wife was a Harry Potter fanatic. When she was getting ready to go wait in line at midnight to get her reserved copy of the 6th book, I asked her “What’s the big deal? Isn’t it just a kid’s book?” I then dated a girl who was also a fanatic.

        Out of curiosity, I read the first two books. They were very creative and fun with good character development, but they were still “kid books.”Then I read the 3rd book. That’s when things got interesting, and by the time I finished the 4th (Goblet Of Fire), I was hooked, completely. An amazing journey, and one that was never adequately conveyed in the movies.

        Was there a particular reason you didn’t give them a try? Not your cup of tea, maybe?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Please let me know what you think, Kevin! I agree with you about Nick Hornby’s writing style. I think the best writers make reading very simple and easy. Not to exclude more complex writing styles, but you have to be good at what you do to make it seem easy.

          If you like crime fiction I recommend Walter Mosley — he has a very distinctive writing style. Since you like the Harry Potter series you’d probably also like J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series. John Grisham and Tom Clancy are in a similar genre as Stephen King. So many individual books come to mind…more of my favorites include: “Anna Karenina” (Leo Tolstoy); “The Poisonwood Bible” (Barbara Kingslover); “Fall on Your Knees” (Ann-Marie MacDonald); and, “The Kite Runner” (Khaled Hosseini).

          I absolutely agree with your point that we can learn something about ourselves through fictitious characters in a book. The threads that weave through the human experience, much like music and all art forms.

          So many books and so little time! That’s the only reason I haven’t yet read the Harry Potter series. I’m always interested in good books and this series is on my list.

          I hope you’re enjoying the day, Kevin!


          1. Kevin

            “The Kite Runner” was the last book I read, just a few months ago. Beautiful book. Sad and beautiful. Thanks again for the recommendations, Danica. Have a great week!

            Liked by 1 person

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