Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Before I Was 18

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish.

Today’s top ten revolves around throwback freebies – books from any time in our lives that made any impact. I chose to pick the books I read before my 18th birthday as these were the books which shaped my love for literature.

Anyway, in no particular order.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks


This book was actually one of the first books I recommended to the man who would become my father-in-law. When I did this I forgot how explicit it could be and was slightly embarrassed when he told me that he was surprised that I enjoyed a book he described as a “porno”.

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

Sophie's World

An amazing, beautiful book for introducing young minds to the history of philosophical thought.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret

The ultimate handbook on teenage angst, first crushes and menstrual cycles.

Postcards from No Man’s Land by Aidan Chambers

Postcards from No Man's Land

One of the first historical, generation-crossing books I ever read. I still love books like these, ones which weave through the decades, pulling characters together and making their stories collide.

Matilda by Roald Dahl


The Trunchbull was the stuff of nightmares but the idea of being a kid who can move objects with the power of your mind was just mesmerizing.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

I was almost a grown-up when I read this, which is probably just as well. Tragic, moving, and filled with flawed characters. Kind of like real life.

Sophie’s Snail by Dick King-Smith

Sophie’s Snail

Sophie was small and very determined, just like me.

Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted by Mairi Hedderwick

Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted

Katie throws her favourite ted away in a bad mood (well, who hasn’t?). My siblings and I loved this book as children, and it is a firm favourite with my children now. Beautifully illustrated and very witty. And some great nicknames, just like the sort children give to their relatives – Grannie Island and Grannie Mainland, anyone?

The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook by Shirley Hughes

The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook

This book still conjurs images of jumping in leaves, building dens, and visiting Gran. Every child should have a childhood like a Shirley Hughes character.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

An inspiring, heart-breaking book. This had an enormous impact on me.

Do you remember the books that you loved during your childhood and teenage years? Please feel free to share your own memories in the comments or via social media.

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