(I’m writing about the first books I thought of upon reading each prompt. My memory is pathetic, so I’m hesitant to cop to any of these being actual firsts.)
First Book I Loved
The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
I am certain there were many books before this one that I loved, but this is the first one I was obsessed with. My brother made fun of me, growing up, because of the rate at which I consumed books (at least several per week), but very few of them really stick out. I loved to read, but I didn’t attach. Well I read this at the beginning of tenth grade, and was immediately convinced I knew everything (oh, how original, Susie). I suppose that is typically sixteen, and it is typically 20-30 something to look back with disdain. Regardless, I wrote many papers on Ayn Rand, and I still respect her skill for propaganda, but otherwise think she’s a douche, and that is where I will hush.
First Book I Hated
As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
Ok, I can say this because I majored in science instead of literature (it was seriously a toss up): shut up, William Faulkner. Learn how to punctuate. Yeah yeah, whatever, stream of consciousness. Oreos are good, too, but not if you eat the entire fucking package.
First Series I Read
The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I loved these, so so much. I still watch the show more often than I’d like to admit. Half pint! Almanzo! Nellie Olson! Sigh.
First Fantasy/Sci-Fi Book I Read
The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkein
We listened to these on tape for each of our [frequent] family road trips. I don’t know if I’ve ever read the actual books, but I think the words are lodged indelibly in my brain even now. After LotR, I have a deep and abiding fondness for everything ever written by Kurt Vonnegut.
First Book That Made Me Cry From Laughing
How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
I read this in the early weeks after having Eliza, in the middle of the night, chained to the breast pump, and just: yes. YES. It was so, so funny. And I was so, so delirious.
First YA Book I Read and Loved
Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
My god, I love them. I wish I could read them again, for the first time. I will settle for re-reading and listening to them over and over again, ad infinitum.
First Horror Book I Read
I don’t know – I read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koonzt back in the day, but I don’t remember anything in particular. Slash anything at all. Was I even paying attention?
First Book I Was Completely Obsessed With
Hmm, well in the interest of not recycling answers, let’s go with… East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. Which is, instead, the book I have been obsessed with for the longest. I first read it when I was 20. It was one of the books we took with us on our three month long climbing trip, when I lived in a truck with my friend Meredith. We dedicated perhaps 20% of our very limited storage space to a Rubbermaid bin filled with actual, no shit books. Which is hilarious now, with kindles and all. Regardless, I spent a lot of time reading aloud that summer, that was our evening activity. This was the first book I read aloud, and I started in the middle, once Kate is running the brothel. I knew immediately I’d read the whole thing, obviously, and I re-read it every few years. I also own three copies, so I can loan it out frequently. You should read it!