Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s theme is:
February 2: Books Written Before I Was Born
For this week’s theme, I’ve chosen 10 books I’ve read that pre-date me. They’re all books that were published before I was born, some I enjoyed, some not so much, sadly…
I read this in 2020 on audio but it was first published in 1868, so it predates me by a LONG shot. I watched the film and then listened to the book a few months later and I enjoyed the family dynamics and meta narrative.
The Color Purple
I read this in either high school or sixth form and I was so moved by Celie’s story that a lot of the little details have stayed with me to this day.
Published in 1982, this is an incredibly powerful novel and one that everyone should read. (It contains a lot of trigger warnings so please check those first.)
Emma was first published in three parts in 1815 and, like Little Women, it’s another classic that I read on audio in 2020 after seeing the new film adaptation.
I enjoyed the drama and romance and I’m glad I read this after watching the film, as I felt like I knew the characters better in my head.
I only read Orlando last week but it was published in 1928. Although I had a few issues with it, there were parts of the story I really enjoyed, especially Orlando’s sense of humour.
I read this for a literature module while at university and I remember realising that I had a seminar on it in 3 days and I hadn’t started it.
So I powered through in 3 days and ended up feeling very immersed in the protagonist’s questions and struggles. This was first published in 1952 and discusses racial and political identity in great depth.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
This is one of the OG dystopian novels, published in 1968. I read this before I saw Blade Runner, which is based on the book, and I found that I preferred the novel.
I think the film was too hyped up for me, whereas I knew very little about the book going into it and was enthralled by the story.
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
First published in 1985, this is probably one of the first sapphic stories I ever read. I read it back in 2014 after my aunt recommended it and was really moved by the story.
The Edible Woman
This is another book that I read while at university and it offers an interesting discourse on eating meat and animal products that’s rolled up into the story. I wasn’t vegan when I read this, so I wonder what I’d think of it if I read it now…
I read this in 2019 but sadly I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I was expecting a slow-moving, lyrical story about love and loss, but the dialogue sometimes came across as stilted and one character was repeatedly deadnamed.
I also read this while at university and LOVED it. The meta discourse about books and themes of corruption and imagination were so well integrated into the narrative and the plot had me captivated.
This was first published in 1953 but in some ways it feels like a much more recent novel. Either way, it definitely pre-dates me.
Which books have you read from before you were born? Have you read any of these?