T10T: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books with Sensory Reading Memories.

These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, what you were eating, […] etc. Ideas include books you read while on vacation, books you read at work/at a family or social event/on the train or plane, books you’ve buddy read with loved ones, books you read during an emotional time in your life, books you read by the fire, etc.

So: Books that remind me of something that has nothing to do with their actual content.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


This is the first book I’ve read in a language that wasn’t my own, and I remember reading the tiny font on my phone – I didn’t own an e-reader yet – while I was at the same time really cold because of the air conditioner and melting because summer in Sardinia.
The writing style of this one is weird – weird in a way that I personally find overdone and unappealing, so not my kind of weird – and I don’t know if I would recommend it to those who want to start reading in English, but I can say that even if you don’t understand half of what Juliette says, everything will be ok, because some things she says just… do not make sense and the plot is very simple.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


I read A Court of Thorns and Roses in 2015, while I was on a ship (that sounds vague. A… cruiseferry? The only ships I’m able to describe in English are the bookish ones, sorry.)
I liked most of this book at the time – it was the first book in English I read after Ignite Me – but I think I would hate it if I reread it today, so I never will. I’m fine with it reminding me of ships that are cruiseferries and not ships that are toxic.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović


This book is really important to me. It’s the only book I’ve ever read which is set in the real world (it’s contemporary fantasy) that feels like home.
All urban fantasy books I’ve read are either set in America or in London/Paris. Wicked Like a Wildfire is set in a relatively small town (Cattaro, Montenegro) on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and as someone who lives in a town on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and was reading this book while on vacation in yet another, even smaller town on the Mediterranean Sea, WLaW means a lot to me – especially because it’s not written in a tourist point of view and because, while I’m Italian, I’m of Southeastern European descent and I never see that part of the world in books.
This book reminds me of home and it’s beautiful and I recommend it even though the main character is insufferable.

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller


Mask of Shadows will always remind me of the Bay of Orosei (Sardinia) – I was there while I was reading it – and of underwater photography, because that’s what I was doing. There are no bays or underwater scenes in the whole book.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust


A not-so-pleasant memory: I read this book while in the waiting room of a hospital (blood test). To this day, it reminds me of needles.
Anyway, it’s a really good book and you don’t want to miss it if you like quiet fantasy, fairytales, wintry stories or cute f/f couples.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente


This book reminds me of being sick and not being able to get out of bed – I started reading it the day after surgery, while I was in a hospital. I still loved it, but I know that I missed a lot and I know that rereading it would be a very interesting, completely different experience.
If you’re ever sick and very tired but want to read something anyway because you’re bored, I do recommend this because if things make no sense it’s not your fault, it’s the book’s, and also, it’s funny.

God’s War by Kameron Hurley


Another book I read after surgery.

The main character, at the beginning of the book: *walks around the desert a few hours after removing her womb*
Me, four days after surgery, just starting to walk again: I feel attacked.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody


This book reminds me of pastries, fresh porcini and snow on the Rhaetian Alps. It also reminds me of creepy circus songs and brightly colored candy, but I think that has to do with what’s in the book.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw


Hammers on Bone reminds me of summer, because nothing says summer like lovecraftian noir. I read it while I was at the beach because I never plan things, and it was the only unread book on my e-reader. It’s actually a great beach read, if an unusual one, and I loved almost everything about it.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

This book reminds me of ravioli because of an unfortunate symbolism choice. The main character magically grows starflowers, but the starflower… is food! For me, it was like reading about a main character whose magical power is growing spinaches.
I love this book, and even though it had some parts I just couldn’t take seriously, I didn’t mind them.

Have you read any of these? Is there any book that reminds you of something that has nothing to do with its content?

11 thoughts on “T10T: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

  1. Great Post! I distinctly remember reading A Court of Thornes and Roses, as I read it on New Year’s Eve 2017 (instead of going to a party, as that’s not my thing 😂). I was chilling on the sofa, drinking some tea and reading until the new year started, which was fantastic!


  2. Ohh, I remember the magical spinach! I think that was the first post I ever read on your blog! I loved reading about Cattaro too, even though my Norwegian hometown on the coast is quite different. It’s just so refreshing to read about places other than the US. It always gives me such wanderlust. Ferries < toxic ships!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Magical Spinach! I love that book but I can’t unsee it.
      I wish more places outside the US were common settings, and not only in books about Americans being tourists (I avoid those if I can, they don’t work for me).
      I also wish there were more international people writing in English/publishing in the US/who get translated, I think that would help.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing! It’s always so fun seeing how we all interpret the weekly topics and what memories we associate with books. I have to admit, I was cackling about your memories and descriptions of Wild Beauty in the best possible way.

    Liked by 1 person

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