This is a really hard question because there are a lot of books that during the process or immediately upon completion I want to go back and re-read, but I know I'll lose something of that "first love" experience because I know what's going to happen. Some I've re-read selectively--favorite passages, etc.--but most I just put on the shelf (I can't bear to part with them), and look at their spines and remember that blush that crept up my cheeks when I first read them.
That being said, the books that gave me that gooey feeling (in order of gooey-ness) were:
- The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon - This might just be because it's relatively fresh in my mind, but this was a book I crawled inside and rolled around in. (I could probably easily replace this with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay because pretty much everything Chabon writes is ethereal.)
- Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld - This is the first book that caused me to cry at the end simply because I was done; I was dying for more, but a simple re-read wouldn't satiate me.
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - These characters have stayed with me since reading and I've even thought, "Hmm, I wonder what Chip would think of that?", which is just ludicrous because Chip is fictional (proving that Franzen is a genius).
- A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley - This book opened my eyes so much to good writing (and good reading); Smiley created a world of characters that were so vivid that I couldn't help but fall in love with all of them (even the deeply-flawed).
- Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler - This was the first book that was about "nothing," that did "something" to my heart and mind.
This list could go on forever, I haven't listed anything by John Green or the other great YA authors who inspire me, but I'll stop at five.