Hi all, hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving filled with turkey, pies, and, of course, family time. This year I was put in charge of the pumpkin pie, so you could say I'm moving up in the world. ;)
As I get older and spend less time in my childhood home, I love these holidays spent playing cards and enjoying some downtime with loved ones more and more. Thankfulness is in large supply today and always for the wonderful people I have in my life, including all of you who come and share your thoughts and take the time to read mine. So much love for you!
As a complement to the holiday, I wanted to share with you five books I am thankful for. Some of these I could read a million times and never get sick of them, while others have more abstract reasons for their high favor. I think this is such an interesting topic to reflect on and I invite you to do the same and share the results of your rumination in the comments.
1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
I read this book many moons ago-- so long ago that it doesn't appear on this blog. Back then, I also didn't know what I wanted to contribute to the world. But, as I was reading about Hemingway's characters interacting in Spain and at the Running of the Bulls, I realized that my passion for reading was one of the only things that had never changed. It finally occurred to me to look up how books are made and who makes them; thus my journey into book publishing was born! The Sun Also Rises will always hold a special place in my heart as the dynamite that began this great explosion called career passion.
2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I mean, you knew this was coming right? I could never make a list of books I am thankful for without including the greatest series of all time, Harry Potter. One of the first books I ever read, a series my mom read to me when I was too little to read, and I series I have gone back to with great joy ever since. J.K. Rowling did something with this series that will be very, very hard to do again and I'm so thankful she created Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hogwarts.
3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
This is a book I truly hate. I totally get that Kerouac and the Beat writers cultivated this new wave of nonconformity and total freedom back in the 50s and 60s, but that does not stop me from thinking his famous novel is totally ridiculous and under-edited. In fact, I sloughed through the book just to be able to fairly say I hate it. BUT, I need to include it on this list because I think the importance of knowing what books you don't like is equally important as knowing what books you do like. Discovering motifs you find problematic, considering the importance of a good editor, and disagreeing with authors is all part of the reader experience and I think too often readers focus only on the books they love so much. So, I am thankful to you, Kerouac, for showing me a hearty handful of things I don't love and rounding out my critical approach to reading. (Click here for my full review!)
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A little story for you about this book, which, by the way, is so beautifully written and tells the trials of World War II eloquently, accessibly, and in such a heart-wrenching way. I read this book alongside someone who hadn't read a book since middle school. He was totally uninterested in reading and likely wouldn't have picked up a book again for several years had we not decided to read The Book Thief together. He listened to it as an audiobook and by the end was totally engrossed and had even begun to read ahead of me. His love for this book made me so happy and ignited a passion in me to bring people back to books. I think that if people say they don't like reading, they just haven't found the right book. If you haven't read The Book Thief yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up!
5. The Martian by Andy Weir
Finally, The Martian by Andy Weir. I absolutely love this book, it's one of my all time favorites and it also introduced me to a whole new set of genres that I had never picked up before: sci fi and, indirectly, fantasy. A book that can broaden your horizons is a beautiful thing and I am very thankful for The Martian for bringing me into the world of A Darker Shade of Magic and a variety of other books that I now love and likely would never have picked up.
So there you have it, 5 fiction books I'm thankful for! I could probably make a much, much longer list on the subject as there are a ton of books that have made a significant impact on my life. Perhaps a Part II? But, until then, I'd love to know a few books that have impacted your life or that you're just really thankful exists! Leave me a comment below :)