Books I’m Thankful For
While browsing on Twitter the other day, I noticed the “books i’m thankful for” hashtag and it was an idea that was immediately appealing to me (almost as appealing as the brilliant #literaryturducken, but we’ll save that for another day).
Obviously, books have had a huge impact on my life. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them–seriously, I met my fiance in grad school while studying publishing and writing. Who does that if they don’t love books? So, I am very grateful for books in general. Specifically, I put together a tiny smattering of the books I’m grateful for and why:
1. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
I don’t remember how old I was when I read this book, but I had a small, fat paperback, with illustrations, that I read and reread as a little girl. When I was in high school, I bought a hard cover edition that included Little Men, Jo’s Boys, and a few other Alcott stories, but nothing ever beats Little Women, in my opinion. I even wrote a research paper on Alcott for a high school English class. It’s the first book I really loved in a kind of sentimental, connected way, and I still love it.
2. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Fannie Flagg
My mom took this book out of the local library and just kept it, she loved it so much. My grandmother rented a beach house for a week in summer when I was 8 or 9, and I decided to read this book. I was probably a little too young, but I loved loved loved it, and I don’t remember being confused by it, though the murder, complicated female relationships, and domestic abuse were probably a little over my head. The movie came out a few years later, and all of a sudden, everyone knew the story. I’ve reread it several times, and my college roommate even bought me a copy for Christmas when my old copy got lost. Even though it’s a little more sensational and not as “literary” as most of the books I read now, it definitely remains in my top ten list.
3. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
I read this in college, at just about the time that I was discovering that I really loved to write. Reading the journals of one of the writers I admired most was really helpful in understanding what it’s like to pursue writing, and the creative genius behind one of the foremost female poets of the 20th century. The collection is dauntingly huge, and I don’t think I ever quite read everything, but I’d recommend it if you are interested in learning more about Plath than the myth that she was just a crazy woman obsessed with suicide and death.
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
I was hesitant to read this book because it’s about comic books. But as soon as I was finished with the first page, I knew I had found something special. It’s about so much more than comic books, and the writing is sublime. I read it about five years ago, and every once in awhile, I’ll take it down from the shelf and reread certain passages, but I haven’t reread the whole book. Part of me is afraid that it won’t live up to the first time I read it. Maybe that’s crazy. Either way, when someone asks the question, “what’s your favorite book?” this is my go-to answer.
5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ok, so this one is a gimme, but I really love it. It’s one of those tried and true classics that lives up to the hype–despite what some haters will say. I read this in my junior year high school English class, and I distinctly remember doing the Charleston in class, awkwardly, trying not to look like too much of an idiot in front of the boy I liked. But despite the corny 1920s lessons that went along with our reading the book, the deeper themes resonated with me, and it was one of the first books I was required to read for school that I really loved. I read it again in college, and wasn’t tired of it. Even now, I find myself rereading certain parts, and of course, there’s my totebag that I carry every day.
What books are you thankful for?
And now, I’m off to Rhode Island to spend Thanksgiving with the family. Happy Thanksgiving to all–see ya next week!