I assume that even my casual acquaintances know about my obsession with books and reading, but I guess there are still people out there who don’t know the exact extent (it’s kind of refreshing, really). When I went around taking an informal survey of coworkers and friends this week asking them, “What books are you thankful for?” there were a lot of raised eyebrows and confused looks.
On the other hand, I did get a couple of thoughtful/helpful responses, and in one case, was gifted a book (A Distant Grief by F. Kefa Sempangi)(thanks sister-in-law!). So, a couple of days late… here are the books I’m thankful for right now. Looking at the collection of titles, this list could also double as “a history of Cecelia, in books.” My hope is that by this time next year I’ll have ten new books to add to a list like this – and more diverse ones.
Ten Books I’m Thankful For
1. Corduroy by Don Freeman – One of my favorite picture books from childhood, and now a staple for baby shower gifting. Not is it a universal “lost toy” story, but the main characters are WOC. Ensuring that the little ones in my life read and see stories with as many diverse characters as possible is a personal mission of mine.
2. Bible – It’s cliché, but I am thankful for all of the time I’ve spent with this book. I value the lessons I’ve learned, the comfort I’ve gained, and the literary illusions and history I understand because of my background with it.
3. Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery – My favorite L.M. Montgomery book because I read it first. I also credit this book with giving me very specific ideas about acceptable hospitality (there must always be cake in the house!), family politics, and how friendships evolve over time.
4. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter – I read this book multiple times a year for years… I’ve re-read it more than thirty times. I put its charm down to super-independent female characters and wish fulfillment.
5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – Some of the first fantasy I picked up on my own without prompting or my mother reading it aloud first. I liked it so much that I tried to find more of the same, and it set me on a lifelong search for and love of fantasy.
6. Patricia C. Wrede’s young adult fantasy – After I fell in love with fantasy I used to browse the shelves of my local library looking for likely book covers, and that’s how I found Patricia C. Wrede and my first young adult fantasy. I’ve been a fan ever since, and I used Wrede to find other favorites like Robin McKinley and Garth Nix.
7. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Look, I won’t say that I grew up with Harry Potter. I was a bit too old to be in that crowd. But I did read the books eventually (in grad school), and I talked about them with my siblings and we all went to see the movies together over holidays when I was home. So not only did I love the books, they helped me bond with my family. Priceless.
8. Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ romances – Speaking of bonding, my sister and I used to share SEP’s books with each other. They’re funny, intelligent stories (if a little unlikely!), and one of us would buy and read the book and then send it off to the other. That was a nice change after a childhood where Ginny wouldn’t read anything I said was good. For a passionate reader, that was frustrating!
9. C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity – I’m thankful for this book because it was one of the first books I read that dissected my faith in a way that stripped out the emotion of experience and made logical sense. I go back to this book when I am overwhelmed by the (seeming) American evangelical Christian monolith, or when I find myself judging instead of loving. It’s wise and simple and a good tonic for pride.
10. Check, Please! webcomic by Ngozi Ukazu – One of my best finds of the past two years (thanks, tumblr!), this webcomic combines many of my interests: baking, hockey, and a happy, fluffy love story. Many days over the past year have been made 100% better by a comic update. I can’t recommend it enough!
What books are you thankful for?
This post was inspired by The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.