Top Ten Tuesday: Thankfulness
I’m hooking up with the Broke and the Bookish again for their Top Ten Tuesday posts. This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books that You’re Thankful For. I have considerably MORE than ten books, so as I am terrible at following directions, I interpreted the theme to mean the Top Ten Book Themes for which I am thankful. I have curated a very specific list of books that have made a personal impact on me and would love to hear if any of these books resonate with you.
# 1 I’m thankful for book series that introduce children to the wonderful world of book
- Harry Potter. (Amazon | Goodreads) I’m fairly certain no top ten list would be complete without Harry Potter. There’s no need for me to go into the details of how J.K. Rowling transformed children’s literature with her beloved series.
- The Chronicles of Narnia. (Amazon | Goodreads) This series is special to my family. Growing up, my father would read Narnia aloud to each of us (first my brother and me, and later to our younger cousins). It was his favorite childhood series and will always hold a special place in my heart.
- His Dark Materials. (Amazon | Goodreads) This trilogy has it all: magic, intrigue, a heavy anti-authoritarian theme, and a brutal take down of dogmatic thinking in favor of rational thought. If nothing else, Pullman’s series is fascinating to children and adults alike because of how often it’s banned for its thought-provoking material. As a follow up, I’m also going to plug the newest story in the universe, “The Book of Dust”, which came out in bookstores earlier this fall (Amazon | Oct 2017).
# 2 I’m thankful for YA novels.
This wasn’t really a thing when I was a teenager. Every time I peruse through the YA section in a bookstore, my husband has lamented the fact that there weren’t great YA books growing up, and I have to agree with him. We had kid’s books, middle grade and then kind of an awkward transition to adult novels. Some examples of my favorite YA novels are below:
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer. (Amazon | Goodreads) A retelling of Cinderella with cyborgs, set in New Beijing.
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. (Amazon | Goodreads) My exact quote when finishing this book was, “This is the sort of book girls should be reading.”
- Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. (Amazon | Goodreads) Riveting, complex, and compelling. A beautifully written dystopian fantasy novel.
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Amazon | Goodreads) This particular story is polarizing, but it exemplifies a genre of books (Rainbow Rowell, John Green, etc.) that focus on the struggles many teens face transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.
# 3 I’m thankful for books that have made me cry.
I am not given to large displays of emotion, but there’s something cathartic about a book that takes you on an emotional journey. Here are my favorite tear-jerkers.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. (Amazon | Goodreads) Who among us hasn’t shed a tear for the March sisters? Even Joey Tribbiani from Friends has cried over this book.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. (Amazon | Goodreads) I own three different copies of Jane Eyre and I’ve cried reading all of them.
- Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith. (Amazon | Goodreads ) This was the first book that made me cry. I was in fourth grade and stayed up all night to finish this story, reading by light of the hallway nightlight. This also began my obsession with historical and wartime fiction.
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. (Amazon | Goodreads) This book wrecked me. Maybe you saw the movie recently. Good for you, now go read the book. And make sure you pick up the illustrated edition.
# 4 I’m thankful for books that have become my friends.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. (Amazon | Goodreads) My first love was Gilbert Blythe, but my first bosom friends were Anne and Diana.
- The Martian by Andy Weir. (Amazon | Goodreads) I would be BFF’s with Mark Watney in a freaking heartbeat. I love his wry sense of humor and smartass tendencies. A+ dude.
# 5 I’m thankful for books that made me feel not alone in my alone-ness.
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. (Amazon | Goodreads) I listened to this on audiobook in a single sitting. Jenny Lawson sat down for 8 hours and told me about her crazy childhood, weird tendencies, and struggles with her anxiety and mental health and I was nodding along saying, “Girl. HOW DO YOU KNOW ME?”
#6 I’m thankful for books that introduced me to romance.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (Amazon |Goodreads ) I remember the first time I read the book. I was 12 years old and borrowed my friend’s mother’s copy from when she was 16. It smelled like cigarette smoke and old pages. I can still remember the cover and how it felt in my middle school hands.
- Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Amazon | Goodreads) introduced me to historical romance. Chase writes glorious dialogue and wonderful characters with enough faults and flaws and humor and chemistry to come to life on the page.
# 7 I’m thankful for the books that introduced me to fantasy.
- By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey. (Amazon | Goodreads) My personal favorite of all of Lackey’s novels. A perfectly balanced heroine who is special, talented, and strong but surprisingly not a Mary Sue. I read this book my freshman year at university, laying on a blanket in the quad. Pretty idyllic, eh?
- Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. (Amazon | Goodreads) My brothers and I passed around a very battered copy of this novel during middle school. We still talk about it.
# 8 I’m thankful for a good space opera, but especially for those that feature girls with guns.
- Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt. (Amazon | Goodreads) Now this is old school style Sci Fi and I loved it. It’s exactly what I want when I need an enticing space opera with a quick moving plot and better characters.
- On Basilisk Station by David Weber. (Amazon | Goodreads) Not a perfect read, but basically Horatio Hornblower in space, with a hardass, NON-SEXUALIZED female lead who is a mature adult. You want some lady-captain military sci-fi? Well, here you go.
# 9 I’m thankful for books that make me laugh.
- Frederica by Georgette Heyer. (Amazon | Goodreads) This is Heyer at her finest. The Merriville family will capture your heart and have you giggling with pleasure until the wee hours of the morning.
- Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews. (Amazon | Goodreads) Did you know that paranormal/SFF could be both absurd and kinda sexy? Now, you do.
- When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. (Amazon | Goodreads) I love reading Sedaris’ essays. His wry sense of humor and funny voice keep a smile on my face the whole time.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. (Amazon | Goodreads ) A truly laugh-out-loud space adventure.
# 10 I’m thankful for books that stick with you long after you’ve finished reading them.
- The Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguru. (Amazon | Goodreads) There is a reason why Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize in literature this year. This book is one of the most beautiful and subtle books I have ever read. The prose is gorgeous, but it’s what isn’t said that sticks with you years after you’re done.
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. (Amazon | Goodreads) Science + newly created dinosaurs + a theme park = <3 <3 <3 I love the movies (yes, even the terrible 3rd one), but boy oh boy, do I love this book more.
- In the Woods by Tana French. (Amazon | Goodreads) A murder mystery where you don’t really care about the mystery. Instead, you care about the lost boy inside the detective. Tana French will break your heart before you even realized you were vulnerable.
And that’s it for me. (Just kidding. I could continue to fill pages and pages of books that are important to me, but I won’t.) Let me know in the comments what you thought about this list. Do you agree with any of the books that I’m thankful for? What books or book themes are you thankful for?
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