This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and if you know me, you’ll know that I love celebrating holidays. That being said, Thanksgiving always makes me feel especially happy, as it’s a great reminder to be thankful for what I have. This year, thinking about my blessings is making my heart grow multiple sizes. Above everything, I think I’m most thankful for this feeling of contentment.
Anyway, cheesy intro aside (which will lead to…more cheese), the start of the weekend made me think about some of the books that I’m thankful for. Of course, it would be almost impossible to list every single book that’s had an impact on my life, so I’ll just pick and choose some of my recent/top favourites. (If you want to know the 10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for the Bookish/Blogging Community, click here!)
1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web is one of the first books I remember really loving as a child. In fact, I loved it so much that I had most of the first chapter memorized. I recently did a Sporcle quiz (I know, I know) on identifying first lines, and reading “‘Where’s Papa going with that axe?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” brought back a wave of great memories. After reading Charlotte’s Web, I quickly devoured Stuart Little (not literally, thankfully) and The Trumpet of the Swan. I’m thankful that these books kick-started my love for reading!
2. I Want to Go Home by Gordon Korman
This is another childhood favourite, and I can still clearly remember laughing at Rudy Miller’s antics as he tries to escape summer camp. This book was actually first read to me by one of my teachers in school, and so, while I thank this book for teaching me that books can be wildly entertaining and hilarious, I must also thank my teacher for having great taste in books. (Also, I highly recommend reading Korman’s Macdonald Hall series – it’s equally hilarious.)
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
As I’m writing this post, I find it interesting how 2 of my top 3 favourite childhood books were read to me by teachers. I’m sure I would have found out about the ubiquitous Harry Potter series at some point in my life, but I’m grateful that a teacher introduced my class to Harry early, and that we were a part of the “fandom” who grew up with Harry. The Harry Potter series taught me that books could expand my imagination.
4. Re Jane by Patricia Park
I’ve been a terrible blogger these past few months, so even though I loved this book and have a deep emotional connection to it, I haven’t really mentioned it on my blog. While I was reading this book, a huge challenge was presented to me in my “real life,” and I was – and still am – so thankful that I had this book to escape to. It’s almost funny in a way, because at one point in the novel, Jane is trying to escape something as well, so I felt like our stories were connected in some way. This book, which I’m still aiming to review at some point, was a wonderful distraction during a tough time. (I should also mention that it’s a modern retelling of Jane Eyre, and a very good one at that.)
5. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Oh how this book ripped my heart to shreds and uplifted it! It really should be no secret that I love it when books make me cry, but this one stands out as a recent favourite that just left me sobbing on the couch. It’s kind of true what they say: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” I still feel those emotions as if I’d read the book yesterday. Read my full review here.
6. Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault
When I think of this graphic novel, I think of how protective I felt of Hélène, the main character. She’s been unfairly bullied by her classmates and escapes through reading (coincidentally, the “Jane” in the title refers to the Jane in Jane Eyre… I’m sensing a strange pattern here). I’m thankful for this book because it exists. I want to give it to any child that feels alone, teased, or friendless. This book shows that things can get better, especially with help from a great book and your imagination. Read my full review here.
There it is! A tiny list of the books that I’m thankful for. Whether they taught me something or simply touched me, these books are all important to me in their own way. Compiling this list has reminded me of why I love reading so much: it really does have the ability to alter lives for the better.
Which books are you thankful for? Are there any books that are especially dear to you? Let’s share stories!