I had an article come my way yesterday in which authors answered the question “What book are you most thankful for this year?”
It’ s a different question, I think, than “What is your favorite book?” or even “What is the best book you’ve read this year?” And it made me think.
Each author in that article had to choose one book, but I write this blog, so I get to write about however many I want. Which is good, because I read a large and varied collection of books, old and new, from a variety of genres. To skip to just the list, scroll down to the bottom.
I am thankful for books I can read aloud, to my kids, and any nearby adults. My kids are 8 and 10 now, and the 10 year old is suddenly too cool to listen to Mom read aloud. This year, I turned 42, and I decided it was time to reread The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was the first time I was able to get him to sit down with me and his sister and listen to me read in MONTHS. I was also lucky enough to have a science-fiction loving friend who could recite large parts of the book from memory drop by every week to hear me read. It also allowed us to reach out to family– my aunt invited us over to watch the movie one night this summer, and that was a pretty neat experience. I don’t get to share enthusiasm over genre fiction with most of my family, and it was nice to have that opportunity.
I am thankful for books that come from people who really listen to me, both friends and family. My mom typically gets me books she thinks I ought to read, but she was listening to me when I was in a science museum in Louisville this past winter, and surprised me with Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. I also apparently raved about Rainbow Rowell more than I thought I had: one day a copy of her (then) newest book, Landline, showed up in my mailbox, courtesy of my best friend.
I am thankful for the books that give me an escape, and also give me food for thought. This year, with the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, I started working my way through the Discworld books. Some are okay, some are good, and some are amazing: the best of them are both funny and serious. Going Postal is the one that stands out most to me at this point, although I haven’t read them all yet. I am also a huge fan of the character Tiffany Aching, and I am grateful as well that Pratchett’s last finished book, The Shepherd’s Crown, was a final Tiffany Aching novel, released this year.
I am thankful for books that strike a chord. Who knew that Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz would completely change my daughter’s perspective on princesses? And just a few weeks ago, I read Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell with my daughter, and was struck by what a dead ringer she is for Sahara in so many ways. It has led to an entirely different way of seeking out books
I am thankful for the books that make me push my boundaries, and the people who make me want to try. I would never pick up a book like FUKUSHUU: Damaged Woman of Violence on my own, but Colleen Wanglund inspired me to try it. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts before it was released so I could recommend it to pretty much everyone in the world.
I am thankful for the books I find in libraries. The new books shelf in my library is where I found the memorable and terrifying novel The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorofor and the creepily gothic Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. I also tried, and loved, the work of Seanan McGuire, especially Sparrow Hill Road. A wander through tThehe children’s books led me to discover The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand. Just in case you thought children’s books were all light and cheery, I’m here to tell you that they are far from it, and this is one of the most disorienting and disturbing books I have read this year.
Oh, I could go on and on about the books I’ve had travel through my hands this year, that have been given to me, or shared, or recommended, or sent. I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to have them come my way, and to share them with you. It’s a privilege to be able to read, to own and have access to books, and to be able to pass that love of reading on, and I thank you all for being a part of it. Here’s to another year of great books!
Books I’m Thankful For, 2015 Edition
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett
Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell
FUKUSHUU: Damaged Woman of Violence by Colleen Wanglund
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorofor
Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand