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Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For (Thanksgiving Freebie):
First off, I have to give thanks to not only having the ability to read, the means to get books, the love of books instilled in me by my parents, but also for being born in an era and a country where I am free to read what I want. I am so thankful to be part of a community of readers, it is such a privilege to have a group of people who love books as much as I do (if not more). This list of books could be a million times longer if I listed all the amazing books that I only stumbled upon because of your recommendations. Thank you!
Firestarter by Stephen King- the first King novel I ever read. I literally can’t imagine a world without his books in my life. King has introduced me to not only some of the best characters and stories, but also to other authors and books. This is the one that started it all though. I can pretty much trace my
bookworm bookdragon origins to this book.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- the book that finally secured a first place finish in my heart. I never thought I’d be able to answer the question of what my favorite book was before reading The Night Circus. I used to hate that question, because I’d have to break it down by authors, and then top 3 or 5 books. And I get that question a lot now that I work in the bookstore. A lot. I love being able to answer it now.
As You Wish by Cary Elwes- The Princess Bride, the book and the movie, has had a huge impact on my life (right now I’m sipping coffee from my mug that reads I’m Not A Witch, I’m Your Wife!, the Hubs has the matching mug that reads Get Back, Witch!). This book feels like a gift. Knowing that the actors love the movie and the book as much as I do, and hearing the stories behind the making of the movie, especially the ones about Andre the Giant, is just a special treat. I’m also selling the hell out of the paperback right now at the bookstore, so I’m thankful for that too!
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin- my friend Matt strongly suggested I read this book back in 2005 or 2006 (I can’t remember, but it was a few years before the tv show). I got my copy in paperback for $3.99 (a special price) at Borders. I started it, but never got beyond the first chapter. But I kept it because that’s what I do. Then the show aired and I watched the first episode. It was love at first sight (Jon Snow and Tyrion and Ned Stark). I stopped watching the show and immediately picked up the book and started over. And then I didn’t stop reading the series, making sure to keep ahead of the show. Game of Thrones reminded me that once upon a time I loved fantasy novels, which has led to other amazing books. Also, how can you not be thankful for Tyrion Lannister?!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- I’m thankful for this book for a lot of reasons. First, because I love Taylor’s writing style, for the amazing characters like Karou and Zuzana, but also because it was the first audiobook I listened to that featured the narrator Khristine Hvam. This is definitely a series I’m thankful for, and Hvam’s voice has narrated some of the best stories I’ve read!
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters- this book finds it’s way into most bookish conversations I have. Not only is it a well-crafted story by a brilliant author, but it has the biggest literary shock I’ve EVER had. Forget Gone Girl, or Girl on the Train, or even the twist in The Sixth Sense, this book blows them all away. And the way Waters handles the twist is masterful. I’m so thankful for my book club friend Katherine for choosing this for us to read all those years ago!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- I didn’t even know I needed this kind of book in my life, but I did, I really did. Full of all the awesomeness of the 1980’s and just so much fun to read (or listen to, Wil Wheaton narrates the hell out of this book). I’m so thankful for this, I just wish some of the technology was possible already!
Yes Please by Amy Poehler- another book I didn’t know I needed until book club dropped it into my life. I always thought I was more of a Tina Fey kind of lady, but Poehler really won me over with this self-empowering memoir. I wish I could give this book to all the women in my life (and to be honest, all the men too, let’s not be afraid to read books by women, dudes). I’m thankful not only for Poehler’s wit, wisdom and humor, but also because this really kicked off my non-fiction reading. Which is kind of a miracle, since non-fiction used to make roll my eyes because why would you read something that felt like textbooks? Happily, I’ve changed my tune.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- I’m thankful for magic. The magic of Stiefvater herself (seriously, she is such an amazing woman, with so much talent in so many different areas that she has to be part magic herself), the magic of this story and these characters, and for the magic of synchronicity. I started reading her books long before I knew she was a Virginia native. I got a copy of the arc of this book at my first BEA and it was love at first read. Then I found out that she was offering special doodled copies through a local bookstore here in Richmond… which led to me becoming a customer there, and eventually a bookseller there. Magic, I tell you.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio- This book makes me thankful for the reminder to be kind. To be kinder than you need to be. Because kindness, especially now, is the only answer to wrongs of our world. Be kinder, to people you love, people you meet, people you will never know, be kind to world, throw kindness all around, to everyone, and that’s how you create change. It’s hard to hate kind people, unless you’re a total Grinch… although kindness eventually won him over too. I’m thankful for kindness, and all the lovely lessons Wonder teaches.