Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog.
This week’s topic is: Books I’m Thankful For
There are so many books I’m thankful for, that it would be impossible to list them all. More importantly, I’m simply thankful for a family who instilled in me a love of reading from a young age and who bought me so many books over the years. I’m grateful for the role reading and books have had (and continue to have) in my life.
This list is a mixture of books, specific physical copies, and book collections that I’m thankful for.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I’d hate to live in a world in which Jane Eyre didn’t exist. As I’ve said before, if I were forced to pick one favorite book, this would be it. I’m thankful for its prose, its feminist leanings, and gothic plot, and the fact that each reading reveals something new to love and appreciate. But most of all, I’m thankful for Jane herself and the fact that I found her at such a young age.
In addition to being thankful for Jane Eyre based on its own merits, I’m also thankful that it inspired so many of my other favorite books such as: Rebecca, Nine Coaches Waiting, The Thirteenth Tale, The Turn of the Screw etc. In fact, I think my love of atmospheric gothic novels can probably be traced to my first reading of Jane Eyre.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1994 edition published by TOR/Macmillan)
Although Jane Eyre may be my favorite book, I consider Jane Austen to be my favorite author. I am extremely grateful for all of her novels, letters, and writing, but I’m extra grateful for this edition of Pride and Prejudice, the one that started it all. I can remember picking this edition off the YA shelf at Barnes and Noble and being interested in the blurb on the back*, taking it home and becoming completely engrossed in the story. Once I finished it, my mom introduced me to the BBC miniseries and that was pretty much it. I then went on to read all of Austen’s works and quickly became a full-fledged Janeite.
I’m thankful that I found Jane Austen (or perhaps she found me) at the age of ten/eleven. I’m sure I would have read Austen at a later date, but who knows whether or not I’d still be as much of a Janeite? I also love the fact that I actively picked her books up instead of having them recommended to me or instead of having to read them for a class.
*The blurb, and the cover in general, are TERRIBLE but also kind of hysterical. Click Here to read it for yourself!
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This book broke my heart and made me so angry when I first read it as a young girl. I think this was my first introduction to Nazism and the Holocaust, and I can remember being completely shocked and horrified that these were real historical events. I couldn’t (and still can’t) comprehend how normal people could ostracize, persecute, and harm others based on religious and/or ethnic differences. I’m thankful I was exposed to Anne’s story and this history so early, but oh how I wish it were all fiction.
The Spell of Mary Stewart: The Ivy Tree/This Rough Magic/Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart
I acquired this omnibus of Mary Stewart novels from my grandmother’s bookshelf, and it served as my first introduction to one of my new favorite authors. I love that my grandmother enjoyed gothic, romantic suspense novels as much as I do. This year, I’m incredibly thankful to have this edition to remember her by.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I adored this novel (and the movie) as a child and have fond memories of playing in my own “secret” garden. I even dressed up as Mary Lennox one Halloween. I loved the sense of enchantment and magic inherent in the story and the Yorkshire setting. This book may in fact be responsible for my love of books set in English manor houses. I’m also grateful to own a red hardcover edition that belonged to my mom, and a threadbare edition that belonged to my great-grandmother.
Junior Deluxe Editions
Junior Deluxe Editions was a collection of children’s classics that were available as a monthly mail-order subscription during the 1950’s and ’60s. These belonged to my mom, and I read many of them myself as a child when staying at my grandmother’s house. A few years ago, my grandmother gifted them to me (with my mom’s blessing), and now they live on my bookshelf. I’m beyond thankful to have these books that were a part of both my mom’s childhood as well as my own, and that will always remind me of time spent with my late grandmother. I even hope to add to the collection in the future.
Ann Rinaldi Books
I devoured Ann Rinaldi’s books as a pre-teen, reading many of them multiple times. I can still remember the excitement of bringing a new copy home from the bookstore and getting completely lost in the past. I think I have Rinaldi to thank in part for my love of history and historical fiction.
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
This was such a childhood favorite of mine. I remember reading the book with my mom, watching the cartoon version, and pretending to be Fern with my stuffed Wilbur toy. I was a bit obsessed with pigs/piglets for a chunk of my childhood. I’m thankful for my warm memories surrounding Charlotte’s Web and especially for what it taught me about friendship and the power of words. It’s just a shame my love for this story did nothing to help my arachnophobia…
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, after choosing it from a list of required reading in AP English. I’m incredibly thankful that this was the book I picked. The Handmaid’s Tale helped nudge me even further down the feminist and Pro-Choice path I was beginning to tread. It also completely terrified me and taught me how fragile our rights are and how vital it is to protect them.
I’m thankful this book is so popular at the moment, but I really really wish it were no longer as relevant to today’s world. Atwood’s dystopian scares me even more now than it did when I first read it. Here’s hoping it will seem like an utterly implausible story in the very near future.
I love the mission of this independent publisher-to publish forgotten works of the twentieth-century by mostly women writers-and adore so many of their titles. The books themselves are gorgeous both inside and out, and are of the highest quality. I’m enjoying slowly building my collection and drooling over their catalogue and website. I’m so grateful to Persephone for introducing me to books I may have otherwise never come across, many of which have become favorite comfort reads.
What are some of the books you are most thankful for?