In honor of Thanksgiving today’s post will be dedicated to the books I am thankful for. Where would I be without them? It makes me sad to think of how things would be if these books never existed.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yes, I’m counting it as one book like Tolkien intended. (Though if you’re forcing me to choose a favorite part it would be The Two Towers. But The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie counterpart. Actually it’s my favorite movie of all time.) Anyway, this book changed everything for me. It opened my eyes and allowed me to embrace my geekiness. It also birthed an arguably unhealthy obsession with all things LOTR that I’m sure my family was hoping would have gone away by now. Sorry, family, it hasn’t.
Geeky-fan-obsession moments include: Owning three LOTR movie replicas of the iconic rings (Aragorn’s, Galadriel’s, and the One Ring), two Tolkien inspired tattoos (J.R.R. Tolkien’s logo and the Elvish script on the One Ring), a memory full of useless trivia and every movie quote (I used to make LOTR quizzes online, and I can still recite the film scripts), and a full-blown tantrum in 8th grade because LOTR was the required reading for an academic competition, and I almost didn’t get to compete (Don’t worry I got to go in the end, and I went to state that year too. Oh yeah).
Bottom line: The Lord of the Rings is very special to me and probably always will be. If it is to you too, then I consider us best friends already.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Duh. Most LOTR fans love Harry Potter too. Stop making us choose though! Harry Potter united so many people in a lot of ways. I’d never counted down days to a book release before or had the need to buy a book on a release day. It was glamorous and wonderful. I miss that. I loved that I stayed up until 4 a.m. just to keep reading, that the characters meant so much to me that I laughed out loud at them or cried for them, that I would force myself not to read too fast so that I wouldn’t be done with it too quickly and have to meet that gaping hole of loss that came when the book was over.
Just like LOTR I will always be a fan of this series. And just like LOTR I have an HP tattoo too. (If tattoo doesn’t say fan for life I don’t know what does). I look up to J.K. Rowling so much because her writing was brilliant. Her planning, pacing, characters, settings, plots… everything was absolute genius. I love to reread them because they still hold their magic, and they give me inspiration to be a better writer.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
I’m cheating a little bit because I haven’t actually read this book yet. It’s on my enormous to-read list. But without this book and Palahniuk’s mind, we wouldn’t have the movie masterpiece. It’s in my top five favorite movies right behind The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s a book I can’t wait to read, not because I already know how the story goes, but because I know it’s going to be a piece of literary genius. If the movie is that good, the book must be fantastic. After all, the book versions are always better than the movies, right? (No, but that’s another topic).
Any Book by Andrew Smith. Ever.
Okay, I know. I’ve gone on about him before. But that’s what fans do. We don’t shut up. On my previous post, The Books that Changed my Life, I talked about how Smith’s novel The Marbury Lens completely rocked my world and ruined my ability to read or write for at least two solid weeks. Longest book hangover ever. He’s that good. And any book I’ve read from him is always a winner. The great thing about him too is that he writes like a madman. He’s got books lined-up for the next few years. I feel like he’s always going to have something to publish, thus I’m always going to have something to read by him. And that’s awesome.
Harry Potter may be over, but now I have Smith’s books to get excited for. Other titles of his include Passenger (a sequel to The Marbury Lens), In the Path of Falling Objects, Winger, Ghost Medicine (his first novel), Stick, and Grasshopper Jungle (an upcoming release I can’t wait for). And that’s not even all of them. He’s an author that I don’t care what the plot is, what the book cover looks like, how long or short the novel is, or how it’s written. I’m sold. I’m reading it. I trust him as a writer. End of discussion.
Acceleration by Graham McNamee
I talked about this book before too. But it gets mentioning again because 1.) It’s my favorite book of all time, and 2.) It’s the reason I got into YA in the first place. Without this book I wouldn’t be the YA fanatic I am today.
I could go on. I could mention the books my mom taught me how to read with, Nancy Drew for being my first “big girl” books, numerous YA titles that blew me away, other awesome books that inspired awesome movies, and even childhood favorite books. Who doesn’t like Dr. Seuss?
But I’ll end this here before I geek out too long, and instead I’ll just say thanks. Thank you to books. Thank you for teaching me how read, to appreciate written words, to fall into other worlds and realize what imagination really meant, to learn from stories and become a better writer because of it, for opening new doors and possibilities, and for always being there when I need you. I can’t wait to discover more novels to add to my list and find more reasons to be thankful for books.
What books are you thankful for and why? How did they change your life? Post below! And Happy Thanksgiving!