Monday, November 19, 2012

Top Ten Books/Authors I'm Thankful For



Don't forget about my mega Holiday Giveaway where I'm giving away 13 FREE YA BOOKS, because I'm just overflowing with holiday cheer.
Hosted by The Broke and Bookish

I love the holiday season. The weather cools off (as much as it ever does here in Los Angeles), I get to wear my cute winter wardrobe, I get to bake unapologetically, and I always have more time for reading. And with the holiday season comes a whole bunch of warm, fuzzy nostalgia feels. So when I try to think of the books and authors I’m most thankful for, I automatically think back to the ones that tie back to my childhood or my family.


In no particular order:

1.      Ella Enchanted
 
This is a book I devoured as an eight-year-old. I was an early reader. Like freakishly, everybody-thought-I-was-a-genius-until-they-realized-I-couldn't-count early. I read a lot of books as a kid, but this was one of the first I remember savoring. It sparked a lifelong love for fairy tales and big words. I learned that kids’ books should never be dumbed down, because kids are smart enough to figure out what words like chicanery mean (I learned that from Ella!). 

2.      Jane Austen
 
Yes, this choice is far from original. The vast majority of female bibliophiles are also Janeites (and if you aren’t OMG YOU’RE CRAZY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU), but Jane Austen is probably the author who has affected my life the most. I know her books by heart. She inculcated in me an obsession for all things old and all things British.
Old and British. Just my type.
And even more, Jane is part of my bond with my mom. We’ve had our severe ups and downs over the years, but fangirling over Jane Austen is always something we can do together. We’ve watched almost every adaptation together, debating who’s the best Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth. Absolutely no question) or which has a better soundtrack, Sense and Sensibility or the BBC version of Emma. My middle name is Elizabeth because of Elizabeth Bennet, heroine of Pride and Prejudice.

So without Jane, I literally would have no middle name.

3.      A Little Princess
 
When I was six I wanted to be named Sara, after Sara Crewe. She was the most magnificent fictional girl I’d ever met. Kind, wildly inventive, a captivating story-teller who perseveres through all the bad. She loved her father in the same way I loved mine. I carried this book around so often it shredded.

4.      Tamora Pierce
 
I loved fantasy as a kid. I still do. Tamora Pierce’s Lioness Quartet was my first real obsession (besides another famous fantasy series I’ll get to later…). Not only was ass-kicking Alanna my hero, but when I was about ten or so I wrote my very first EPIC NOVEL (untitled) that was basically a direct rip-off of the first two Lioness books (my heroine was named Arianna and she fell in love with a dark-haired prince named Jonathan. That was how different the stories were). It still lives on my computer and will never see the light of day, but that was definitely the beginning of my dream of becoming an author.

5.      Speak
 
Without getting too maudlin or too personal, I will just say this book spoke to me as a lonely teenage girl in a way few YA books I’d read ever did. It’s so powerful it’ll break your heart then stitch it back together so it’s stronger than ever. I’m so thankful for Laurie Halse Anderson for writing this book.

6.      Meg Cabot
 
I’ve read nearly every single Meg Cabot. They’re shamelessly light, frothy, and funny. These books are proud of what they are and make no excuses. They always served to brighten up my dark days. They were the first hot pink YA covers I ever had proudly displayed on my shelves, looking oh so cute and girly sandwiched between the Harry Potters and the fat Dostoevsky my uncle gave me one Christmas.

7.      Anguished English
 
If you are a firm defender of the sanctity of English and grammar, buy this book. It’s basically about the way people unintentionally murder language and how fun it is to point and laugh at them. I’m thankful for this book not just because it’s side-splittingly funny, but because of how many times I’ve bonded with friends and family over it. Many a time I’ve sat around a table with people reading excerpts, basically howling.

8.      Jane Eyre
 
I read Jane Eyre the summer I turned fifteen. I was on vacation with my whole extended family and took to reading it under the dinner table (the height of rudeness in my mother’s eyes). Jane and I were literary SOUL MATES. She GOT me. She was girl power personified in a time period where that concept basically did not exist. I totally needed a role model like her when I was a teen girl who didn’t know how stay true to myself around distractingly distracting things like handsome teenage boys.

9.      Dorothy Parker
Look at that smirk. She knows something you don't (a lot of somethings, probably).
Dorothy Parker is basically who I want to be when I grow up. Witty, sharp, and ballsy, she was sort of like America’s answer to Oscar Wilde- someone too pithy for her own good. My mom had a copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker that I have since stolen. It lives comfortably on my overcrowded bookshelf now. Whenever I need a jolt of brilliance (or need to sharpen my own tongue a bit) I read the part that basically just lists all the amazingly clever things she ever said, either as a reviewer, a poet, or as a member of the Algonquin Round Table. She was one of the first funny women, famous for her mind and her words.

10.  J.K. Rowling
I searched in vain for a photo with a halo.
Yes. The big kahuna. So many reader-ly kids of my generation owe a huge debt to Rowling. I still remember the first time I saw a Harry Potter book.

I was in first grade. I came home from school to see an array of books laid out on my bed. My mom would always buy me them as presents because she is the awesome-est, then let me choose which one I wanted to start with. Being six years old, I didn’t read a lot of book reviews, so I’d never heard of this weird Sorceror’s Stone book. But it had a kid on a broomstick on it, so I figured that one would probably be fun. And the rest was history.
 
There’s not much more I can say about Harry Potter that hasn’t been said already. Not only does it personify the magical transportative power of really good fiction, not only did it teach me about things like good vs. evil, prejudice, and friendship, but through the years I learned there are actually people out there just as obsessed with these books as I am! There are people willing to talk about books ALL THE TIME! People who think about fictional people as if they’re real! And it isn’t just me!

Without J.K. Rowling and the amazing Potterheads, I probably never would have become a book blogger, and never would have known to find this awesome online community of book nerds.

Mostly, I am super-duper thankful for all you guys. I’m so glad I decided to join the world of book-blogging. I’ve met some amazing people out here in the wilds of the internet and it’s been so much fun! I hope you all have the very best Thanksgiving ever full of love, books, and pie. Lots and lots of pie.
 
Tell me: what’re you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Or at least tell me your favorite kind of pie. (There might even be some of you who don’t LIKE pie but this is too strange for me to envision and I won’t know what to say to you.)

30 comments:

  1. I had to leave of Jane Eyre and all Jane Austen books this week, if only so I could switch up my top ten lists a little bit. They make it every week! And blog readers were my honorary number 11. Fun list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a feeling I keep blathering on about them over and over too... It's hard not to just put a permanent spot on every list and be like, "This is for Jane Austen. Always. Moving on."

      Delete
  2. I still haven't read Ella Enchanted or Tamora Pierce, I know I need to get on that!

    Marissa
    here's my my TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you NEED to reed those! Ella was seminal for me as a kid and Tamora Pierce is a master. I love your list! I liked your focus on authors. Kicking myself for not including Cassandra Clare, Rae Carson or Shannon Hale. I love those three unconditionally.

      Delete
  3. Love A Little Princess! Great list. Here's My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your list is great! I've been aching to read Eleanor and Park. Clearly, the wait will be worth it.

      Delete
  4. I love Meg Cabot too! I wish I'd discovered her when I was younger. I've been wanting to read Ella Enchanted for so long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meg Cabot is like a fail safe for me. I know I will always enjoy a book by her. And I'm jealous of people who get to read Ella with fresh eyes! It's so ingrained in me as a kid I almost have no idea what it looks like objectively.

      Delete
  5. I adore Meg Cabot! I want to read more of her books, but I simply haven't found the time! Also, I am one of the strange ones who isn't a huge fan of pie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't... like... pie? Don't... understand...
      It's okay. My brother hates all desserts, and I still retain some sort of relationship with him. We pie lovers do not judge.

      Delete
  6. Confession: I've never read a Jane Austen book. I feel like that makes me a bad reader. They're on my to-read list tho, does that count? ;)
    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it makes you a lucky reader! I wish I could read all the Jane Austens for the first time again.

      Great choices on Maggie Stiefvater, The Secret Life of Bees, and NUMBER THE STARS. I'd forgotten that book. I loved it as a kid. It was so powerful.

      And your description of Judy Blume was spot on.

      Delete
    2. That makes me feel better on the Jane Austen side of things. :) Thanks... I agree NtS was a very powerful book. And I forgot to say yesterday I love your pie picture... not a huge fan of pie itself (once or twice a year maybe), but Jensen Ackles as Dean - that I'm a fan of. lol

      Delete
  7. Great list!

    And a gold start just for your pie gif. lol. ^_^

    My top ten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm an unapologetic fangirl. Loved your list! Especially for including the indie authors out there.

      Delete
  8. I'm really thankful for the fact that J.K Rowling opened up my eyes for fantasy. I'm still a huge HP fan.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Who doesn't like pie? What kind of strange creature would they be?

    Harry Potter and Jane Austen would most definitely be on my list. HP because it was my first real obsession with something, and Pride and Prejudice because it was the first book that I ever appreciated for the actual writing of it, not just the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They exist, apparently. It's a thing. And good point on Pride and Prejudice. I'd never though about that, about admiring it for the writing, but you're completely right. I feel the same way.

      Delete
  10. I wanted to be Sara Crewe too! I love your list and am a *new follower* to the site. It's so pretty! And haha to the pie. I'll be gorging on mashed potatoes.
    Check out out TTT!

    ~Krisha @ Inkk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another Sara Crewe lover! And thanks! My redesign is semi-new-ish and I'm minorly obsessed with it. And ahhh. Mashed potatoes. Absolutely.

      Dr. Seuss, Are You My Mother, Dystopians in general? REALLY great list. I never would have thought of those!

      Delete
  11. It's great that Harry Potter brought so many people into the book blogging community. I've been meaning to try Tamora Pierce for years. I much preferred The Secret Garden to A Little Princess though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love both The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. And you should definitely try Tamora Pierce! I love her.

      Delete
  12. I have Dorothy Parker on my list too!!! And I agree - Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. OMGOSH another Dorothy disciple. Gold star. Two gold stars for agreeing on best Mr. Darcy.

      Delete
  13. LOVE your list. I had my doubts about Princess Diaries, but they are now some of the books I go to when I need a light-hearted, happy read. However, I'm one of the rare species who hasn't read Harry Potter.

    I don't want to get a 2nd strike from you considering I already revealed shocking news of my Harry Potter-less past, but...I CANNOT believe you like Colin Firth over Matthew Macfayden. Love him AND the 2005 version of P&P.

    Also, my wonderful mother's homemade french silk chocolate pie is my favorite BY FAR. No competition in the pie category for me. Way down 2nd is blueberry pie. The end on my super long comment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matthew Macfadyen is a CLOSE second (or maybe the guy in Lost in Austen. If you haven't seen that, SEE IT). And I expected as much on the Harry Potter front, considering that Shelver hasn't read them either. But one day you both shall read them, and then you shall know. And I am jealous that you'll be able to read them for the first time.

      FRENCH SILK CHOCOLATE PIE IS A THING I NEED IN MY LIFE IMMEDIATELY.

      Delete
  14. Oh I love Meg Cabot! Great list.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree with a lot of your choices, especially JK Rowling, but I'd also have to put THE BOOK THIEF on there for teaching me the power of words and THE KITE RUNNER for showing that even books that break your heart are books that you can learn from. And the UGLIES series since it was the series that got me reading <3 lol

    ReplyDelete

Note: comments on posts older than 90 days are automatically moderated, so they won't show up here immediately. Thanks for commenting! :)