Hooray, today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Although I’m probably not going to be able to participate to the extent that I originally hoped, I still managed to have a few posts drafted before life got complicated last week. And today’s topic is such a good one:
Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.
When I sat down to start working on this topic, I assumed it was going to be pretty simple. Pick five books, write about them a little bit, call it a day. But then as I started to ponder what it means to have books represent you as a person or your life… I got all tangled up and had massive writer’s block. So this is my best attempt to pick five books that give a sense of me and what I love.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – I’ve written about how part of the reason the Harry Potter series has resonated with me is because of age. I grew up alongside Harry, Ron and Hermoine and saw myself reflected in their struggles and their challenges. The Magicians is another favorite series for the same reason. I picked those books up just out of college and got to struggle with Big Life Questions right along with the characters in a book.
- Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President by Eli Saslow – By day, I’m the editor of a small town community newspaper. One of the things I love about my job is finding unexpected stories in my community. Eli Saslow takes this idea to the next level in 10 Letters, using President Obama’s tradition of reading 10 letters from citizens each day to find some hidden stories about what it means to be an American. It’s a touching, lovely book.
- Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed – This book is a collection of advice columns novelist/essayist Cheryl Strayed wrote at The Rumpus under the persona of Sugar. I don’t think they’re great when read straight through – some of it starts to feel a little repetitive – but they’re perfect to dip in and out of when you need a little bit of kick-in-the-pants empathy. If you need a preview, check out two of my favorites: The Baby Bird and Write Like a Motherfucker.
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman – This book is one of my favorite pieces of narrative nonfiction of all time. It’s a beautifully written story about the cultural differences between a Hmong family and the doctors caring for their daughter who suffered from debilitating seizures. It’s one I often recommend to people who are nervous about trying narrative nonfiction for the first time, similar to a more recent book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood – Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and it’s hard to pick just one of her books. For whatever reason, The Blind Assassin holds a special place in my heart even though I know it’s one of her more divisive books. I think I love it because it represents the kind of literary, strange, genre-bending fiction that has become a staple of my reading life.
So there you have it… after much hemming and hawing and debating, five books that I think represent me as a reader and a person.
If you were doing this exercise, what five books would you choose?
Book Blogger Appreciation Week is being hosted at The Estella Society by Ana (Things Mean A Lot), Jenny (Reading the End), Heather (Capricious Reader), and Andi (Estella’s Revenge). Visit the website for more information about this awesome community event!