Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Books I am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers are encouraged to post their own top ten list responses to the topic of the week.  In honor of Thanksgiving being celebrated in the United States this week, the topic is a Thanksgiving freebie discussing the bookish things we are thankful for and I chose:  The Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For!  Here are my choices:

1.)  Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

In the past I have talked about my experience with depression and I have always felt a certain affinity to Impulse because it is a book that talks about depression without shying away from the darker sides of it.  It was brutal and honest in a way that few novels were at the time of its release, or at least few novels that I had read.  I am always going to be thankful to Impulse and Ellen Hopkins for this novel.

2.) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

 Where the Sidewalk Ends is a fun collection of poems from Shel Silverstein and I will always be thankful for it because it is a book which helped to solidify my love of reading by showing me that reading could be fun.  I moved back to California when I was about to start the seventh grade and I can remember that year in my English classes we were learning about poetry and this was one of the books we were using in class.  One of the in class activities we did was reading one of the tongue twister poems out loud as quickly as we could and see who came the closest to doing it correctly with the best time.  It was a fun game and I ended up winning by a long shot.  This experience and this book of poems solidified in me a love for reading that I still have today, I will always be thankful for that.

3.)  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I listened to the audio book version narrated by Wil Wheaton earlier this year and I still can’t get over just how much I loved this book.  I am thankful for this book because it embodied every facet of the world of video games that I could possibly think of and made a book out of it.  This book is likely to be one of the biggest homages to nerd and video game culture, and my nerdy video game loving self loves that.  I am thankful that Cline was able to bring his characters to life inside this virtual world meshed up with so many established game worlds and them not become lost in it.  I am thankful that his characters were real and imperfect and realistic representations of members of the gaming community.  I am thankful that Cline addressed the real problems found within the world of online video gaming today and didn’t shy away or gloss over them.  I am always going to be thankful for this book, for this story.

4.)  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I am always going to be thankful for Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.  I was going through a really bad reading slump last year and decided to pick up this book on a whim and fell absolutely in love with it.  This book snapped me out of my reading slump and every time I start to feel sluggish reading, I have picked up this book and snapped myself right back out of it.  Those feelings may not last forever, but I still appreciate this book for snapping me out of it and reinvigorating my love for reading.  It truly is a magical read and is something you will never forget.

5.)  Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

I can remember the first time that I caught sight of this book perfectly to this day.  I was in high school and was walking through the bookstore with my family when I came across this book on a display shelf and was in complete awe.  It wasn’t just the beautiful cover, or the girl on the cover, it was the name of the place – Moloka’i, a small island in Hawaii.  I am 25% Hawaiian, I have family that lives in Hawaii and we can trace our lineage back to the earliest people of the islands.  This was my first time seeing a book which I felt akin to, a book where I felt a part of my ethnic identity was being represented on the same level as characters of other ethnic backgrounds.  I will always feel thankful for this book because it helped me further establish confidence in my own ethnic identity (25% Hawaiian, 25% Syrian (possibly Lebanese, not 100% sure), and 50% White/European mix).

6.)  His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I will always be thankful to the His Dark Materials trilogy because it is actually through these books that I met one of my closest friends.  During the days of Myspace you could list on your profile books, music, movies, etc. that you were interested in and they became clickable hyperlinks you could utilize to find others who were also interested in that specific thing as well.  I had His Dark Materials listed among my books and that listing brought me and my close friend Kyle together.  Our friendship started off just exchanging messages on Myspace about books, life, etc. and we eventually hung out and have gamed together over the years.  To this day we are still very close friends and talk on a pretty much everyday basis, still ranging from books to life and everything in between.  Books really can bring people together!

7.)  Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

This book…this book is likely one of the most important books that I have ever read.  Again, I have talked about my experiences with depression, I have also mentioned (briefly) my experience with rape.  I went through a very difficult time immediately afterwards, I freely admit that and this fed into the depression I was already suffering from due to my history with abuse.  I believe it was in 2007 that I read this book, it was the first book I ever read on my Kindle 2.0 (new at the time).  I can’t remember every feeling or emotion that I felt while reading this book, but I can remember feeling akin to the protagonist and her experience and came away understanding that there is a life after these tragic events, you just have to go out there and live it.  I still experience good days and bad days, but I’ve had more good days than bad in the aftermath of my experiences and I will always be thankful for each good day and for the reminder this book served as.

8.)  Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Grief is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with and yet it is beautiful how each individual has their own unique way of handling grief.  I remember coming across this book on Amazon and becoming obsessed with the concept, the idea of writing letters to those lost to us in an effort to deal with our own feelings of grief.  I felt akin to Laurel and appreciated the choices she made regarding who she wrote to.  The quote above is one of the reasons that I am most thankful for this book because it purely captures one of the many truths of this life, that we change just as those around us are changing and that is how we become who we are supposed to be.  Each life we touch is changed and we are minutely changed by every life that touches us.  We live in such a beautiful and complex world and we are shaped by the world just as much as we shape it.

9.)  The Pact by Jodi Picoult

This book has had a huge impact on me since I read it for the first time in the early to mid 2000’s.  As with many of my previously mentioned themes, I have mentioned my fight with depression over the years and I will openly admit that there were times where I self-harmed and I had considered killing myself.  Just FYI, I am not suffering from these same thoughts and while I still deal with depression it isn’t to the same extent as years past, nor have I participated in self-harm for 9 years as of this month.  The Pact gave me an unvarnished look at how suicide impacts those who are left behind.  This book was definitely a reality check in some ways, a fact I will always be thankful for.  Please, if you are suffering from any of these mentioned issues, please please please seek help, you don’t have to suffer alone.

10.)  Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is one of the books that I expect to be highly mentioned across many of today’s Top Ten Tuesday posts.  For me, I am thankful for Matilda because it is a book which celebrates a single child’s love of reading and I am sure that the majority of us were that child at one point dealing with family or friends who don’t understand your love (or near obsession) with books and reading.  Matilda celebrates reading and teaches kids that it is okay to like books, that it is okay to enjoy reading.  My class read Matilda in elementary school, I can remember finishing it and feeling much more confident in my love of reading.  As I have grown up and become an adult my love for reading has only continued to grow as well.  I am still an avid reader, though not as avid as I wish at times, and still love to read and share my bookish thoughts with others.  I will always be thankful for the reading inspiration that Matilda was to me and continues to be to children everywhere.

What are the Top Ten Books YOU are Most Thankful For?  Leave me a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post in the comments below!  Don’t have a blog, but want to share your Top Ten with me all the same?  Then feel free to list them in a comment below!  Until next time<3

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