Top Ten Tuesday: November 24

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Thanksgiving themed Freebie -- ten books I'm thankful for, authors I'm thankful for, Ten fictional families I'd like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.

 

I’m going the easy route, with Ten Books I’m Thankful For:

 

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I don’t think I’ve ever been captured by a fictional world the way I was (and am) by this series.

 

All of Jane Austen’s works. I am a Jane Austen STAN. She is my favorite author of all time, and my life would not be the same had I never read her.

 

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. This one of the first adult books I read with women at the center of the narrative. There are love interests and romance aplenty, but the relationships between the Owens women- mother and daughter, sister and sister- were the real heart of the story. It transcended the magical realism elements that are Hoffman’s hallmark to become something more for me.

 

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell- Another book focused almost exclusively on women and their relationships to each other. In this case, it looks at aging, at community, and explores what happens when we create a family out of people we choose to love. Also, it is one of the rare books to make me cry.

 

The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones. This short series introduced me to the addictive nature of character-driven epic fantasy. I haven’t looked back.

 

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal . These are not good books, by any means. But they were the first series I remember reading voraciously, and also the first books to provide a bonding experience with other girls who also liked to read books.

 

She May Not Leave by Fay Weldon. This book taught me that the HEA is a load of crap in real life, and that’s ok. It also taught me that ambivalent endings could have the most staying power.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The book that cemented my commitment to feminism and my distrust of organized religion.

 

The Bitch in the House edited by Cathi Hanauer. I got married at the ripe old age of 20. Just a few months after tying the knot, I had a complete freak out about what I had gotten myself into. This book, with its multiple perspectives on relationships and unapologetic attitude, helped me cope with the change better than anything else.

 

Marriage: A History by Stephanie Coontz. Like Hermione, when I have a problem, the first thing I want to do is find out as much information about it as possible. I didn’t want self-help books; I wanted objective information. This book gave me valuable perspective that I still rely on. It’s also one of the first nonfiction books I read that proved to be as engaging as fiction.

 

Honestly, I'm thankful for books in general. But these have been some powerful and helpful reads that make me extra thankful.

 

(Original Top Ten Tuesday concept comes from The Broke and the Bookish)