In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. This afternoon my family and I are celebrating by going under the overpass and down the interstate to Grandmother's house (that is, my kids' grandmother, aka my mom). Another twenty-five or so members of the family will be joining us, and we'll be eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, salads, vegetables, and pies and other desserts.
Beginning tomorrow, I'll start dieting (just kidding!) while I am Thankfully Reading for a few days.
For today, I'm going to borrow an idea from Suey and list some books that I am thankful for.
- B is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood. This is the first book I remember loving. As I recall it, I was in the second grade and home sick, lying in my parents' bed, when my mother brought me a book she'd picked up at the library. First published in 1939, B is for Betsy is still in print. I loved the entire Betsy series - and that likely helped form my love of book series today.
- Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Gift from the Sea is one of the few books that I have read over and over. This classic non-fiction book was given to me by my mother after I had graduated from college and taken a job in another state. The issues Lindbergh explores are just as pertinent to women today as they were when it was first published in 1955. My copy is filled with highlighting and notes.
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Reading The Happiness Project this year has been a truly life-changing experience for me. I've been thinking about happiness for several years, and this book has provided me with a perfect way to more seriously consider what I can do to be more happy. As Gretchen Rubin says, "Each person's happiness project will be unique, but it's the rare person who can't benefit from starting one." I'll be working on my own happiness project for years to come!
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I first read this classic as a senior in high school, and I re-read it this year for its fiftieth anniversary. I was afraid that I wouldn't love it as much this time as I remembered loving it then - but I think that, with some life experience, it was even better this time! I credit To Kill a Mockingbird with helping solidify my strong sense of social justice.
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. I first read - and fell in love with - this celebration of nonconformity when it was required reading for my older daughter's middle school language arts class. I want to be Stargirl when I grow up! I also think that Stargirl introduced me to the concept that I could enjoy young adult novels - a genre that has become a favorite.
I'm also thankful for all-time favorites such as The Princess Bride, The Joy Luck Club, A Simple Plan, The Giver, The Hiding Place, Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford, The Doomsday Book, and The Secret Life of Bees, books which have changed me or my view of the world in some way and which also illustrate my eclectic taste.
Finally, I'm thankful for The Chosen, Dinner at Homesick Restaurant, Midwives, The Bean Trees, and My Sister's Keeper, books which introduced me to the work of their respective authors, who became favorites of mine.