My mother was a reader. I know that my love of the written word is a legacy from her. Mom had degrees in English education and journalism; she worked as both an editor and a writer. Many of my strongest memories of her include books. I don't remember a time when she did not read to me, recommend books to me, discuss books with me. Everywhere she went, Mom took a book; there were shelves and stacks of them in our house and the library was a weekly event. All of this and I have no idea what her favorite books were. None. I never asked.
It is amazing how much you can learn about a person by simply asking them about their favorite books. Usually, the picks are inspired by strong memories and/or intellectual passions. When I consider my own favorites, I realize that these titles contain more information about me than my Facebook profile. They are a window into my life, who I am, and what I love.
This week, I challenge you to share your favorite books with someone important to you. More importantly, ask them about their favorites and see what you learn.
My favorite books:
Early memories of reading this with Mom. Probably the only Mom on the block who read William Saroyan to her toddlers. When I read it now I'm amazed that I wasn't frightened by some of the illustrations.
I bought a composition book after reading this one. I was never as good at keeping notes, but developed a lifelong love for tomato sandwiches.
I read and re-read all four books in the series. Somewhere in my house is a signed copy that my mom gave me as a gift after I was grown.
As a child this book made me laugh and cry.
As an adult I drove 20 hours to Prince Edward Island with my husband, children, and in-laws in tow to see it for myself.
Still the only sci-fi book I've truly relished.
Re-read this annually. Who wouldn't love getting lost in the language or the settings of a Jane Austen novel? Own 2 print copies and have it on my Kindle.
Riveting. Letters in response to The Greatest Generation. I could not put it down.
"But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." ~Margery Williams
I loved Caddie's spunk, I loved the history, I loved the rhyme about chicken fricassee. I read this book so many times the dust jacket wore to pieces.
Again with the plucky girl protagonist and the history.
Judy Blume. And that's all I have to say about that.
I think I've read every book he ever wrote.
Best Civil War novel I've read. Own 2 print copies (hardcover and paperback) with a spare paperback to loan out. I have had several students tell me that they've read this at my recommendation and "really liked it".
My father also contributed to my love of reading. This is the book I remember him reading to my sister and me over and over again (primarily because he loathed the nonsense words in Dr. Seuss books). Dad always used the most wonderful expression when he read aloud. I heard his voice in my head when I read this aloud to my own kids.