I have been thinking a lot lately about books that made a difference in my life.
Sometimes when writing I try not to think about those books I love, because the bar is set so high it can get a little depressing.
But at other times, I remind myself that I have to start somewhere, and if I continue to work hard-- maybe one day, in 20 years or so-- I will have a book that I feel measures up to the books I love.
There are THREE books I love that I have been thinking about lately.
When I think about things I love, I want to share them.
I took one of them out of the library last week. It's a book I love but have never owned. Even the way we found it was a little magical. When my son James was a year old we went on a trip to Finland so I could go to a conference. (A completely different story is that this was called the Dry Toilet Conference, and it was all about composting toilets. It was awesome, if you're into that kind of thing. But I digress...)
We were living in the Netherlands at the time, so Finland was not such a trek. We rented a little cabin outside of Tampere, tucked into the woods around a massive lake. The cabin was isolated-- it was about 30 minutes by bus to town. When we got settled in the cabin we looked around and realized there were no English books.
One thing I love about renting a vacation place is the random assortment of books and such you find. You may read something you would never buy on your own. This house had a ton of Finnish books (no surprise, really), and some Finnish Huey, Dewey, and Louie comics. The comics were mildly entertaining but not able to dispel our boredom for long.
We started searching every nook and cranny of the house, to find JUST ONE English book, PLEASE.
Our efforts eventually paid off and we found The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's a story about a mysterious book, which made it even more perfect as a find.
We devoured it, recommended it to friends when we got home, sent it as a gift to others, but never bought it.
So I borrowed it recently from my library, and have started falling in love with it all over again.
In college I got hooked on John Irving, and one of my favorite books of his is A Prayer for Owen Meany. I love the characters in this book so dearly, and it taught me most of what I know about Vietnam. I feel Irving's strongest talent is weaving a complex story that finds its way back home again and again. It is one of my all time favorites, and I re-read it every few years. In fact I'm due for a re-reading right now.
Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere. This is a YA book that I've recently fallen for. As I've said in an earlier post, if you don't like this book we can't be friends. (No pressure, if you REALLY hate it, I am willing to discuss options). I love the premise, the characters, and the story so much. It is enchanting.
So, I am holding my first contest!
What you need to do to enter:
+1 Be a follower of this BLOG
+1 Comment on this post telling me your total number of entries, and super special bonus (+1) a book you love.
+1 Tweet it
+1 Blog about it
If the bookstore won't ship to you, I will.
Open until September 25th!!!!