This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is about the books for which we are thankful. This gives me a clue that it must be Thanksgiving soon…
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Oh look, I’m mentioning The Handmaid’s Tale, which I hardly ever do. I’m grateful for the impact this book has had on my life and also for the impact I see it having on my students when I teach it. After the political events of recent weeks, it’s more relevant than ever.
Perijee and Me by Ross Montgomery
This is the first book I’ve ever taught which a whole class has loved. Usually there is at least one dissenting voice complaining, “I hate this book,” but Perijee has united my year 7 class with its charm and humour.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My husband is not a big reader but, this year, he has finally (after 10 years) started listening to my brilliant book recommendations. Ready Player One is what started this off.
Let Fury Have the Hour edited by Antonino D’Ambrosio
A long time ago, I asked for a book called Passion is a Fashion for Christmas. It’s a book about the band The Clash and, while my mum was dutifully purchasing it, she happened to glance at the ‘Other People Who Bought This Also Bought’ section and found this; a book of journalistic writing about the band. It was in this that I discovered Lester Bangs (the greatest rock journalist of all time ever) and a beautiful relationship between an impressionable teenage girl and a long-dead, drug-addled writer was born.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
There are few nicer feelings than reading with a child and hearing them laugh hysterically at the book. My daughter loves this book, as do my nephew and a friend’s son, all of whom have been incapacitated with giggles by the end. I won’t lie; it makes me laugh quite a lot too.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
I read this when I was about 17 and am planning to revisit it next year. I’m thankful for it for three reasons: Becky Sharp is a truly badass character and I love her; the narrative is incredibly snarky and I love it; probably most significantly, the amazing speech Dobbin makes to Amelia about how she is not worthy of the love he has shown her. I used to it written on a post-it I kept in my purse because I am emotionally well-balanced.
Fever Pitch and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
In writing these brilliant books about football and music, Hornby basically provided me with handbooks for two of my main passions, and, having found these books at a very impressionable age, I’m very thankful for the ways in which they made me feel like my obsessions were really quite normal.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This was the book that got me reading YA; I expect I would have made my way there eventually, but All the Bright Places sealed it.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Obviously this is a deeply traumatic book to read and I can still barely see it on my shelf without having a little cry, but I am thankful for it because I always thought I hated Thomas Hardy and it was Tess that made me realise he was actually a genius. I read all his major works in 2015 and loved them.