This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and Bookish, is a Thanksgiving freebie. I honestly don’t know who I’d be if I weren’t a reader. I don’t know what else I’d do to get the education, enlightenment, companionship, and solace that books provide. Particularly now, when our nation is experiencing such a menacing and unsettling moment, books are providing a comfort to me that leaves me profoundly grateful. I could have filled this list three times over, but these are the first ten that came to mind.
Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman. My first favorite book, at least the one I have memories of as a very young child. I loved the different colored dogs and their crazy tree party! I selected this not only because I loved it, but because my son loves it too! He went through a phase where we read it every day, and it made me happy to be able to share a special book with him.
The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene. These are the first books I got obsessed with as an independent reader, largely because I found old copies that belonged to my aunt when she was a girl, the hardback ones with the yellow spines. They’re horrible to read as an adult (seriously, don’t try it) but as a child they ignited my interest in mysteries.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Now’s here’s a children’s mystery that definitely holds up even for adults. I read it somewhere around the age of 9 or 10, and I was utterly captivated. I’ve reread it twice as an adult, and listened to the audio, and it’s just terrific.
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer. This picture book is a hilarious crowd-pleaser that I feature regularly in my preschool storytimes. Parents and kids alike laugh out loud.
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone. My son LOVES this book. He thinks it’s hysterical when Grover implores the reader to stop turning pages!
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. A regular library patron recommended her to me some years ago, and I couldn’t be more grateful to her. It was the first Pym I read, and I discovered an author that I knew I would love and reread for the rest of my life. Her books are charming, witty, intelligent, with just a hint of melancholy.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I am just grateful that this book exists. I’m grateful that it’s gotten a lot of press, and I feel like it deserves all the praise and even more. It’s the kind of novel that transports and enlightens at the same time. I’d make everyone read it if I could.
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. The book that introduced me to Atkinson, who is one of my all-time favorite authors. It’s a knock-out literary mystery and introduces one of my favorite fictional characters, the world-weary but good-hearted Jackson Brodie.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I remember taking my time reading this beautiful, smart, romantic novel because I wanted to luxuriate in Adichie’s writing. And the story! Wow!
It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness by Sylvia Boorstein. In a very warm and relatable manner, Boorstein writes of her own mental struggles (particularly with anxiety) to elucidate Buddhist principles and how they can make a person feel happier. I don’t identify as Buddhist but there is so much wisdom here. I reread this one regularly.
I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week enjoy your time, be it with family, friends, or just the solace of a good book and a cup of tea! I know I’m looking forward to my five days off with family. Let me know in the comments a book that you are thankful for; I would love to read about them.