We’ll be taking a few days off from reviews here to participate in Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted by the lovely people over at The Estella Society.
The opening prompt is one that is simultaneously very simple and incredibly complex:
Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.
After a bit of thought, here’s what I came up with…
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I credit the Harry Potter series as what got me back into recreational reading in college. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy stories, and this series hit all the marks for me while also being a very accessible and easy-to-follow epic fantasy story.
Greenwode by J. Tullos Hennig
I noted above that I enjoy a great fantasy story, but I’m also one who enjoys well-developed historical fiction. Greenwode offers up both, as an incredibly well-written re-telling of the Robin Hood legend. There are also some m/m romance overtones here, which checks off another element that interests me at the same time.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Many people read books for a chance to escape reality. They’re looking for stories that are filled with happy endings, minimal conflict, and sometimes things that could never happen in the real world. I definitely can appreciate that perspective and often like picking up those books myself. But I also appreciate books that confront the realities of living, that show people working through some of the many complex issues we face in life. Perks is a book that speaks to me on a number of different levels, and it does an excellent job of providing a lens for readers to look at life without presenting a fantastic or unbelievable story.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Where do I even start here? I’ve been a fan of re-tellings of stories from the perspective of the stated antagonist since I first read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs in elementary school. These kinds of books serve as a great literary reminder that there are (at least) two sides to every story, and what readers see is often shaped by the perspective of the narrator or the protagonist. As someone who has been a fan of The Wizard of Oz since I was a young child, this book was one I was very interested in picking up. Also, I read this in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and the parallels between the way Elphaba was treated for daring to question a political leader and the “if you criticize the President, you’re as bad as the terrorists” rhetoric that was rampant in the US at the time, gave this book additional context for me that really stood out.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye is one of the few books I’ve read more than once (I have a hard time justifying reading a book again when I could read something new). I’ve read it twice for classes and once on my own. For me, this book represents the way people fear ideas, sometimes without solid justification. Having read this three times, I have a hard time understanding why some people feel so strongly this book should be banned. And from the few reasons for it that I do hear, the people advocating for banning the book haven’t even read it themselves. Which just points out how important it is for people to read, to learn, and to question, We shouldn’t just accept what people tell us is true. We should seek out information and experience things for ourselves, as much as possible, before we allow ourselves to form opinions on a subject or how the world works.
I look forward to sharing more with you all as we continue through the rest of the week!