I'm feeling awfully thankful for books this week--especially because with a break from school, I'll actually get a good chance to read those books I've been trying to finish! (Unless my family is too distracting, which is entirely possible...)
10. Jane Austen. Her books were some of the first classics I really loved, and I'm grateful she wrote plenty because it means I still have more to read! One thing I love about Austen is that she writes with a sort of veiled sarcasm that I've come to appreciate a lot more as I've gotten older.
9. William Shakespeare. Believe it or not, I started reading and loving Shakespeare when I was only 13. (I don't know how much I really understood, but I felt like I understood a lot...) I think the first play I ever read was King Lear. Since then, I have come to love Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Hamlet, and especially Othello. (I get shivers just thinking about creeper Iago...)
8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read this when I was about 12 and I loved it. I have a fun edition with a soft cover that I got for Christmas. For me, this book represents everything magical about childhood.
7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I read this recently and I feel like I can't help mentioning it in every conversation (or blog post). This book has made me really excited to dig into more Victorian literature.
6. The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. I read this book earlier this year and it's been one of those books that has actually changed the way I think, in just a small way. It has made me more grateful for my life and the little miracles I get to witness every day. Maybe a re-read is in order...
5. Elizabeth Gilbert. Call me a "chick lit" girl, but I really enjoy reading Gilbert. Her writing is so genuine--and hilarious! While other writers inspire me as a reader, Gilbert inspires me as a writer.
4. C.S. Lewis. I really enjoy both his fiction and his Christian apologetic writings. I think both Christians and those questioning Christianity ought to read Lewis. I really like that he isn't afraid of the hard questions, and I think too many of us are. Do we really want to ask about the seeming paradoxes of life and religion? Lewis has really helped me navigate those dark waters.
3. Stephen R. Covey. I've ended up reading a lot of self-help books for some reason (I'm not quite sure why), and Covey's books have helped me so much. Even though I haven't read them in a while, I still think about the principles. The principles in Covey's books aren't just quick fixes; they're principles for a great life in general.
2. Charles Dickens. I've only read two of his books, and practically every day I feel the pull to read more. I really want to get into Our Mutual Friend or Bleak House. I feel like I've barely scraped the tip of the iceberg, and I really can't wait to read more Dickens.
1. Victor Hugo. I've loved Les Miserables ever since I read it a few years ago, and it changed me more than any other novel I've ever read. I'm serious. I read The Hunchback of Notre Dame this year for the first time and loved it too (although not as much as Les Mis).
Oh no! I've already listed ten and I haven't even mentioned the Bronte sisters (Heathcliff! Mr. Rochester!), Gone With the Wind (Scarlett! Rhett!), To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus! Scout!), or Hemingway, or The Great Gatsby, or The Scarlet Letter...drat. Well, I guess that's the great thing about counting your blessings...it's too hard to stop!
What books/authors are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?