With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured it would be appropriate to reflect on some of the books that have significantly influenced my life and my growth as a reader. From childhood favorites to more recently discovered masterpieces, here are five books that I feel extremely thankful that I’ve read:
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz—Long before any other signs of spookiness appeared in me as a child, I was indulging my dark side with these classic creepy tales. This book and others in the series kept alive an interest in the paranormal and tales of terror that has lasted into my adulthood.
- Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes—This book first sparked my love of vampire literature back when I picked it up by chance in the fifth grade. Would I even be here writing this blog if I hadn’t read this book?
- Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr—After several years of my vampire phase, I was kind of in a rut. This book helped me branch out into the rest of the wide world of urban fantasy and paranormal romance by introducing me to the dark side of fairies. It’s not all glitter, flowers, and butterfly wings out there… Plus, Wicked Lovely‘s got some great tidbits of Celtic mythology!
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley—This was one of the first pieces of classic Gothic literature that I read, and it’s the book that made me fall in love with analyzing literature from an academic perspective. Frankenstein led me on the path to becoming an English major and ultimately to joining the publishing industry.
- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty—I’ve mentioned this book several times on the blog so far (see my review and my account of meeting the author)–I just can’t stop talking about it! Smoke is another example of a book that helped to broaden my mind and my reading preferences. While I tend to get boxed in to my particular genres (particularly young adult fantasy), this book reminded me that there’s lots to love in memoirs and nonfiction. It was also very enlightening on a number of topics that I knew very little about. Not to mention, Caitlin Doughty is a lovely and inspiring human being, and I’m very thankful that this book contributed to giving me the opportunity to meet her!
What books are you thankful for this holiday season? Share your lists in the comments!