Tiny Beautiful Things
I loved the Dear Sugar column when it lived exclusively on The Rumpus, so to have a book of the handpicked, best advice from Sugar herself, Cheryl Strayed, is a dream come true. When I’m facing those big-deal decisions or handling those crises that turn out to only be little blips, I always turn to this book. It might take some digging to find the right column, but somehow, I always close the pages feeling better and clearer about my situation. This is also my go-to book to send when a friend or loved one is going through a rough time; I think I’ve purchased at least five copies by now.
The Color Master
I keep a note on my phone filled with quotes I love, and whenever I read a book by Aimee Bender, I know I’ll be adding to that note frequently. This book of short stories might have flown under the radar, but it’s one that I continually go back to, just to dip in and out of her beautiful language. As most of these stories have some sort of relation to color, it should come as no surprise that the writing is vivid and inventive. And because it’s a book of short stories, you can enjoy it in bite-sized pieces.
All the Pretty Horses
In truth, I’m thankful for the entire Border Trilogy, but the first book holds a special place in my heart. For whatever reason, I stubbornly refused to read this book for several years, despite people telling me I would love it. Once I finally gave in, I completely devoured the series. There’s something about the way it’s written that makes you feel the expansiveness of the setting. I might be more suited to the concrete jungle than the dude ranch, but I could read Cormac McCarthy’s descriptions of horses forever.
When I read Quiet, I kept finding myself in its pages. While not everything resonated, and while I think I’ve been able to cope pretty well with our world that can’t stop talking (and tweeting), I’m thankful that this book gave me some new insights and ways to explain why I’d frequently rather spend my evening with my nose in a book.
I love an epic novel. Give me a book that I can get completely lost in, and I’ll say thank you and see you in two to three weeks, depending on the page count. And while I know there are those out there who just can’t get into Murakami or found 1Q84 too long or repetitive, I was just happy to spend as much time as possible immersed in that world and with those characters. At least I’ve been able to take comfort in the fact that there are so many similarities among all of Murakami’s novels, so it’s easy to get a sense of revisiting those landscapes.
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and even though they might not make my list when we take turns sharing around the holiday table, I’m so thankful for books. I’m going to guess that most of you would count yourselves as thankful for the books you read (and the authors who write them), but it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about what to contribute this year. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few books that have made an impact on me—whether big or small—and invite you to do the same.
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