Giving Thanks Book Tag

In the words of a song I learned in elementary school (which Google tells me is by Hap Palmer):

🎶 There are many things I am thankful for
I can find them near and far
There are many things I am thankful for
Let me tell you what they are… 🎶

This Thanksgiving, I’m reviving this tag that I did three years ago, which I found through Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek.

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU THANKFUL YOU LIVE IN YOUR WORLD AND NOT THE BOOK’S WORLD.

The House in Piranesi by Susanna Clarke honestly scares me, more than a little. As much as I love the imagery of the pillars, the statues, the indoor ocean, I think I would actually lose my mind from the isolation (The Other doesn’t count; if you’ve read the book, you know exactly why) and the uncertainty. Sure, it’s cool to imagine a House with a seemingly infinite labyrinth of halls and countless untold secrets, but I absolutely wouldn’t want to live there. And not to get into spoilers, but the big twist/reveal seriously makes me want to inhabit Piranesi’s world even less.

GIVE THANKS TO A BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

As part of an effort to “branch out” (pun intended), one of the electives I chose for my Professional Writing minor was called Writing as a Naturalist. That class, in addition to a recommendation by Seo @ tbhstudying, led me to pick up Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. If you know my interest in social/academic intersections and my love of Mary Oliver’s poetry, it will not surprise you that I was really into this book: western science and Indigenous (specifically Potawatomi) tradition, botany and ecology, and profound respect and gratitude for the wonders of nature.

WHAT CHARACTER WOULD YOU BE THANKFUL FOR IF THEY WERE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER?

Bear with me if I’ve said this before, but as I get older I find myself more drawn to the reliable, stable book boyfriends over the volatile bad boys. In particular I come back again and again to Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. He’s so sweet and caring and supportive of Cath even when he doesn’t agree with and/or quite understand her perspective, adorably passionate about agriculture (and alpacas), and my inspiration as a Starbucks barista. He’s definitely influenced what I look for in a (real-world) romantic partner.

TO WHAT CHARACTER WOULD YOU SAY “THANKS, BUT NO THANKS”?

Collectively, the Nac Mac Feegles from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld (Tiffany Aching series). They’re loyal and funny and mostly good at heart, but they’re also pugnacious and deceitful and — at least, if you’re Tiffany — impossible to shoo away for some privacy. I’m pretty sure the novelty of having them “helping” me out would wear off really fast, especially after the first spot of trouble they would inevitably cause (probably within five minutes, let’s be real).

 

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD, JUST LIKE YOUR DRUNK UNCLE EARL AT THANKSGIVING.

Sometimes you just need a good romcom featuring classic tropes and flawed but lovable humans, which the London Calling series by Alexis Hall (starting with Boyfriend Material) totally delivers. Fake dating. Enemies (ish) to lovers. Delightful humor — in fact, I seem to remember Luc making a “drunk uncle at Thanksgiving” remark, probably as a self-deprecating joke. Queer found family. Personal growth, both as an individual and as half of a partnership. Need I go on?

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU INCREDIBLY ANGRY … JUST LIKE YOUR DRUNK UNCLE EARL AT THANKSGIVING.

Look, I knew that Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang was going to make me ✨feel things✨ — but I was not prepared for the sheer range of emotions this book would evoke. Anger, I probably should’ve seen coming from a book whose title references “violence” and “revolution” and whose synopsis references colonialism and war; it’s not anger that this is a bad book, but that history (and the present world, to be honest) is so outrageously unjust. 

FINALLY, NAME ONE THING YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR ABOUT BOOKTUBE THE BOOKISH COMMUNITY.

As someone who tends to pop in and out as life/ mental health allows, I’m grateful that the bookish community is always here to return to. Content cycles are more forgiving: backlist books and older posts get attention too, not just the shiny new publications. You can pretty quickly get caught up on the latest hyped releases and author drama, if you want; if not, that’s perfectly fine too. And the people, of course, make me want to return again and again.

 

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