5 Books I Am Grateful For

5 Books I Am Grateful For

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Chronicles of Narnia

I was obsessed with C. S. Lewis’s fantasy series, ever since my third grade teacher read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe out loud to my class.  I probably checked each book out of the library an average of at least five times each over the course the next couple years.  So I was thrilled when I got an anthology of the whole series as a gift from my grandfather.  I could read all the books any time I wanted, and I got some great nerd street cred bringing it to read at school where other students (then fifth graders) marveled at how I could be reading such a large book.  (I’m not sure some of them ever understood it was really seven books, but whatever.)

Pilfer Academy by Lauren Magaziner

Pilfer Academy Lauren Magaziner

It’s so exciting to me that I actually know someone, in real life, in person, who has published a book.  (In fact, Lauren has published two middle grade books so far, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches and Pilfer Academy, and she has two more coming in 2018, Wizard Match and Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion.)  However, I was never expecting Lauren to send me a personalized ARC of Pilfer Academy, complete with a doodle of an ice cream cone, so this is a special book for me.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville


During my last year of college, I had to take a “senior seminar” as part of the graduation requirements for my English major.  (Apparently taking one my junior year didn’t count because the class was a senior seminar, but I wasn’t a senior…but that’s a different story.)  My professor–one of my favorites at the college, incidentally–decided that because the class was fairly small, he was going to buy us all a copy of one of the required books for the course, Moby-DickMoby-Dick was a surprisingly more interesting read than I was expecting, based on popular opinion of the novel, but it’s not exactly my favorite book.  Still, I am very happy to have this copy as a memory of completing my English degree.  (And I still aspired to be the kind of person who can just drop money on buying ten copies of the same book to generously give away!)

The Annotated Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Annotated Anne of Green Gables Cover Image

As readers of the blog know, Anne of Green Gables is one of my very favorite books. I first read it in fourth grade, and I’ve probably reread it about a million times since then. It never gets old, and it always surprises and delights. So I was absolutely thrilled to receive this annotated edition from friends. Along with Anne’s story, I get fun fact and insightful essays, as well as some illustrations.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is my other favorite book, besides Anne of Green Gables.  Knowing this, one of my friends gave me a very nice edition of the whole trilogy (not pictured above) when he was leaving college.  At first I felt guilty accepting because it was his personal set, and it really is very nice, but now that I have it I am going to hoard and love it forever and admire the beauty of its pages.


21 thoughts on “5 Books I Am Grateful For

  1. Jonathan Scott Griffin says:

    I’m so happy to see another Herman Melville fan. Moby Dick is the closest thing America has to William Shakespeare. You know, Moby Dick was a flop when it came out! It was a commercial failure. It wasn’t until years after Melville died that it was rediscovered and deemed a classic.

    As for Narnia, that goes without saying. Lewis, along with Tolkien, helped popularize the fantasy genre. That’s not to say that fantasy wasn’t around before them. It was. In fact the two of them loved the fantasy novels of George McDonald from the 19th century. But those two helped popularize the genre. Though I do hope George McDonald gets more respect in the future from fantasy readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Douglas A. Anderson actually published a book called Tales Before Tolkien that includes works of fantasy authors who came before him and/or inspired him. George MacDonald is included. It’s a pretty cool concept and one that I’m sure will help introduce fans of Tolkien to other fantastic writers!

      Liked by 2 people

    • David says:

      I wholeheartedly agree! I’ve discussed MacDonald a bit on my blog, even reviewing Lilith. One day I intend to review Phantastes, if I can get any closer to understanding it. And other works of MacDonald and those earlier fantasists. Lord Dunsany, Fritz Leiber, and the like. So much fascinating stuff out there that’s often overlooked by modern readers!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      I realized I didn’t think I’d ever done a post like this after blogging for six years. I talk about my favorite books in the abstract, but not books I actually own. So weird! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, too!


    • Briana says:

      She’s the only one!

      Well, I guess I know someone who writes short stories, but I’ve never actually read any yet, and she doesn’t talk about it much. Maybe I need to Google stalk her more. 😉

      Hopefully some of my other friends pursuing publication will make it soon, though!


  2. kozbisa says:

    What a lovely tribute to your friend to be included on this list! Narnia was a place I wanted to visit as a child (well, I think I still want to go there), and Anne is just one of my all time favorite characters.


  3. speculatingsite says:

    Great to see Lord of the Rings here. Also, your professor sounds very cool — surprising that he actually gave you all free books. Moby Dick is a novel that I really need to get back to at some point…the beginning was really good, but I think I lost interest after they set sail. I’ll definitely give it another try at some point.


    • Briana says:

      I was surprised, too! As a poor-ish college student, I was just like “You really just bought 10+ copies of the same book for fun????” As a tenured professor, though, he probably has the money to do it. It was really nice of him!

      I admit I kind of skimmed some of the whale info-dumps and didn’t think I lost much of the experience. That seems to be where a lot of people get stuck, so I just ignored it and kept plowing on.


    • Briana says:

      The slightly annoying thing was that I already had a copy of Moby Dick because I buy all my books for the semester at the beginning of the semester, we didn’t read this until practically the end of the semester…and he assumed no one had bought it yet? :p But it still a nice reminder of the class and my college experience in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David says:

    Great choices. I must shamefacedly admit to not having read Melville or “Anne of Green Gables” yet, but I hope to get to them eventually. My mom and sisters are great fans of the latter series and its TV adaptation from the 80s.

    Also, Pilfer Academy has a fantastic-looking cover!


    • Briana says:

      Anne of Green Gables is one of my very favorite books! (And, honestly, much more entertaining than Moby Dick…) I also like the Megan Follows adaptation; I’ve heard mixed reviews about all the new adaptations people keep trying.


  5. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Ah, a fabulous list! I hold very fond memories of both The Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. In fact, my son and I have been reading through the very edition of the Chronicles of Narnia that you feature here 😉 Great stuff. Hope you had a lovely holiday!


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