T5W – And Now I Can’t Get Natalie Merchant Out of My Head…

Hi all! Wow, it’s been AGES since I did a Top 5 Wednesday! I’m going to do a delayed post from last week, since I really like that topic, so…

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday Topic is: Books For Which You Are Thankful

I have quite a lot of books that I love, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I think I’ll aim for books that have made a real difference in my life.

Fatso Jean, the Ice Cream Queen (Maryann MacDonald)

6-12-2017 1-27-43 PMDescription from Amazon: A misfit in a neighborhood filled with athletic youngsters, nine-year-old Jean seeks solace in eating ice cream, until the teasing of the “Mean Team” leads Jean to set up her own business making ice cream.

My Review: Strange pick, I know, but this was the very first book I read where I actually empathized with the main character. I myself was a large little girl who just wanted to fit in and have friends. This book taught me that you should love yourself, regardless of how you look, and that confidence in yourself is the key to living the life you want.

The Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon)

The_Tower_TreasureCondensed Description from WikipediaThe Hardy Boys are fictional teenage brothers and amateur detectives. They live in the city of Bayport on with their father, detective Fenton Hardy, their mother, Laura Hardy, and their Aunt Gertrude. Frank, the older brother, is eighteen (sixteen in earlier versions), and his younger brother Joe is seventeen (fifteen in earlier versions). 

The Hardy Boys are constantly involved in adventure and action. Despite frequent danger, the boys “never lose their nerve … They are hardy boys, luckier and more clever than anyone around them.” They live in an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue: “Never were so many assorted felonies committed in a simple American small town. Murder, drug peddling, race horse kidnapping, diamond smuggling, medical malpractice, big-time auto theft, even (in the 1940s) the hijacking of strategic materials and espionage, all were conducted with Bayport as a nucleus.” 

My Review: This was the series that made me fall in love with reading. The original books are perfect for middle grade kids: easy to read/follow and filled with thrilling adventures and mysteries. Over the years, they’ve transitioned to include books for younger and older kids as well. To this day, I own over 200 of these books and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. 🙂

Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)

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Condensed Description from WikipediaThe novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and muggles, a reference term that means non-magical people.

My Review: Well, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t in SOME way impacted by Harry Potter, but this was such a HUGE part of my life during college that I still to this day read the fanfic, buy all the new books and movies, and receive the merchandise from friends. I’m not QUITE as obsessed as I used to be, but I still really love the HP universe.

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Daniel Quinn)

ishmaelDescription from Goodreads: TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person. – It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime… 

My Review: There are some books that have to hit you at the right point in your life in order to make an impact. This is one of those books and it hit me at just the right moment: early college days, just learning to think for myself instead of believing what everyone else told me. I don’t remember a lot of what the book discusses, but I DO remember it being one of the first books that I actually thought about in depth (and not just because I was assigned to do so). It made me feel like reading could actually have a meaning besides just having fun or learning information.

Hyperbole & a Half (Allie Brosh)

2D9725260-coverDescription from Goodreads: This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly.

So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book: Pictures, Words, Stories about things that happened to me, Stories about things that happened to other people because of me, Eight billion dollars*, Stories about dogs, The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

My Review: This is one of my go-to books when I’m feeling blue. I’ve done a full review of it here. This book has gotten me through many a tough day; days when all I wanted to do was sleep, but was disgusted with myself for not doing something with my life instead of sitting around like a lump. I will forever be grateful to Allie for putting herself out there and helping me realize that I wasn’t alone.


What are some of the books YOU are thankful for?

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