Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Day You Challenge - Day 8 - Books!

*BREAKING NEWS* I'm still sick. (And being a total and complete baby about it.)

So here we are. Day 4 of 10 Day You Challenge.


Everyone knows I love books. In fact, to the untrained eye, it might seem like I don't have many other interests. I read them. I collect them. I studied them. I work with them. My obsession dates back to when I was but a wee lass and would "read" books to
my parents.

I'm supposed to come up with four books. That's hard for me. So I'm going to choose the four that have had the most impact on my life, its course, and how I've gotten where I am today.

1. Babies by Gyo Fujikawa

This was my favorite book when I was small. In fact I still know the first line: "Babies are soft, warm, and cuddly." only I couldn't say my c's so in our house it was "Babies are soft, warm, and tuddly." My parents still talk about (and do impressions of) the way my face would light up when I was read this book and how I would recite it back to them. I like to think this was what started it all...

2. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was in fourth grade, the book nerd in me officially let her freak flag fly. I got really into our school reading program, Best Foot Forward, and worked so hard to earn the Big Sticks (popcicles, remember those?!), pencils, folders, and other prizes. I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and, since in fourth grade all California kids learn CA history, I became obsessed with all things olden days. My grandmother even made me a prairie dress. It was too big for me but I wore it anyway. I have such fond memories of rushing through my homework, laying on the couch and reading On the Banks of Plum Creek while drinking Kool-aid.

3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

I was a sophomore in high school when I was first introduced to what would become (and still remains) my favorite book. We read it in E
nglish during a seminar sets unit (in which we could choose to read one of five books and get in groups and talk about it and stuff.) The district tried to eliminate it from the curriculum shortly thereafter (due to somewhat graphic sexual content) and some of my class members went to a district meeting to defend the book. I didn't go but I now wish I had. (The book ended up getting put to 12th grade as an optional text.)

I have since read it again three times, studied it in college, and I've seen the author speak twice. She is awesome and oh so funny.

5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I wish I could say there is a book that made me want to become an English major. There really isn't. But books like Mark Twain's Huck Finn, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides made me certain I'd made the right decision. The best book I've read since I got my hands on The House of the Spirits all those years ago.

Likewise, I wish there was a book that I could point to and say "This is the reason I am in book publishing. This is the reason I made the switch to kids' books." There are many, many I have read and love over the years. But if someone were to ask me, I guess I would say "I'll start with these four... how much time do you have?"

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