Ah, November. Time for spicy pumpkin pie, the crackle of gas heaters, and the return of socks. Yes, I hate wearing socks, but I hate cold toes more. But ya know what I love the most in this weather? Curling up with a wonderful book (or, more often these days, my nook). I'm overwhelmingly grateful for the role books have played in my life, from my earliest memories of board books, right up to reading on my phone during my lunch hour today.
One book I am particularly grateful for is Roald Dahl's The Witches. So many amazing, whimsical, magical books that I read during elementary school (this was the stone-age, mind you, years before harry potter came on the scene) helped shape my personality, Dahl's books most of all. Charlie, James, and Luke seemed to have all the fun... despite their often tragic backgrounds. (as you may well know, james's parents were killed by a rhinoceros that had escaped from the zoo. that's a rhinoceros for you, no respect for pedestrians.). The combination of humor and horror made these books my all-time favorites.
The Witches even served as a sort of primer for me, shaping the way I've perceived the paranormal genre ever since. The book was "educational" on the subject of identifying witches, but more importantly, it scared the bejeesus out of me. Especially the dark stories delivered by the benevolent, yet un-traditional grandmother, whose missing finger undoubtedly augmented the creepiness of her macabre tales. Her memories of her childhood in Norway, and the children who went missing, set the stage for Luke's adventure at the seaside resort where he and his grandmother are attempting to have a relaxing vacation.
Though I hate to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't read the book, when I first read The Witches, I loved that Luke stayed a mouse (which was thoroughly ruined by the movie and its desire to give in to the allure of the happy ending), resigned to the fact that mice don't exactly have the same life-span as humans. But Luke, bless his little mousy heart, only cared about traveling the world to vanquish the rest of the witches. What an amazing role model, huh? ;) Can't believe this book has been on the most-challenged list just about every year. Oh, wait, yes I can. It's a book about "witches". Hence, it must be teaching kids to worship the devil. *eye-roll*
So, what books are you grateful for? Did you post about it? Are you dying to read A Million Suns as badly as I am? ;) I'd love to hear about it!