September 13th marks A Novel Thing‘s first birthday! In celebration of this, Kaite, Natasha and I have compiled some thoughts about our favourite books and reading in general. Enjoy!
What is your favourite book?
Natasha: My favourite book ever? Now THAT is a difficult question. Historical fiction is my favourite genre but surprisingly my favourite book doesn’t fall under that category. Unfortunately I think I’d have to go for something highly unoriginal and say that the Harry Potter series are my favourite books ever written. They are the only books I’ve read more than 3 times and still enjoy more and more each read. They are brilliantly written and I am amazed that JK Rowling was able to create such a fascinating world.
Kaite: My favourite book? A decision I can never make. I definitely have a few favourites (see one of my previous posts, ‘Some of My Favourites’) and many more beyond that which slip my mind or are awaiting their turn at reverential blogness. Ah! This question just frustrates me!
Deborah: I also can’t really narrow it down. Unlike you two, I generally don’t reread books – my thinking is that I need to use as much time delving into new things as possible. Even still, the way I count my “favourite” books are by thinking about which ones made the most impact on me. Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light made me want to be a writer. The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) made me laugh, think, and cry more than I ever thought a single book could. White Oleander (Janet Finch), The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd), Jacob Have I Loved (Katherine Paterson), and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) – among others! – made me realize how much I love getting into the mind of especially strong women. This is a trait that unifies all the books I’ve listed here, and I think it’s because it’s a trait I generally want to live up to in my own life.
What is your favourite quote from a book?
Natasha: Picking my favourite book quote is difficult because I’ve read so many different novels, all of them giving me one-liners that I wish that I could say or think in my daily life. I think that my favourite quote would have to be “bloody hell” by Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter novels. Although now, come to think of it, I think that the quote is actually from the movies, thus showing you my inability to separate movie and novel fiction. Whoops! Regardless, I do remember reading MANY of the things written in Harry Potter and laughing profusely at them. Those books are full of good quotes.
Kaite: Oh my, what a challenge. My memory is so terrible for these sorts of things, but never have I met a match for Jane Austen. I could read some parts of Pride and Prejudice endlessly. It would take me days to figure this out, but for the sake of brevity I’ll narrow it down to the best of Mr. Darcy;
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Deborah: I was also going to say that first quote from Pride and Prejudice – just because it comes at such a fantastic moment and is said so succinctly and earnestly – but, alas, Kaite beat me to it. But something else that stuck out to me was a line from Jennifer Donnelly’s The Wild Rose: “Bravery is feeling fear but doing the thing anyway.” I think it’s a rip off of a Nelson Mandela quote, but it’s still pretty good.
What book(s) made you fall in love with reading?
Kaite: Hmm, a book that made me fall in love with reading! While again relying on a sketchy memory, I can recall a Babysitters Club obsession- which definitely began my lifetime of prolific book consumption. Some of my first ‘good’ books would probably include many among the works of Roald Dahl and Kit Pearson, Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two series, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Island of Blue Dolphinsby Scott O’Dell, and who knows how many others. You won’t be getting any definitive answers from me today!
Deborah: My mom read to us every night before bedtime, starting from as far back as I can remember. So it was basically a familial requirement that I grow up loving books. But the ones I most remember her reading were the Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary. Especially Ramona the Pest! I could so relate to Ramona’s always being misunderstood, it was crazy. (Actually, I remember being really emotional about Ramona’s wanting to be the wake-up fairy and losing it to her rival Susan, but that’s a story for another day.)
Natasha: Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson made me fall in love with reading – there is no doubt about it! I read it in grade 4 and it was so originally crafted and the story stuck with me completely. I’d like to thank my grade 4 teacher Ms. Braithwaite for suggesting the book to me. After reading this novel I went on to read Pearson’s other novels, introducing me to the wonders of historical fiction and wartime drama. My obsession was started from there!
Any last words, something interesting to say about reading or books?
Natasha: I’ve been travelling a lot recently and with travel comes the stress of packing. I was concerned that my luggage would be over the weight limit but even with that concern I decided that I WOULD NOT throw away any of my 6 books that I brought. Books make me feel comforted and completely draw me in to another world. Even though I’ve moved halfway around the world, reading is something stable and constant that I’ll never get tired of. It sounds cheesy, I know, but for those who don’t read, I feel sorry for you. Reading allows one to live a different life then the one you currently have and to explore untouched worlds and lifetimes. I’m grateful to my teachers but most of all my parents for introducing me to the wonderful world of books.
Deborah: A good book can teleport you to another time and place; it can admit you into someone else’s mind; it can change your mood and affect your whole outlook. If that’s not magic or some sort of superpower, I don’t know what is. I truly believe that people who “don’t like to read” simply haven’t found that first book to sweep them away – words are powerful, they just haven’t experienced it yet.
Kaite: There are so many things to say about books. I love that I can get lost in them in about five seconds. I love decorating my house with them. I love that there is such variety. I love crappy books and great books. I love that I can read anywhere, anytime. I love sharing books, buying books, researching books, and discussing books. I LOVE YOU BOOKS! Happy 1st Birthday A Novel Thing!
From all of us here at A Novel Thing, a BIG thanks for your readership thus far! Here’s to a new chapter in our story. Happy Reading!