3 Books I'm Thankful for This YearLiz O.
During the Thanksgiving season, we are often asked to reflect on what we are actually thankful for. Besides the obvious family, health, and happiness, my list for this year includes: the very stylish leggings with the impressive elastic waistband that I accidentally bought from the H&M Maternity department; the deflection tactics I’ve learned over the years to better deal with rapid fire questions about my recent engagement from extended family members; my girlfriends who continue to impress me every day with their fierce independence and intelligence; and as always, good books.
I’m sure every reader on this site can think of a book they are truly thankful for. Whether it got you through a rough time, was a present from a loved one, or gave you a new outlook on life, there are books that stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. These are the ones I’m thankful for this year:
1. Just Kids by Patti Smith
I know I’m late to the party, but some of my favorite memories of my childhood are dancing around my kitchen with my mom to Patti Smith’s incredible album Horses. So reading about Smith’s relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe and how New York City emitted this very specific feeling and scene in the late sixties and seventies in her own unique prose, was one of the literary highlights of my year.
2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Again, late for this train. Roxane Gay compiled a group of essays that are so biting and witty and relevant that I read it in one sitting. Gay tackles questions that I’ve had for a long time about what makes a good feminist, or even a good woman. Can I still call myself a feminist if I’ve read and enjoyed all the Bret Easton Ellis’ books or consider The Smiths one of my favorite bands? What can I do to be a better feminist? Bad Feminist never gets preachy or condescending, but instead conveys optimism and highlights ways to improve in the current cultural climate.
3. Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Illustrated by Cliff Chiang
Although a different kind of book, a comic book is a book nonetheless. I would be remiss if I didn’t include Brian K. Vaughan’s incredible story of a group of 12-year-old paper girls who go out on Halloween night and discover something sinister and otherworldly going on. The story is a riot, the group of girls is sassy and resilient, and the art is mesmerizing. This is like if Stranger Things starred four versions of feminist icon, and one of my personal heroes, Ashley Spinelli from the cartoon Recess.
In between some quality family time and quality feasting time, think about what books you’re thankful for and give them a shout out in the comments!