Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

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It’s Tuesday, so that must mean it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday from our lovely meme creators over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic, books I’m thankful for. Here are my top 6.

Kindred by Octavia Butler. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s always worth mentioning. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction. But growing up, I thought that because I’m Black, science fiction wasn’t for me. And then, in my senior year of college, one of the assigned books in my Women in Literature class was this one. It was the only book that I read all the way through from that class (to be fair, I was taking four English classes at the time. That’s a crap ton of reading). I felt like Kindred gave me permission to embrace my love of science fiction.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. This is where I went after Ness floored me with A Monster Calls. I loved it. And it was one of the first books that I recommended to my wife, and she loved it. It’s one of those books she still talks about. So it’s important to me because of the connection to her.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. One thing I may not have mentioned about myself, though I am an out book blogger and am proud of it, is that I’m also on the PFLAG board of directors for my town. One of the things we are working on is educating people about issues transgender people in our country face. Symptoms of Being Human is important to me because Riley is not the kind of transgender person we talk about very much – the genderfluid person. And I think Jeff Garvin handled aspects of that story, especially around Riley’s gender identity and expression very well. I am thankful for that.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Like The Knife of Never Letting Go, I’m thankful for Akata Witch for the connection with my wife. I bought it for her for our first Christmas together, and it sent her down a rabbit hole. From there, we listened to Book of Phoenix and Who Fears Death, and I can’t complain at all about a book by an African person who writes science fiction and fantasy. Okay, I could, but I’m not going to complain about Okorafor (except that I’d love the sequel to Akata Witch. Maybe. Please?)

Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare Teach by Paolo Friere. Sometimes I forget why I’m a teacher. I’ll have a group of students who are particularly challenging to work with, or feel like I spend more time parenting than teaching. This book helps me put my teaching into perspective. I used to read it every year, but I lent my copy to someone and never got it back. Thankfully the library has a digital copy, so I check it out from there whenever I need a reread.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Rather than write it again, it’s the same reason I’m thankful for Akata Witch, Kindred, and The Knife of Never Letting Go. The added bonus is that we buy the single comics, so we get to have new conversations every month (provided I’m not behind, which I am right now).

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

  1. I love your list of books and the reasons why you’re grateful for them! I love that books not only help us recognize and celebrate ourselves, but also help us connect with people and cultures beyond ourselves. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wife, hope the holidays bring you lots of time to read (and catch up on Saga, which I need to start)!

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  2. I really enjoyed the first volume of Saga and haven’t gotten back to it. I definitely am going to though because I am trying to feed my graphic novel madness for the rest of 2016. I also haven’t read the Patrick Ness books yet either and they are on my TBR. I’m really intrigued about Akata Witch too. This is a great list!!

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  3. I really love this topic, and I love the reasons you have for each book being so important to you as well. The only one I’ve read is The Knife of Never Letting Go. I’ve read all of Patrick Ness’s books actually but that one is my all-time favourite book and series. He just has such a way of telling stories that will keep my going back no matter what he writes.
    Great post, and great picks for this week as well! 😀

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  4. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my TTT Thanksgiving list. I love yours! Esp Akata Witch and The Knife of Never Letting Go. Both Nnedi Okorafor and Patrick Ness are two of my Favourite authors.

    A Monster Calls makes me cry and cry every time I read it. A good, cathartic cry. It’s the truest book about death and bereavement that I know.

    Have you read Okorafor’s Lagoon? I love it so much. The only book of hers I’ve yet to read is Phoenix. That’s cos Death made me so sad and I need a break!

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    1. More like, I grew up with the idea that because I’m black, science fiction wasn’t written for me. I never saw any at the black bookstore where we went every Sunday. So it wasn’t until college that I broke through that idea and fully embraced my inner nerd who likes science fiction and manga and comic books in addition to loving hip hop and jazz and musical theater.

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