I need to get a life: A My Bookprint guest post
By Guest Blogger on May 5th, 2011
It’s Thursday – Bookprint day! We asked Meaghan Connaire, a recent addition to Scholastic’s Corporate Comms team, to share her Bookprint with OOM. Thanks, Meaghan!
Let me start this off by saying creating my Bookprint took a lot longer than it should have. I’m definitely a Top Five list maker, in the style of John Cusack’s Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, so I focused on making sure my Bookprint truly represented who I was as a reader. I had to really think about it, add and remove and re-add books, figure out what order the list should go in…honestly, I need to get a life. But before I go ahead and find one, I’m going to share with you why these five books are so special to me and how they’ve made me the reader and person I am today.
1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Folks, you don’t even know how much I love this book. It’s ridiculous. I read it for the first time when I was 12 and I didn’t put it down until I was done. I rode my bike to the library specifically to take this out and I came home, hunkered down in my bedroom and didn’t leave until 10 at night. I was hooked from the start- “Serene was a word you could put to Brooklyn, New York.” Those words are some of the sweetest words I can think of. I instantly identified with Francie Nolan, the heroine of the book, and to this day I can still relate to her. Smith’s seemingly simple story about a young girl growing up in Brooklyn carries so much depth and meaning that it’s more like hanging out with a close friend than reading a book. I read this book a few times a year and I still find new things to love about it. I love the next four books I’m about to list, but none of them come close to what A Tree Grows in Brooklyn means to me. It’s in a league of its own.
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry. When I read this book in Ms. Johnson’s 7th grade English class at Blue Mountain Middle School, it was a game changer. Up until then I was completely one-sided when it came to what books I was reading (The Baby-sitters Club all day, every day.) But then this incredible story came into my life and I was so moved and touched by what Lowry wrote. It was also the first book set in a dystopian world that I can remember reading and it blew my mind to think of how true some of the events in Jonas’ life could so easily relate to what has happened (and continues to happen) in our own world.
3. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. I recently told a friend that this was my favorite children’s book and his response was, “That doesn’t surprise me at all.” I give this book to all my friends and relatives as a baby gift because I think it’s such a fantastically funny, smart, silly book. It made me laugh so hard as a kid and continues to make me laugh to this day. I think “The Princess and the Bowling Ball” is a wonderfully romantic story. The prince loves the princess so much that he doesn’t care if she can feel a pea under all those mattresses, so he puts a bowling ball under her bed to just get the whole silly process over with? Brilliant. It’s a great lesson for kids to learn — don’t let the opinions of others get in the way of your happiness. I also think it’s important for them to learn that a frog will never turn into a prince, but he might try to trick you into kissing him just for the fun of it.
4. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. One of my favorite professors in college would tell me over and over again that I had to read this book. I finally heeded to her relentless pestering and once I was done with the book, I vowed never to doubt her opinion again. Finally, a classic tale told from the female point of view! Every telling of King Arthur’s tale has Morgaine painted as either an evil character or more of a background player. Bradley weaves such an amazing tale around the women in the world of King Arthur and I absolutely adore it. While I’m never happy with the way the book ends, the story told throughout is one that I hold very dear to my heart.
5. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. This book is the book that defines my high school years. I was a little emo/punk kid who felt like no one understood me, man! They just didn’t “get” it! Even though I loved The Catcher in the Rye, it was this collection of his short stories that made me go, “Oh, Salinger. You speak to my soul.” I would get on a Metro-North train with my dog-eared copy of this book and listen to Saves the Day as I headed into the city to see a show, and what a happy little emo kid I was. My favorite stories in the bunch are For Esmé – with Love and Squalor and A Perfect Day for Bananafish.
Honorable mention: The entire Baby-sitter’s Club series. I know I’m only meant to have five books in my Bookprint, but I have to give a shout out to the BSC. I was a member of the book club and would read all three books I received for that month in one day, much to my mother’s chagrin. I would rollerblade outside my house while reading these books. My friends and I tried to start our own club. I had the board game. I was ecstatic when we finally got the Disney Channel and I could watch the television show. I dragged my friends to see the movie in the theaters. I was (in case you couldn’t tell), and still am, a devoted fan of Ann M. Martin’s series, and it wouldn’t be fair to exclude the series from my list.
So that’s my Bookprint, readers. What’s yours? Head on over to You Are What You Read and create your own!
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