Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Giving thanks

 

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about blogging/bookish topics. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions.

Just keep it respectful - no bashing authors or other bloggers! If you want to participate just grab our button and include it in your post with a link to either Midnyte Reader or For What It's Worth. We will be providing a linky at the end of our posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

Question: Giving thanks: Is there a book that you are thankful you have read?  Maybe it has changed your life in a small or even a large way, or made you see things in a different perspective.


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There are a few books that have had a big impact on me. The first would be the Twilight series. As is the case with many others it is the book that got me into reading again so I have to say thank you for that. ~ Goodreads

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A huge thank you to the WVMP radio series by Jeri Smith-Ready. Because of Jeri’s playlists for each book, this series has sparked a love of music that I didn’t have before. It makes me giggle a little bit when people ask for my music rec’s because I barely even listened to the radio before and now I’m always going to concerts and discovering new bands. ~ Goodreads

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But the book that has had the greatest impact on my life is Willow by Julia Hoban. It’s quite personal so sorry if I enter the TMI/sappy zone.

I read Willow a little over 3 years ago. The book tells the story of a girl who loses her parents and disconnects from society. She is extremely shy and the more she isolates herself from friends and family the more she feels that people don’t like her and that she doesn’t fit in.

I lost my mother to cancer when I was 16 years old and it’s very difficult to be in high school when that happens. The other kids don't know what to do with that and you try to avoid any personal conversations that might bring it up. I was always super shy anyway and it got so much worse after my mother died.

Anyway…..Willow has much deeper issues – she is also a cutter. That was not my issue but I connected with her isolation and shyness. She meets a boy who helps her confront her problems and pushes her out there little by little until she feels almost normal again.

I kept wishing that this book (or any book about parental loss) was out back then when I needed it. I thought it would have totally changed my life to know someone else understood how I felt. And yes, I’m aware Willow is a fictional person but it still helps. I’m in my 40’s now and felt like my time had passed to change who I am at this stage in my life but then I figured what the hell! If not now – when? I’m not getting any younger. I don't want to be full of regrets.

Since I’ve read that book I’ve pushed myself waaaay out of my comfort zone. I make myself talk to other people and sign up for things that I know will make me uncomfortable just so I can break down the barrier. I’m afraid of flying but fly at least twice a year now. (I’m still working on the nerve to fly outside the US - I think I would need drugs for that though lol)

Whenever I get *stuck* in life or start slipping into old patterns, I think of this book and Willow’s bravery and try to take another step forward. ~ Goodreads

This also why I think the so called "darker YA" books are so important. Parents may try to shield their kids from bad things but you never know when someone might connect to a story or character and it can change their whole life.

More importantly, EVERY book has impacted my life in some way. The good, the bad and in-between.

** For all Book Blogger Confession topics click here. Next up - December 3rd - book budgets.

How about you? Are you thankful for a book impacted you in a small or big way? Linky for BBC Monday:

17 comments:

  1. Way cool that she made you love music that much again :D I do not think any book have had such an impact on me

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    1. I think all books have some impact even if it's not a big aha breakthrough moment.

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  2. Nice choices. It is surprising how many people cite the Twilight series as getting them back to reading (and inspiring an interest in YA books if they were older than YAs when they started to read them). I am glad for the whole YA genre. As a school media specialist, I never outgrew YAs and have always appreciated them.

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    1. I'm not sure I would even like the series if I read it now but it did open me up to reading again, YA and series.

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  3. Nice choices and I can see how the darker books could help deal with a loss. I love you mentioned Jeri books with music :)

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    1. Jeri has been an inspiration to me both with her books and in real life. She's just an all around great person.

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  4. I love the WVMP books too. It was a story I never forgot and then I met Jeri at a cocktail party for BEA and I was so thrilled.

    I can't imagine what you went through at 16 and I appreciate you opening up about it. I agree that books can act as friends, therapists and supporters. Just to know that someone out there understands you...and maybe the characters are fictional, but the author has to understand a bit to write such real people. I'm glad you are trying things and exploring and I agree...if not now, when?

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    1. I didn't know you read that series!

      "books can act as friends, therapists and supporters" I love that! I wish I read more when I was a kid and I'm so glad at the topics YA tackle these days. They really can be a lifesaver.

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  5. Yea, Jeri! I'm glad she got you connected to music. Music is a healer, too, and I can't imagine life without it.

    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. While you did not have Willow when you were 16, I hope it was cathartic in your 40s. And you hit the nail on the head: kids really think they suffer through these major traumas alone and having books likes these can make a world of difference.

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    1. It was incredibly cathartic to me. I didn't even realize how much pent up emotion I was carrying around with me all these years until I read that book. It really changed everything.

      Kids do feel all alone. Even friends don't always like to talk about the tough stuff sometimes. If you can relate to or escape in a book then it's a lifeline that can make all the difference.

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  6. Wow, thanks for sharing your story and the connection you felt to Willow, Karen. I agree, most books really do touch us in some way. Great discussion!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I think so too. Even the bad ones - they still illicit a response and make you feel.

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  7. Great picks...so many people cite either Twilight or HP as initiating or bringing back a love of reading. And thanks for sharing your personal story...it is so important that many of these contemp YA books are out there!

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    1. Twilight introduced me to YA and series and new worlds. I had only read non fiction - I loved the idea of escaping to this faraway place for four days straight. (I read all the books at once.) and I haven't stopped since.

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  8. Interesting and thought provoking. Like the Harry Potter books before them I think the Twilight series had an impact on a lot of people. Though not life changing Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet In Heaven was probably the last book to have such an impact on me. Thanks for sharing your choices.

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  9. I am so sorry. Friends of mine have lost their moms in adulthood and it is such a hard thing even then. I can't imagine going through that as a teenager. You are such a strong person even though it might not always feel that way :)
    And books do matter. They inspire and help people through difficult times.

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  10. ♥♥♥

    I think Twilight deserves a lot more credit than we give it. It introduced me to YA beyond Harry Potter, introduced me to new friends, and most of all, I enjoyed it.

    But... thank you so much for sharing your story about your family and Willow. I'm certain I've had this book recommended to me before, but I'll seriously look into it now :)

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