Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving

This week’s TTT has a Thanksgiving theme, and it’s a freebie so we can play around with it. I’m going full-throttle stream of thought here.

  1. I’m thankful for bookish friends who aid and abet my addiction, but more importantly, who make public their musings about the books they read. In a hurried, distracted age, I value beyond counting the company of people who can pause and reflect.
  2. I’m thankful for book publishers who are craftsman, not just McDonalds for airplane novels — who publish books with thicker, rough-cut pages, and use font printing that’s rich and makes the book a genuine art piece in its own right.
  3. I’m thankful for authors who inspire me; Isaac Asimov’s boundless curiosity and ability to write a book on anything (science, literature, religion, etymology, history, poetry — you name it) makes him a role model for a generalist like myself.
  4. Authors, continued: Wendell Berry’s deep love for the natural world and his appreciation for how we find part of our purpose in its stewardship
  5. Authors, continued: Bill Kauffman. Oh, where to begin with Kauffman? His celebration of obscure novels, obscurer words, and left-behind places; his cheerful “go to hell” attitude aimed at anyone who gets too big for their britches, his ardent love for little places and the crazy, all-too-human people within them….he’s an author I’d dearly love to hang around with in a bar listening to tell stories.
  6. Authors who take me back into time, full of horses and battle-cries and schemes and high towers to take. Bernard Cornwall is the king!
  7. Authors who provoke me thinking thinking about matters otherwise hidden to me, or help me articulate otherwise ineffable feelings; men like Jim Kunstler Neil Postman, and Anthony Esolen. I may not always agree with them (sometimes I read them just to listen, not knowing my own position enough to say aye or nay) — but they’re always interesting and appreciated.
  8. Authors whose wisdom I need, like Will Durant, C.S. Lewis, Wendell Berry (again – I love WB), who redouble my appreciation for history, literature, creation, etc.
  9. Authors who can cure what ails me, like P.G. Wodehouse. He’s never failed to lift my spirits.
  10. And finally, authors like Alain de Botton who make me realize I’m not the only one who feels the way I do sometimes. The following is from A Week at the Airport.

I explained — with the excessive exposition of a man spending a lonely week at the airport — that I was looking for the sort of books in which a genial voice expresses emotions that the reader has long felt but never before really understood; those that convey the secret, everyday things that society at large prefers to leave unsaid; those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange.

Manishankar wondered if I might like a magazine instead.”

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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12 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving

  1. lydiaschoch says:

    What a lovely list. 🙂

    My post.

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    happy thanksgiving!

    • Thank you much, Mr. M! Happy thanksgiving to you and the Mrs, as well. Hope your day is full of spinning wheels and fat turkeys, or whatever you prefer. (For me, it’s all about the ham. Ham ham ham.)

  3. Susan says:

    Love this! I’ve never really thought about it before, but I definitely appreciate different authors for different reasons. They do different things for me with their writing and their books. Thanks for the new perspective 🙂

    Happy TTT!


  4. Greg says:

    Nice list. I like #1 especially! Thank goodness for people sharing their thoughts on books! And yes it’s so nice when a book can be a work of art in itself!

    I need to read CS Lewis (I’ve read Narnia but that’s it).

    • Lewis has a lot of interesting nonfiction, including some medieval literary criticism, but he’s mostly known for his religious-philosophical writings. “The Screwtape Letters” is a particular favorite of mine!

  5. Sharon Wilfong says:

    Just reading this put me into a happy mood. I need to make my own list now. I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and that you are fully recovered from hurricanes, Co-Vid, and any thing else attacking the fair people of Alabama.

  6. tabularasablog says:

    Totally agree with you on Asimov; one of my random finds in the library was a little treasure by him called Words from the Myths – pretty self explanatory title, but such a lovely book!

    • A little treasure is right! I’ve looked for used copies of that from time to time and they’ve all been too dear — that’s the case with MOST of his nonfiction that’s not science volumes. (The history books are especially pricey..O_O_0

  7. Marian says:

    Something I appreciate about your blog (and is reflected in this list) is how your approach to reading is very human-centered, for lack of a better term. Books are not “just books” but voices that connect us to people through time and space. 🙂 Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Thanks so much for that comment, Marian! 🙂 I’ve found that reading a lot of the same author adds to that sense of intimacy, because it gives the reader the notion that they “know” this person…we start anticipating them the same way we would someone we know in real life. But it’s true more generally, too — Carl Sagan and Robert Ingersoll both noted the ability of books to sweep us into the minds of someone who’s been dead for ages, to take part in a conversation that’s centuries-long. They’re a wonderful invention. 😀 I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that the coming year brings you ever more to be thankful for.

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