“book love: a project born of my love of the written word. I grew up hearing “books are your friends!” and it’s remained true all my life. I want to take photos of people with books they love – it’s a little facet to their personality that remains hidden to a casual observer. This project is ongoing & if you’d like to be a part of it, please drop me a line : arinnw at gmail dot com.”
This week we have Shannon, and, guess what?!?! Today is her birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHANNON! She’s also Gabriel’s (the dude from last week) girlfriend! Isn’t that ca-yuuuuuuuute?
“I originally bought this book for my brother as a throwaway gift – I planned to tuck tickets to a show inside the cover, so I didn’t put much thought into the book itself. I had no idea at the time that it was called book of the year by Time magazine in 2012 or that it would ultimately have a significant impact on my life. Of course, my brother loved it and insisted that I read it immediately. It re-awakened my love of YA literature (a genre I didn’t actually read as a young adult, but became interested in while pursuing my BA in English). This book is a reminder of how grown up young people can be, and captures both the optimism and the angst that teens feel when confronting heartbreaking mortality for the first time. The book was in the back of my mind constantly while I completed by B.Ed in preparation to be a high school English teacher. My brother gave it back to me when he moved halfway across the country for work, so having it on my bookshelf and being able to sift through its pages whenever I want is wonderful. While I love all of John Green’s work, The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite.
“I’m not shy about the fact that I love picture books. I always have. I chose this one because I admire Jon Klassen’s ability to tell two stories – one using words, and another using illustrations. When you read the stories together you get to new levels of meaning that get funnier and funnier. It’s perfect for young kids who are just learning about telling lies, but doesn’t fail to demonstrate the consequences of lying (to other people and to yourself) in a very humorous way. I love this book because it gives kids credit for being smarter than many adults think they are.” *Note from Erika: I love this book so much! Used to read it for storytime all the time and kids love the shit out of it, too. One of my go-to picture book gifts for my friends who have small offspring.
The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Milton (*exact edition not available on Book Depository, so Erika chose something similar for your purchasing pleasure.)
“Yes, I do love this book. No, I mean it. Its formidable size and associated back pain from lugging it around does not make me love it any less. It’s smeared with coffee and leftover muffin bits, like any book that really belongs to me. I really got attached to this behemoth of a book during the last semester of my BA when I took an intensely intimidating John Milton course. By the end of that semester, with the help of a fantastic professor, I got over my fear and was absolutely in love with John Milton. I admire his dedication, his craftsmanship, the precision in his language, and the stunning structural architecture of his poetry.”
“I really enjoyed JD Salinger in my teenage years, and I thought it would be inauthentic of me not to include at least one of his books. I was captivated by the whole Glass family and Salinger’s ability to bring them to life as unique and flawed humans. Sadly, my original collection of Salinger is no longer with me but now I roam used book stores searching for copies to rebuild my collection. I love beat-up, torn, and thoroughly abused books. It shows on the outside how well-loved and admired they are. This copy has certainly been read countless times by many people before me.”
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
“I chose this book for purely sentimental reasons. It was the first book that I studied in a Canadian Literature class where I met my wonderful, handsome, intelligent, funny, and book-loving partner. It happens to be about the very real, un-pretty, human experience of first generation immigrants to Canada and the building of the city of Toronto. To me, it’s a reminder of how books can start conversation, bring people together, and form long-lasting bonds.