Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Introduce Yourself in 5 Books

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Yesterday I was reading all about the books that represent my fellow book bloggers for Book Blogger Appreciation Week and thought it was a fun way to get to know them better. So, I decided to write up my own, but it took me a while to get it done, what with Dentist appointments, pointe shoe fittings, and band practice. Just pretend it’s still Monday.

Here are some books that represent me, my life, and my interests:


Anne of Green Gables and all the other books written by L.M. Montgomery. I grew up living and breathing Anne and Emily, and all the other heroines that live inside Montgomery’s books. I imagined myself living in their cozy cottages, wandering around in their fields of wildflowers, and falling in love after years of romantic separation due to a lovers’s quarrel or misunderstanding. These books represent my childhood.


Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. When I started reading CanLit in earnest, about 20 years ago, I started with the obvious; Margaret Atwood. I have loved many of her books, but this one and The Handmaid’s Tale stand out in my mind as favourites. I chose Alias Grace because it is a fictional novel based on true events, a type of book I discovered early on that I love to read. Margaret Atwood’s books represent my introduction into the world of CanLit.


The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. I love learning about the history of Canada; how we all got here and where we all came from. This book tells the story of a strong female character who comes to Nova Scotia after many years of slavery, hardship, poverty, and oppression. She came here hoping to start a new life, but was disappointed to find that things were not much better (and a lot colder).  The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong tells the story of a strong female protagonist, who finds herself in the wilds of New Brunswick. I also love The Orenda by Joseph Boyden for bravely recounting another important piece of our history. All of these books represent my thirst for knowledge about the heritage of our country.


The Nymph and the Lamp by Thomas Raddall. This book introduced me to the idea that there is some great literature to be found very close to home. And, I love the Sable Island setting; I used to imagine myself going there to study the horses, or the seabirds, or the plants, or even the sand dunes – anything really, anything to get me there. It also has that element of isolation that I love so much. The Birth House by Ami McKay is another book I love that was written close to home. It tells the story of a midwife at the turn of the century in isolated Scots Bay, NS who is resisting the new birthing clinic, while at the same time fighting for the freedom to make her own choices as a woman in a small community. These books represent my love of home, fascination with isolation, and interest in stories about women.

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The Sea Captain’s Wife by Beth Powning. I love stories that are inspired by the sea, and this is one of my favourites. It is set on the Bay of Fundy in the 19th century, and is about a woman who goes to sea with her husband, for better or for worse. I grew up near the Bay of Fundy, and still spend time there with my family, playing at the beaches or wandering around in the muck at low tide. Other favourite books that take place in, on, or around the sea include Sweetland and Galore by Michael Crummey, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and February by Lisa Moore. These books represent my fascination with the sea and the people who live by it.

What are some books that represent you?

45 thoughts on “Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Introduce Yourself in 5 Books

    • Naomi says:

      You should! It was a fun exercise, although I ended up feeling distracted half the day ruminating on what books I might pick (nothing new there, I guess). 🙂

  1. Valorie Grace Hallinan says:

    Re: isolation, living near the sea & family – have you read San Miguel by TC Boyle? I don’t know if you’d like it or not. I liked it, definitely has stayed with me.

    Five books: A Wrinkle in Time, Winter’s Tale (Mark Helprin), I Know This Much Is True, Jane Eyre, Goodnight Moon/Runaway Bunny – tied, I read the first to my firstborn a million times, the second to my second born a million times.

    • Naomi says:

      I haven’t read San Miguel, but I’ve added it to the to-read list. It does sound like something I’d like. Thanks for the suggestion!
      Nice list, Valorie! I like that you included books that you read over and over with your children. Goodnight Moon was a favourite with mine, as well. And, Jane Eyre would have made it onto my list is I had let it go longer. I might have added a classic section that could easily have included Jane Eyre and Little Women.

  2. Karen says:

    I loved reading about your favourite books and what they represented to you! The Birth House has been on my to-read list for so long, and the fact that it represents your “love of home, fascination with isolation, and interest in stories about women” makes me think that it would be a perfect read for me as I’m interested in all of those things as well!

  3. Shaina says:

    I like that you picked five broader themes and named several books that fit into them. 🙂 I too love learning about how we got here and where we’re going. Thanks for sharing, Naomi!

  4. Don Royster says:

    The books I would pick in no particular order are: the Bible, the Tao te ching and The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham for spirtuality. The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus and The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway for perseverance. The Old Capital for esthetics. The Grapes of Wrath for heritage. The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene and the Stories of William Trevor and Alice Munro for my goal as a writer. Finally the scribblings of Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, P. G. Wodehouse, Christopher Buckley, P. J. O’Rourke and Christopher for something to read on a desert island.

    • Naomi says:

      Good picks! And, they seem so well thought out for an on-the-spot question! I do see a pattern here in the books that you feel represent you and some of the books that you have recommended to me in the past. I’ve got to get to Maugham, Greene, and Trevor. I also loved The Old Man and the Sea (the sea!) and The Grapes of Wrath.
      Books to take with you to a deserted isalnd… that could be a whole other post… 🙂

  5. Deepika Ramesh says:

    This is a beautiful post, Naomi. So well thought out. I haven’t read many of these books, but I am surely going to target Atwood this year. Thank you for sharing this lovely blog. 🙂

  6. JacquiWine says:

    I enjoyed your post, Naomi. I had a feeling Anne of Green Gables would be on your list! Margaret Atwood, too – I haven’t read her since my old book group picked Alias Grace for discussion six or seven years ago. I think I’ve got a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale somewhere, so I ought to dig it out. 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      You already know me well enough to be able to predict part of my list! Creating the list just made me want to go back and read all these books again. I’m not a re-reader, but these are all ones that I have either already re-read (in the case of Montgomery’s books), or I would love to re-read. Maybe a new project (as if I need one)…

  7. TJ @ MyBookStrings says:

    Beautiful post, Naomi! I had a feeling that Anne of Green Gables would be on your list. And like I said, you are bad for my TBR list, because now I got to add a whole bunch of new books. I borrowed Galore and Sweetland from the library in December, but then my reading slump started and I returned them unread. But they will definitely both get a second chance.

    • Naomi says:

      Ugh. I hate having to return books that I really want to read – it happens a lot these days. I’m always afraid I will forget about them. Even though I tell myself that that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. 😉

  8. priscilla says:

    The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor looks terrific. I love all the Atwood action, of course…but I have to ask: Canada, and no Alice Munro? She’s my favorite author. 🙂

    • Naomi says:

      There are a lot of Canadian writers that I love that didn’t get put on this list. I would love to have included them all! I think one reason Alice Munro didn’t come strongly to mind for this is because she mostly writes short stories, and I mostly read long ones. I do love her stories, though.
      Margaret Atwood features prominently, not because she’s my favourite author (although she is one of them), but because her books helped introduce me to CanLit when I started reading them about 20 years ago. If I had started with Alice Munro, I suppose she would have been on here instead. 🙂

      • priscilla says:

        I think that Atwood and Munro share some of the same sensibilities, especially in the way they write about the landscape and the people. Atwood is also one of my favorites, so it’s definitely not an either/or!

    • Naomi says:

      I had fun making this list! And I was happy with the fact that after a lot of thinking about it, I was able to represent myself with some of my favourite Atlantic Canadian books, which is fitting I think. 🙂

      • bookskeptic says:

        It definitely is. I also have a lovely edition that beloned to my mum, hardback in canvass covers on a beautiful thin, but shiny paper. I think partially this edition made me fall in love with books, it makes them precious.

      • Naomi says:

        I have my original copy of Anne that I got when I was 8. I got it out for a re-read last January, and my dog ripped it to shreds. Good thing it wasn’t a special edition. Just special to me. 🙂

  9. Alex says:

    The Emily books are not so easy to get hold of in the UK but I have very much enjoyed reading Montgomery’s letters and journals. So much of her own life found its way into the Green Gables novels.

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