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.
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?