This week on The Books that Built the Blogger, I am delighted to welcome Naomi from Consumed by Ink. Naomi is one of my favourite bloggers. I often feel like we are long distance blogging twins as we started our blogs within a few months of each other and she is one of the first bloggers I ever followed. Add to that a passion for Canadian literature which matches my passion for Irish literature and a lovely review writing style and you have a winning blog! Here are her (great) choices!
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
First… always first… Anne of Green Gables. And, even though Anne of Green Gables is not necessarily my favourite of Montgomery’s books, it is the one I started with and it led me to all the others. Her books also became my first book collection – I was determined to own them all. We spent many summers camping in Prince Edward Island when I was young, and every time we went, my mother would let me choose a new LMM to buy. I loved that I could read about characters that lived and breathed in the same places I visited (and even stood), and were written about by a woman who had once lived there. I think these books also taught me to appreciate descriptive writing at a young age. I still read them and love them, and I could probably say my whole reading life and blogging aspirations are thanks to LMM alone; rich characters, vibrant settings, and proudly Atlantic Canadian.
But since I’m allowed 4 more books, I won’t stop there.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
This lovely story taught me several things: the importance of ‘stopping to smell the flowers’, that it’s okay to be different, and that mother’s are there to love and support you in your differences. I suspect I would have come by all these ‘lessons’ in other ways, but mental images of this book have stuck in my mind all these years and so I thought it deserved some mention. My version of ‘stopping to smell the flowers’ has always been to walk or to read. When I was young, I loved to sit and read under a tree in the backyard, like Ferdinand. I don’t often sit under a tree when I read anymore, but the peaceful feeling I got from it has stayed with me.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This book was my introduction into the world of survival stories and living in isolation. I thought it was completely fascinating, and read it many times. I still love books about people living alone, living off the land, stories of shipwrecks or living at sea. I also loved that the protagonist of the book was a girl – it showed me that girls are just as capable as boys. This is something I never questioned in my life, and maybe it’s partly because of this book, and others like it. (Although, my parents could probably take some credit here… They provided me with all these great books, after all.)
The Eight by Katherine Neville
The Eight might seem like an odd choice for me, but I remember reading this book like it was yesterday. I read it for the first time in Grade 10, and completely gobbled it up. And it was one of the first books I read that my Dad and I could talk about. But the reason it’s on this list is because it’s the first time I remember being really excited about writing a book report. I was so proud of my report, and received a good mark from a reputably strict marker. For the rest of my time in high school I tried to outdo myself with each book report I wrote. I even wrote one for my sister once (who was a year ahead of me) to boost her English mark. So… the beginning of something I wouldn’t take up again for another 22 years.
The Nymph and the Lamp by Thomas Raddall
This book reminded me of how much I love reading about places I know and love. It led me to seek out other books set in the Atlantic Provinces, such as The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong, The Birth House by Ami McKay, and George and Rue by George Elliott Clarke. These are the books that are directly related to me starting my blog, so I could share my enthusiasm for them with whoever would listen. I also wanted to read more CanLit in general – I knew how many good books there were out there about the places in my own country that I had never been to, and voices of the people who share this country with me, but whose lives and experiences are different from my own. Starting my blog was like a challenge to myself to read more of these books, but it has ended up being so much more. The warmth of the book blogging community completely took me by surprise, and not only am I getting to know more about Canada, but I have also met so many wonderful bloggers from all over the world who share my passion for reading, as well as, I believe, Ferdinand’s desire for peace.
Thanks Cathy, for inviting me to talk about books (and myself) on your blog!
I love how Naomi can pin point when her love of book reviewing started! What great choices – I am determined now to read Anne of Green Gables to the twins, I think they and I will love it.
As it is Reading Ireland Month, I have one again asked for a favourite book by an Irish author and Naomi has gone for Malarky by Anakana Schofield.
It’s a great choice, not least because Anakana calls herself an Irish-Canadian so Naomi and I have decided to share her. I’ll be reviewing her latest novel Martin John, later in the month.
What do you think of Naomi’s choices?