What Book Are You Thankful For?

Hello my little Tumblerians, and happy Thanksgiving.

I secretly hope no one reads this post today! I say that with love and a little dash of humor, of course. My point is that today is a day for laughing with friends, sharing stories with family and hugging turkeys. Hugging turkeys? Where did that come from? At the very least, it is a day to look back on the past nine months and review all of the challenges you’ve faced, and not just a day to surf the internet and stare at strange, bug-eyed meme’s of morons being, well, morons.

No year goes without its mistakes, bumps or bruises, but every year does end with a chance to reflect on what you do still currently have in your life. I can promise you that there is always something or someone for which you can be thankful. Focus on that one thing or person, and take it with you into the following year.

I was inspired by an article this morning posted by parade.com. It asks, “Which Book Are You Most Thankful For?” Here is the article. It’s fantastic! A few young adult authors cited books such as Little WomenHarry PotterDreams of Victory by Ellen Conford. I would like to weigh in on the book that I am thankful for and would love to hear about yours.

I invite you to share the article and tell folks which book you’re most thankful for. Which book stuck with you and made an indent on your soul? Books can do this sort of thing…leave marks. We readers need to be more thankful for what an author goes through in order to tell a story. Often times it is an incredible amount of pain, anguish and self-deprecating journaling! To release an end result – a story – that enriches our lives and energizes us to the point of affecting us to alter the course of who we are and who we intend to be…that is a remarkable thing, and I am sure we have all experienced such a book.

Here is a book that changed my life and pushed me in the direction of becoming an author.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

It seems too “easy” of a choice, really. I bet you were hoping for some relatively obscure book title, but nope; Tom Sawyer it is. Why? For one thing, I remember being around ten or eleven years-old and my dad forcefully telling me that I needed to stop reading books about sports. He kind of made me read it…but I’m glad he did.

I’m sure my father was a bit cautious as to how to approach the conversation; “how do I tell my kid to stop reading?” I was devouring biographies and autobiographies on athletes like Mickey Mantle and Michael Jordan, and my obsession with sports was getting a tad overwhelming. I knew my dad was happy that I was reading anything at all, but while my father is and has always been a jock, he is equal parts artist and dreamer. He has always understood the importance of a good story. Maybe he could never truly articulate why “story” is so important in our everyday lives, but he knew that his son needed to branch out. He would watch me play with my He-Man guys and G.I. Joe’s on a daily basis; setting up massive still-frames of tremendous battles with action figures suspended in mid-fight. He knew there was a storyteller inside of me, at least in some way, and he knew which book to give me that could unleash him.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was at first an annoyance. “Who is this kid and why should I care?” I didn’t know who Mark Twain was, nor did I give a hoot. But as Tom “adventured” – ultimately finding a new adventure around every corner – it hit me that I was exactly like this Tom kid. Tom was an athletic boy who had a wild imagination. It wasn’t until I read Tom Sawer that I realized I didn’t need to compartmentalize who I was. I wasn’t just a kid who liked sports, and I wasn’t just a kid who loved playing with action figures. I could be both.

Don’t get me wrong, these attributes did not make me “special” or unique; a lot of kids have imaginations that keep them physically active, but since I have always been a slightly obsessive person, reading about Tom allowed me to be OK with blending the two “people” inside of me. I didn’t know I was able to do that. I was trying to figure out who this little Max kid was supposed to be – even if the “figuring” was on a subconscious level – and really, I was just doing and being what my parents thought I should do and be. Tom opened me up to not only new imaginative adventures and the rewards that come from taking challenges and risks, but he helped define who I was; a boy who lived in his head, but wanted desperately to see those imaginings come to life. Tom propelled me past the point of a simple “dreamer” and toward someone who pursues those dreams in real life.

I could not be more thankful for the wild, straw-hat-wearing little Tom who found adventure with every step.

Now share which book you’re most thankful for, and please enjoy your holiday season with as much gratitude as possible. There is a reason we are still here…so let’s find it and make the most of it.

Here is the www.parade.com article link:


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