Lucky to Have Them: 10 Books I’m Thankful For

TTTBannerThis Top Ten Tuesday topic is a Thanksgiving freebie — all about the things you’re thankful for. Obviously, I’m going to do books. Books have gotten me through more rough times in my life than anything else has. Being a book reviewer and learning to look at them in a different way just means I recognize how valuable they are to other people as well.

See my last year’s post here.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of

10 Books I’m Thankful For

the-long-way The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet helps to normalize non-heterosexual relationships. Whether it’s girl/girl or boy/AI, love is love is love. Becky Chambers didn’t just give us a story. She gave us a family.



I RobotI, Robot illustrates how much of an impact words have. Who can imagine AI without the three laws of robotics being installed in them now? Isaac Asimov’s no frills writing also reminds writers how much they don’t need word bloat.

My Review.


just-oneJust One Damned Thing After Another shows us that small ginger sacks who’ve been completely broken inside can be sassy, beautiful, loving people and lead normal lives. Well, normal for St. Mary’s anyways. And that it’s also okay to never really grow up. Jodi Taylor gives you fun and frisk, but equal parts heartache and pain.



House of RobotsHouse of Robots introduces kids to science fiction in a fun, easy to understand way. It even gives ground to talk about things like artificial intelligence with your kids. James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein also get props for the way they handle the sister’s illness.

My Review.


MagoniaMagonia because. Just because. Magonia sings a song that resonates with everyone who has a child with a terminal illness. Maria Devanah Headly does a fantastic job of giving words to a song no one even wants to acknowledge most of the time.

My Review.


for-the-rightFor the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story because it shows that with proper writing and thought, kids can be given versions of biographies they can read too – and in the process learn what being a hero can mean.

My Review.


Wild AnimalsAnimal Planet: Wild Animals is part of a series, targeted at beginning readers, that will help to cement a love of animals and nature early on. The kids who fall in love with these books will be the ones helping to save the planet down the road.

My Review.


fahrenheit-451Fahrenheit 451 gives us a glimpse into a possible future that seems ever more likely given America’s overgrown Oompa Loompa situation. But it also shows us that there is hope. And those of us who have read this book – truly read it – are never going to sit back and watch it get to this point.



The Johnson Project ReviewThe Johnson Project by Maggie Spence makes you think, and books that truly make you think aren’t common enough. It’s a love or hate book, but I loved it. Is being a parent really a right? Why should it be? It should be a privilege.

My Review.


WonderWonder finishes off my list, though it’s very much a case of ‘last but not least’. Wonder is a fantastic book for starting conversations over disability, physical appearance, and what it means to be normal. This is definitely a book all libraries should own, and all parents should have on hand to help their children understand that appearances don’t matter.

What about you? What books are you thankful for? Do you agree with any of my choices? Disagree?


Non-book oriented list:

1.) My daughter’s health. 2 months getting over a cold that she caught just after she got over pneumonia meant even though we never spoke about it, we were scared. Having her finally back to normal is immensely relieving.

2.) My cats. Even though they’re buttholes, they keep us laughing. Cursing them quite frequently, but mostly laughing.

3.) Twitter. I know, sounds weird, but there are so many people I love to talk with on Twitter. I’m not that person who goes out of my way to talk to people outside of the particular area I know them from, so I haven’t added them on Facebook or anything like that. But I’m still thankful for them.

4.) Coffee. Always coffee.

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15 Responses to Lucky to Have Them: 10 Books I’m Thankful For

  1. How did you ever manage to narrow it down to only 10 books?

  2. I could have put my cats on my bookish list, maybe. They certainly make nice lap cats when I’m reading. But one of them chews on books, and another will climb over the books for attention, so I decided not to.

  3. I’m also thankful for Fahrenheit 451! I read that for school and reading that with the class has taught me to look at things more critically, which is amazing. It was also my introduction to dystopian fiction.

    Also I’m so glad to hear that your daughter is healthy again! <3

  4. Donna says:

    So happy to hear Miss L is feeling better! Twitter people don’t usually know it but some days they’re the only interaction I get and I’m always thankful for that. A tweet is all it takes to make someone smile sometimes 🙂
    Fahrenheit 451. I so hope you’re right on this. Hope is the key word.

    • Thanks 🙂 Now if we can just go a few months without her getting sick again. I don’t doubt that you aren’t the only one who can sometimes only interact through Twitter. Its a safe, impersonal form of social communication that’s less likely to spike anxiety because there’s a sense of impermanence to it.

  5. Brian Bixby says:

    Top 10 sci-fi/fantasy/horror? Hmmm . . .
    1. Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy: space opera with a grand scheme of history.
    2. Iain M. Banks, Excession: ditto, and his Culture is a utopia worth wondering about.
    3. Daphne du Maurier, The House on the Strand: history intersects with sci-fi.
    4. Connie Willis, Doomsday Book: grim but uplifting tale of a dual crisis involving time travel; should be paired with . . .
    5. her “To Say Nothing of the Dog” for emotional relief, as this is a story of time travel gone hilariously wrong.
    6. Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Heritage of Hastur: MZB’s rep has suffered as details of her private life have become public, but this was my sci-fi introduction to sympathetic portrayals of non-heterosexual relationships.
    7. Stephen King, Salem’s Lot: bringing horror back home to New England where it belongs.
    8. Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House: Call it “The Turn of the Screw” meets “The Legend of Hell House,” and you’re on mark.

    And now I’m going to cheat, by citing two TV series.

    9. (The original) “Star Trek”: Some other kid asked me to play Mr. Spock on the jungle gym at school. Tells you what I was like in elementary school. Saw my first episode soon after, and got hooked. Neither I nor sci-fi was ever the same again.
    10. (The original) “Dark Shadows”: Picked this up while it was in the 1897 story line. Wrote my first believable if horribly derivative horror story thanks to this gothic horror series. Hard to recreate what this meant to youngsters like me then, unless you’re willing to commit to watching a 25-minute episode every day for at least a year.

    • I tried reading Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book, and just could not get into it. I’m going to try again some day. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Haunting of Hill House. I don’t think it was bad or anything like that, but it just didn’t quite enchant me the way I expected it to. I intend on reading Foundation by Asimov next year 🙂

      • Brian Bixby says:

        Maybe for Willis try “To Say Nothing of the Dog” instead. Turns out in her universe, frequent time travel makes you act punch drunk. You take it from there. 🙂

        Asimov eventually merged the Robot and Foundation storylines late in his life when his writing style was less spare. There is a “Zeroeth Law!”

        • Okay, I will definitely look up To Say Nothing of Dog. 🙂 I have a whole big list of sci-fi books to get through next year. The one I’m most excited about is (I think) called When Worlds Collide, and it’s from like 1932. Just gotta get my hands on it! The site is going to have a much stronger lean towards Sci-Fi in general next year I think.

          • Brian Bixby says:

            Whoa! That’s an oldie. The only thing I remembered about it was that they made a movie out of it, which I haven’t seen, either. Look forward to your review!

  6. Diana says:

    I am glad that your girl is feeling better now.

    I have heard so much about Wonder,I hope to read it someday.I didn’t know that there were other versions of Malala’s memoir apart from I am Malala.Thanks for mentioning that

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  • I love Audible. Tons of books, fantastic narrators, good prices.