Registration is now closed for this session of the Blogger Book Swap and I am so thrilled to have 38 participants and 6 total co-hosts. It's going to be a great swap! It was so exciting to read through the responses and see what inspires you to not just read, but why you love books. I especially enjoyed reading what you wrote about yourselves. You are all rockstars! I wish y'all could see my face right now, because I'm just giddy.
I'm not just giddy because you all sound fantastic, but also because everyone is in this swap for the right reasons. The biggest complaint of those who have participated in blogger-style swaps is that their partner "forgot" to send their end of the swap. There's nothing like an uncooperative blogger to turn a fun event onto a sour note. This Wednesday when pairings are announced, you can also find a convenient etiquette blog post/video on the do's and don'ts of swapping.
One facet of this swap is our use of writing prompts, ice breakers, and book-themed link-up opportunities. Today is the start of our first book-themed link-up, hosted by Maria over at I Believe in Story. It's a great theme where we all get to discuss our top three favorite books. I definitely struggled with this one a little bit. I definitely have my "top favorite" which conveniently is my eBook giveaway prize, but two more...the pressure!
Although the graphic is a little misleading with my favorite book being to the far right, we'll start with that one anyways. My favorite is The Great Gatsby and by "favorite," I find it to be one of the most moving books that I have ever read. I think it covers how life sometimes goes. You have the character of Gatsby who to me represents the common man, striving to accomplish his dreams. He falls in love with a woman who is basically out of his league and despite the fact that she loves him, she marries someone else because of societal norms. That's not shocking because sometimes life bites you in the ass like that. But nevertheless we're humans, so we strive to figure out ways around that and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I always felt that book covered the human spirit with its good intentions and flaws all wrapped into one.
The next one over is The Joy Luck Club which was a book that I read my sophomore year of high school in Ms. Jacoby's class. We had to pick a book from a list to dissect and mark-up for this high school, sophomore English lit course. Did anyone else hate writing in books? It greatly disturbed me going into my freshman year that teachers actually wanted us to write and "ruin" books. I quickly had to get over that, of course. I just recently came across old copies of books from high school that are still riddled with post-it notes and seven million different shades of pen inks to represent foreshadowing, symbolism, etc. However, I had watched the movie version of The Joy Luck Club and did not realize it was actually based on a book. I immediately chose it off of the list and it was probably one of my favorite books to analyze. That English class introduced me to The Great Gatsby and The Joy Luck Club. Ms. Jacoby was one of the most influential teachers in my life and I would love to send her an e-mail or shout-out if I ever ran into her again. The Joy Luck Club discussed the relationships between mothers and daughters as one generation grew up in China and their daughters grew in the U.S. It dove into their childhoods and how radically different they were from one another and there were so many moments that it was difficult for them to connect because they had grown up so differently from one another. The entire book was the relationship between me and my mom. I was born in the Philippines but she was actually raised there with her siblings. I was her very Americanized child and she was forced to grow up and handle life at a very young age. I lived in a very comfortable lifestyle while her family were poor farmers. Everything about the book somehow matched up to issues in my life. It was very moving and touching for me to go through that and experience it and especially as a teenager in high school. It gave me that opportunity to appreciate everything my mom had to go through in order to give me the life that I have now. Whether you come from an Asian family or not, it's definitely a great read for mothers and daughters or just women in a family together.
Finally, I adore the Harry Potter series. I know I've talked about how I was introduced to Harry Potter on my blog before, but it never hurts to reminisce over good memories. I picked up my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at a Scholastic Book Fair following parent-teacher conferences. For doing well academically, my parents (and sometimes grandma) would reward me with a few books at the kiosk area set up by the main lobby. Scholastic Book Fairs were my favorite! My friend Jake's aunt introduced him to the book and I couldn't wait to start reading. We were on a trip to San Diego since spring break started immediately after. I read that book all the way through within a couple of days and was begging my dad to let me buy the second one in a bookstore in Old Town. It started my love for the series and the sheer enjoyment of sitting down with my favorite characters and diving into their adventures. Ryan hasn't read the books, but he's seen all of the movies. I asked him if he would read the books and his response was, "maybe to our kids."
Well at least we know they'll be well-read ;)
What are your top three favorite reads?
Make sure to link-up with Maria!