Black, White and Read: Looking back on these three books for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to look back and be grateful, and these books have definitely made their impact.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Mostly because of the food and family time, but it’s still a great time to reflect on what we have and be grateful. As for books, there are some novels that will always be great reads, no matter what mood I’m in or what day of the week it is. While asking me to pick a favorite book is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child, here are four books I’ll always be thankful for.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Nothing inspires me like HP. Whenever I reread this book, all I want to do is create stuff — draw, write, whatever. J.K. Rowling will forever be my hero because of her incredible ability to create an all-encompassing and beautiful world while still somehow keeping it completely believable (where’s my letter to Hogwarts?). While the Harry Potter series was remarkable in its entirety, my favorite has always been “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” It was the perfect end to a impeccable series that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. The book has unparalleled characterization and plotline, and is flawlessly interconnected with the rest of the series. After you read the series, you’ll just want (Potter)more.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I love “The Book Thief.” I will probably never get over how wonderful this book is. I mean, come on. Death is the narrator, creating a distinctive perspective right from the beginning. I swear, this novel will make you fall in love a little bit with every single character. From the angry German foster mother to the sweet Jewish man who just needs a safe place to hide, the characters are multifaceted in a way that brings the story to life. While all writing is a form of art, Zusak is truly an artist. The writing in this book is truly beautiful and the descriptions of the sky, something Death takes a particular interest in, are filled with unique descriptive imagery, like describing the sun as a melting pat of butter in the sky. At the end of the novel, protagonist Liesel Meminger writes, “I have hated the words and I have loved them and I hope I have made them right.” In this case, the words certainly were right, creating a novel that deserves to be read for generations.

Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

“Silver Linings Playbook” is definitely one of my favorite novels of all time. Matthew Quick has a unique voice in all of his novels, but with Pat, the narrator, Quick’s sharp and realistic writing style is intensified. The characters are true to life and raw while still being punchy and incredibly funny. In the novel, Pat is coming from his stint at a mental hospital after his wife leaves him because of reasons Pat refuses to accept. Although Pat has bipolar disorder, it is shown without exploitation, as Pat must learn how to live his life while also living with mental illness. The book is heartfelt and shows the hardest parts of Pat’s life — but also the friendships he makes and the people that help him reach his potential. This book is heart wrenching but also sweet and funny, making it a great book for any occasion.

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