Books have the remarkable ability to inspire, challenge, and transport us to worlds far beyond our own. They can evoke emotions, provide solace, and teach us valuable life lessons. In our quest to explore the profound impact of literature on our lives, we polled the LitJoy staff to discover the books we're thankful for. Each recommendation unveils a unique narrative that speaks to the power of literature to touch our hearts and minds. From timeless classics to contemporary gems, here are the books that have left an indelible mark on our staff members and shaped their perspectives.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Recommended by Abi, Warehouse
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is one of the books we're thankful for because it is a beautiful book that changes the way you look at life. Albom's moving tale of the relationship between the author and his former college professor, Morrie, who is dying, delves deep into the meaning of life and the importance of human connection. It reminds us to cherish every moment, appreciate the wisdom of our elders, and to embrace the precious gift of life itself.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Recommended by Ali, VP of Operations
The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a timeless classic that seamlessly blends romance, humor, and adventure. This enchanting story takes us on a journey filled with love, laughter, and thrilling escapades, reminding us of the magic that can be found within the pages of a book.
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
Recommended by Erin, Copy
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd is a researched memoir that explores Kidd's journey to becoming an independent, spiritually-connected individual. It delves into the complex relationship between femininity, religion, and spirituality, and how women were written out of that history. Kidd ultimately discovers and celebrates a deep connection with the divine feminine, showing us readers exactly who tells the story and what rich information we can gather when we look for the stories that have been left behind.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Recommended by Robin, Business Development
Robin's pick, Where the Red Fern Grows, is a touching story of love, loyalty, and grief. Robin says:
"I’m thankful for Where the Red Fern Grows because my teacher read it aloud to us in fifth grade and it taught me about love, loyalty, and the processing of grief. While reading it in class, the girls AND boys cried. When I think back, I’m always reminded that we all feel, even though sometimes society doesn’t want us to show it because it’s viewed as a weakness. My teacher taught us that it’s a strength. When she passed away when all of us students were in high school, we all cried together and it was a memory I’ll always cherish."
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Recommended by Alix, LitJoy Co-Founder
The Giver encourages readers to question authority, value individuality, and contemplate the importance of memories and emotions in a seemingly utopian, but deeply controlled, society. Alix says it best this way:
"This was the book that hooked me onto reading as a child. I remember getting lost in the pages and being completely transported into a dystopian world. It was the first time I really thought about the power of curiosity and choice. I love how The Giver celebrates asking difficult and dangerous questions. That’s exactly the kind of bravery we need in the world."
i want to die but i want to eat tteokbokki by Baek Sehee
Recommended by Amikka, Operations
"This is a memoir that documents the author's therapy sessions as she struggles with anxiety and self-doubt, despite being a successful social media director at a publishing house. As someone who struggles with anxiety and is working through self-esteem issues, this book was extremely healing. Sehee put all her raw emotions out in this book, and verbalizes thoughts I relate to that I've been scared to admit myself. I learned a lot about self-love and it changed how I view my relationships with others for the better. Not to mention tteokbokki is one of my favorite snacks."
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Recommended by Eliza, Finance
The Goose Girl takes readers on a magical and enchanting journey, sparking a love for reading and storytelling from a young age. Eliza is thankful for this story because:
"I have a vivid memory of sneaking a flashlight under my pillow so that I could stay up late to read it as a little girl. I still love being swept away in the magic of a new book, and am grateful for that foundational first experience!"
A Treasury of Fairy Tales illustrated by Annie-Claude Martin
Recommended by Joseph, Marketing
Joseph's love for fantasy and whimsical tales is rooted in A Treasury of Fairy Tales illustrated by Annie-Claude Martin, gifted to him and his sisters. The fairy tales themselves are well-known, but Annie-Claude Martin's enchanting illustrations captured his imagination as a child, sparking his lifelong appreciation for the fantastical and the magical especially in the realm of art and illustrations.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Recommended by Olivia, Social
Olivia's perspective on life was forever altered by Coelho’s The Alchemist . Reading this book in high school, she experienced the transformative power of literature for the first time. It taught her valuable life lessons and encouraged her to become a better human being, proving the profound impact a book can have on a reader's life.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Recommended by Haley, Social
Haley is grateful for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, a book that teaches us about our place in the universe and the importance of self-reliance. It's a tale that reminds us that, even in a vast world, we can always count on ourselves.
The Giver, Shakespeare, Poe, The Hunger Games, and Jason Pargin's Works
Recommended by Lacey, IT
Lacey expresses gratitude for several books and authors that have enriched her literary journey. The Giver introduced her to the world of dystopian fiction, Shakespeare and Poe reveal the beauty of words, and The Hunger Games series rekindled her passion for reading after a hiatus. She also appreciates Jason Pargin's (a.k.a. David Wong's) works for the wisdom hidden behind their absurdity.
Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Recommended by Courtney, Product Development
The Mercy Thompson series is an urban fantasy series that follows the adventures of Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson, a mechanic who also happens to be a shape-shifter. It is known for its strong female protagonist, action-packed plots, and the intricate interplay between different supernatural factions in a modern urban setting. Courtney recalls these stories with gratitude in this way:
"I'm thankful for the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. I've always loved books, but this is the series I can read a million times and have the same feelings and emotions every time. It gets me through every book slump, and it helped me through my postpartum season. I always re-read the whole series when a new book is released. Mercy is a character very dear to my heart and made me love being a female mechanic!"
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Recommended by Ruthie, Copy
Ruthie is grateful for A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett because it is a classic novel that encourages young girls to embrace who they are and to know their worth. The book teaches that, regardless of one's background or life circumstances, individuals have the power to decide how they carry themselves, how they treat others, and how to value themselves for who they are. It's a sweet and inspiring book that leaves a lasting impression and it's one that LitJoy has created into a gorgeously whimsical special edition!
The books we are thankful for offer a diverse and inspiring collection of narratives that have shaped the lives and perspectives of the LitJoy staff. From timeless classics to contemporary gems, these stories have left an indelible mark, teaching us about love, courage, self-discovery, and the transformative power of literature. They remind us of the profound impact a book can have on our lives, inspiring us to read more and be better human beings. So, as we reflect on the books that have touched our hearts, let's also celebrate the beauty and magic of the written word. After all, as these recommendations show, books have the power to change our lives and make us better people.
What books are on your gratitude list? Tell us in the comments below!