To me, books are like Jack’s magic beans. Think about poor old Jack, wandering to town with the family cow, hoping to trade Bossy in for a few days worth of chow. Instead he winds up with a handful of beans his mom flings out the window after she hears of Jack’s impulse trade. The beans don’t look like much in hand but they end up changing Jack’s life because they really have magical properties. They can grow huge stalks overnight that take Jack to impossible places of terror and delight. Because of the beans, Jack becomes a thief, a provider, a rich man and (almost) the giant’s lunch. Because of the beans, Jack’s life changes forever.
Now some books are a lot like those beans. In hard form, they are just words on a page, nothing to get excited or scared about and another person might not see much value in them. But I think they have magical properties. Like beans, they can take you to places and people you would never know otherwise. They can transport you through time, like a TARDIS, then return you home for tea. These stories don’t just give knowledge, they almost seem sentient. When I was a kid and moving every year, my books were the friends that came with me from state to state. They’ve moved from the shelves in my room to a place in my heart and many are still there today. And though other volumes have joined them, there’s always room for the new books and more. See what I mean? Books are magic.
And that’s what I want to talk about: the stories and characters that follow you home and become part of you. They can be fiction or non-fiction, classic, modern or indifferent, genre specific or fusion. As long as they’re good. Good enough to be thought about, good enough to be re-read, good enough to be shared. Let’s talk about some good books
I don’t pretend to be a critic or literary expert. I’ll share what I like and why, but I’d really like to hear which stories have meaning for you, which books followed you home from the library, the bookstore or school (a true sign of a book nut is the student who takes home the assigned text to study but conveniently “forgets” to return it at the end of the course. I still have a few to turn in!) and stayed, like the stray cat, for a lifetime. I’d really like to know which books get to you.
So pretend this is a great big lending library, pull up a comfortable chair and we’ll trade some magic beans. You can even hang on to your cow. And I hope you’ll like what you find.