Thursday, September 8, 2011

{Inspiration Workshop: Inspiring Books}

photo by alifethroughthelens on Etsy

Despite the fact that my thesis has temporarily maimed my love of literary theory, it has not hemmed in my love of a good novel. For some reason (for several reasons), I gravitate towards stories about development. And I definitely picked the right novels for my thesis, because even though I've read each of them cover to cover, over and over, and then scoured them for this-and-that perfect quote to illustrate whatever scholarly point I'm trying to make . . . despite all that, I still rank them in my top ten books of any kind, of all time, ever.

Since this weeks prompt from Gussy Sews Inspirational Workshop is 'Inspiring Books', I thought I'd gather together a handful of my faves. All Canadian coming of age novels. All stories that feature inspiring, bold, and humorous young women. Hooray!

The Sudden Weight of Snow, by Laisha Rosnau

The first book I chose for my thesis. It's the reason I'm even doing a thesis, really. This book features a young woman who grew up in a small primary resource town where being "one of the guys" is both economically and socially advantageous, options for women are limited, and femininity is narrowly (and most often negatively) defined. Harper, the story's main character call attention to the ways that ideals of community can be used to maintain the status quo and she challenges the boundaries of 'home'.

A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews

There are so many reasons why I love this book, but a really crucial one is that it still makes me laugh out loud and cry noisily after having read it at least 5 times. Yes, it is profound and it is complicated (as the title suggests), but it is also a good story that you can get carried away in. Oh, and it has familiar Mennonite words and expressions that I love and never hear in popular culture.

Also high on the list of faves are:

Alligator, by Lisa Moore

Monkey Beach, by Eden Robinson

Stunt, by Claudia Dey

How about you? Books that inspire? Any old standbys on your shelf? Anything you've been meaning to read and haven't gotten around to yet?
I could probably think of a hundred more, but I'm going to go enjoy some of the great fall weather we've been having!

Happy Reading!

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