I love reading to Lucas. Seeing him light up when he brings me a book is joy beyond words. We have his bookcase filled to the brim and overflowing onto the floor. He just can't get enough. He's starting to say some of the words in the books he knows well; trying to read them to me and flipping the pages himself. I know it's not so out of the ordinary. All kids love books. But I like to think there's a particular passion for words and stories in Lucas' heart. Which is to say, I like to think I can see a part of myself in him.
Often I wonder about what Lucas will be like as he gets older. I wonder if he will want to write stories and what those stories will be about. I wonder what kind of books he will like, and if he will always be passionate about books the way he is now. I wonder how the stories I tell him, the stories he tells himself, will shape him as he grows.
Oh, his world is so full of possibilities.
My parents don't read much. We never had a bookshelf that I remember, save for the daycare. A cookbook here a survival for the apocalypse handbook there. No novels, no stories. It always seems so strange to me, looking back, that I grew up in a house without books. I sprouted up out of nowhere, stealing books from the school library and locking myself in my room to write my pretentious novel (tragic teenage Taekwondo love story, let's pretend that didn't happen).
But seeds are planted where we don't always see them. My mother read to me when I was little. She never said no to stories, even at bedtime, even when it was getting late. My father made up adventurous stories, and I started thinking of how stories might go if I told them. My Nana gave me pencils and paper to write down things that happened, helped me to make a hole-punched, pipe-cleaner-bound book of my experiences at the ranch. Then there were friends who introduced me to books in middle school; fantasy books and romantic books and adventurous books. There were good teachers and professors and authors I admired. It's not that strange after all, who I turned out to be.
Now, I have to read. I read for Lucas. I read for myself. I start to get listless and somewhat depressed when I don't read for a week or so. I don't write as well. I can feel the void where the words should be. Reading helps keep me sane and balanced and sharp. A few books in particular have really made an impact on me this year, and even though it may mess up the tone of this post, I'm going to list them.
Because I love lists.
And you need to read these books.
(In order of when I read them)
1. The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
2. Dogboy by Eva Hornung
3. You Came Back by Christopher Coake
4. Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
5. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
*This is my second installment of Blogging the ABC's which I stole from blogger friend Stephanie Abeyta. B is also for Blackberry Lime Sorbet which is what's going down at my other blog Sweet Life.