“My Ideal Bookshelf”: What Does Yours Look Like?

BookshelfThis summer, our three generations did a lot of book talk–about favorite books, memories of reading, current reading obsessions.  So we were delighted to hear about  My Ideal Bookshelf edited by Thessaly La Force, illustrated by Jane Mount.  This is a book that tapped into our on-going conversations, and spurred us on.  Thessaly La Force asked a range of people to select book titles that would go on their “ideal bookshelf”–books that “made them who they are,” or “changed their life,”  then artist Jane Mount illustrated the bookshelf with the spines of the texts.  Finally, each contributor wrote up a short essay about their choices.  We couldn’t put it down! It’s fascinating to learn what books shaped writer Dave Eggers–or skateboarder Tony Hawk, not to mention rocker Patti Smith.  What book lover doesn’t want to be nudged to think about the books that have influenced her life?  But it’s deceptively hard to make choices.  Try it and you’ll see.

We interviewed our youngest literary experts, Molly and Jacob, and were fascinated by their thoughts about the books they’d put on their ideal shelf.  Since we were discussing our choices together, they often agreed with each other.  But like any siblings, they also had their own opinions. . .

Molly’s Best Book:  In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, “because it’s so funny.”  Jacob’s favorite was the one they’ve been reading and rereading all summer:  The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywait, illustrated by Oliver Jeffrey.

They agreed on The Book that Always Makes Them Cry;  Knufflebunny Free by Mo Willlems.  We’re both suckers for that one, too!

We got a kick out of the conversation around The Book That Made You Who You Are.  They both agreed it was the adult graphic memoir/cookbook Relish:  My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley!  They’ve  been dipping into sections of Ruth’s copy this summer.  Molly told us why: “It made me realize I’m a foodie!”

Ask the kids in your life what books go on their ideal bookshelf.  We’re sure you’ll get some surprises!


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