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Birthdays, books, and other gifts

Since this is my birth month, I thought I could take licence to talk about myself a bit more than usual. And since I’ve just been the recipient of lovely birthday gifts and am feeling very grateful, I wanted to give you a gift, too! You'll find it at the end of this post.

*My first paying job was picking raspberries at the farm down the road for 5¢ a basket.

The first thing I remember ever wishing for, ever really really wanting, was a book. I didn’t have any specific book in mind, I just wanted one of my own, one of those magical things. My little bookish heart wished and wished. Our home didn’t have a lot of books and, as is usual in a family of nine people, they were mostly shared. The first book that was incontrovertibly mine—because I had won it in a Sunday School memorization contest—was Judy Began It by Ellen Elliott. It had a red cover with a little terrier dog on it. That was Judy. She discovered a mysterious note that plunged her and her four children into a mystery. The story was above my age, but I struggled through to the end. That was my first experience of sticking with a text even though I didn’t understand it well, and having it raise me to another level. Just one of so many wonderful things a book can do!

The first thing I ever prayed for very fervently was a book. That prayer was answered, and I received for Christmas a bible of my own: filmy pages with a few thicker ones where a picture was inserted, and a white leather zip-shut cover. A special little book and a prized belonging. Later, I won a copy of Little Women for having top marks in grade four, sending me into the summer holidays with hours of enchantment. I read that story every summer after, well into adulthood, until the book disintegrated from use. Well, that can happen to bookworms . . .

So, if I count my year in books from my last birthday to this, like every year, it has been filled with wonderful books. Here are some of my favourites, which I'll review at another time.

*I admit that one of these books was a re-read: The Sparrow. So wonderful.

I really never go anywhere without a book to read and a notepad for writing books. And now that books can be kept on iPhones and iPads, I can have my whole library with me wherever I go. World of wonders!

Reading a book. Because what else would you do while in the jungles of Laos?

If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're a bookworm, too. What are some of your favourite books—the ones you'd want with you if you were marooned on a desert island (or in the jungles of Laos?) I'd love to know! And this will also help me know what kind of books to focus on when I do book reviews. Just click the button to shoot me an email.

You can always reach me to tell me anything at

Yours in storymaking,


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