The one with the books.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to sharing with you is my complete love of books.
As an only (precocious) child I read, and read, and read. And I began to know the world. I grew up in a place of little empathy, so books were my chance to try on someone else’s shoes.
I remember so vividly the heartbreak of Charlotte’s Web, being beguiled by The Neverending Story, and still now regret that I came so late in life to worship anything by J K Rowling (what it would have been to have had that type of magic in my world).
As I grew older, I discovered Tim Winton, and for the first time started to see that beautiful things could come from my country.
These days, I long for moments to devour anything by Zadie Smith, to read along to David Sedaris and hear precisely his voice in my mind as I do it, and to be soothed by the absolute beauty in Anthony Doerr’s words. Not to mention my annual return to Hogwarts.
With everything happening in these days with you, with what little time I have to fall into a book, my literary excursions are limited to bedtime. So, this is our reading list.
Kissed by the moon, Alison Lester
A dear friend gifted this book to you at your baby shower. It never fails to take my breath away. The description states ‘part poem, part lullaby’, but to me, it’s as close as I’ll probably ever come to a prayer.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Dr Seuss
As a child, I had limited exposure to Dr Seuss. And more recently, I’d not heard too many great things. However, I’d seen this book being gifted to others, and so picked it up one day. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone. It’s simple and elegant, but also profound. Thankfully, you love it, too. Every time we read it, I find some new piece of wisdom. I hope it imbues you with a sense of hope, trust in yourself, and understanding that life is not a straight line. Sometimes you’ll end up in a prickle-y perch.
Guess how much I love you, written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
Another gift. (Hint: gifting someone something you treasure is truly the best thing). This is the first book I read to you, my little nutbrown hare. I think this is a game we all play with our parents: who loves who the most. I hope one day you’ll also want to play this with me. (But know, I’ll always love you more.)
On a whim, when buying my personalised stationery, bought this book for you. As someone who grew up with an unusual name, I always longed for personalised kitsch: a nameplate for my door, etc. Having supplied you with your own strange moniker, I couldn’t go past this book that let me put you in the story (personalised avatar and all). In addition to all of the above novelty, this is still one of my favourites to read you. The illustrations are beautiful, the words delightful. The only drawback: all the things I actually wish for you couldn’t be possibly contained in one single book.