I grew up on books. One of the things I remember my mother telling me is that I learned to read by reading my sister’s high school books(my sister is 8 years older than I am). Whether that is true or not, I’m not sure–my mother liked to say a lot of things but they weren’t necessarily all true. However, I do remember always having my nose in a book. When I would get in trouble, my mother’s punishment for me was forcing me to sit on the couch, in front of the television, watching whatever show my step father had on the screen at the time instead of in my room with my nose stuck in the pages.

That love of books was encouraged by my role model through school–Miss Cuppernell, my 7th-8th grade English teacher. I was always ahead of the class, getting my work done quickly and always correct. Seeing that the work was way too easy for me, she gave me an extra reading assignment–The Mists of Avalon. The book is more than 800 pages long and I read it in a week. At the time, I thought that was a great accomplishment. Now I think the accomplishment is that I read such a dense, thoughtful book at such a young age.

I had grown up on Arthurian novels–The Merlin Saga by T.A. Barron, The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin; these books fueled my love of novels. I read more novels about knights in shining armour than I did anything else. As I got older and went into college, my favorite text to cover in classes was Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. My favorite shows revolve around King Arthur and Merlin. I even know that my first son’s name is going to be Merlin.

Needless to say, my favorite book is The Mists of Avalon. The characters, both male and female, are strong, the plot is tricky and the setting is beautiful. There is such strong themes that apply to everyday life–loyalty, love, struggle. It’s easy to see why I love the novel so much. Recently I started re-reading it, and I just fell back into the novel as if it was a close friend. Even the most flawed characters in the novel are easy to relate to, which I think is key to any character. There’s no black and white in life, just shades of grey, and the characters in the novel relay that easily.

This is my favorite book. What’s yours?

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