Book Blogger Appreciation Week (Or #BBAW): Day One (... or Two) Introductions!

February 16, 2016

"Hey Shaina, weren't BBAW introductions supposed to be posted yesterday?"

1) Yes. 2) Too bad.

I completely forgot that yesterday was the start of Book Blogger Appreciation Week until late in the day. I have it on good authority that I can post my introduction a day late, so hell if I'm going to miss my chance to jump in on this love fest.

Yesterday's topic: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

Those of you who already know me know how much I care about leaving this world a better place than I found it. You can trace the roots of my interest in public health, social justice and how the two intersect directly back to my reading.

I first read Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot in college; Mountains Beyond Mountains opened my eyes to the field of medical anthropology, and Henrietta Lacks smacked me in the face with the concept that our social environments and the social categories we belong to have serious consequences, good or bad, on our overall health. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin came into my life later on but firmly cemented the commitment to racial justice that Henrietta Lacks first kindled within me. I'd like to thank these three books for encouraging me to go to public health school in the fall!

I may have only read a few of them so far (give me a break, this thing is more than a thousand pages), but Michel de Montaigne's Essays represent my curiosity and belief in transformation as a reader and as a human being. His essays span a wide variety of topics (a selection: sorrow, liars, names, the custom of wearing clothes, cannibalism, drunkenness, thumbs); I too love to learn a little bit and ruminate too much about everything, so he and I could definitely be buddies. Montaigne was also a skeptic, and he firmly believed that truths are changeable over time and entirely dependent on the person who holds them. I hope I never stop learning and challenging myself to think harder about the world, especially the dark and/or painful parts, and I know I can trust Montaigne and his doorstop of essays to remind me. Oh, and my Montaigne tattoo. Yes, even though I haven't finished his book. Shhhhh.

Finally, I don't know what this list would be without Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. I've always been a voracious reader, and Goblet is one of the first books that I vividly remember destroying as a child. A bath just wasn't a bath without re-reading about all the food at the Triwizard Tournament opening feast and the water going tepid. I don't (usually) treat my books like this anymore, but that coverless, waterlogged and well-loved paperback will always hold a place in my heart.

So, there you have me as a reader: justice-oriented, ever-curious and occasionally destructive. Want to be friends?

Are you participating in BBAW? I'd love to meet you!

You Might Also Like