I recently read The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood (Affiliate Link). I enjoyed the story, and I loved the concept behind it.
Recently divorced Ava is the main character, and she feels as though her life is crumbling around her. Looking for a positive distraction, she joins a book club. In this book club, each member takes a turn selecting and presenting the book that matters most to him/her. As her turn quickly approaches, Ava scrambles to track down an obscure book that she had read over and over as a child. And of course, Ava rediscovers herself and unlocks a few family secrets along the way.
The story was very interesting but I was much more intrigued with the idea of selecting a book that means the most. What a great concept, right?!?
What book means the most to you?
Naturally, I found myself wondering what book I would choose for myself if I was a part of that book club. What book means the most to me?
My first thought was These is My Words by Nancy Turner (Affiliate Link). It features a strong female main character who I greatly admire. I love this book so much that I reread it at least once a year. I even tried to name one of my children after a character of this book (but my husband vetoed that name choice).
Then, I realized These is My Words is my favorite book but it is not really the book that means the most to me.
After much contemplation, I have decided that Answer for April by Jan Nickerson may be the book that means the most to me. Just like Ava’s book, mine is a relatively unknown book from my childhood. It was published in 1963. My grandmother discovered this little gem in the 1980s at a library’s used book sale. I have never seen another copy of it, and as of this writing, it has only four reviews on GoodReads (one of which is my review).
This book is special to me for all sorts of reasons.
- It was an unexpected gift from my dearly loved grandmother, and I love unexpected thoughtful gifts… especially from people who are special to me. Who doesn’t, right? When I see this book sitting on my shelves, it reminds me of my grandma and makes me smile.
- It was my first “grown up” book. I was probably 10 or 11 years old the first time I read this young adult genre book. The storyline even contains an element of romance, and this made me feel grown up and mature. Reading this book felt like a rite of passage.
- I felt a strong kinship with the main character. Besides sharing the same first name, we had a lot of other similarities.
We both tended to unnecessarily feel overburdened by family responsibilities. We felt responsible to fix things for our loved ones.
April in the book visits a close family friend, “Aunt” Irene, in Boston for extended visits. Aunt Irene is cool and intelligent and fun, and she makes April feel special. As a child, I visited an aunt and uncle in the Boston area frequently for week-long stays. My aunt and uncle were also cool and intelligent and fun, and they made me feel super special.
April in the book was a good student and particularly enjoyed learning French. I was also a good student, and I intended to learn French as soon as I got into high school where French classes were offered.
Don’t get me wrong. This book did not exactly unlock any of life’s mysteries for me. But it is comfortable – it feels like home. I enjoyed the story. I related to it. It brings back nice memories. It was a gift from someone dear to me.
I guess those are good enough reasons to call this book meaningful.
How about you? What book means the most to you?
As always, any opinions stated in this post are completely my own. Additionally, this post contains a few Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided Amazon links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). So thanks for supporting my blogging habit!