Parajunkee.com and http://www.alisoncanread.com. This week their featured blogs are Books and Beyond and The Book Addict. Be sure to hop over to these fine blogs and take a look.
Today's question is Thanksgiving themed: what are you thankful for (blog related)? Who helped you along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?
There are many people in my life I've been very glad to have known, and grateful for their help, including my parents, my wife and my son. In terms of writing, though, to remain within the scope of the question, I'd say I'd have to reach way back to high school to begin with. English teachers Bill Tapp and Smokin' Joe Carey were a perfect good cop-bad cop combination who not only insisted that I must write well but that I could. As an undergrad at Trent University I was fortunate to study under New Zealander Geoffrey Eathorne, who introduced me through his Comp Lit course to The Viper's Knot (Francois Mauriac), The Counterfeiters (Andre Gide) and other remarkable stories (in translation) I might otherwise have overlooked. As a grad student at Queen's University I was very thankful for the kindness of John Stedmond who, although an 18th century specialist, stuck with me manfully as I ploughed through my thesis on Sherwood Anderson, and to second reader Kerry McSweeney, who wrote stuff like "fatuous" in the margins and was, of course, correct. Another excellent good cop-bad cop combo.
There are so many books I'm glad I've read that it's hard to focus on just a few. Perhaps one of the most special for me was Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, which I read as an impressionable teenager and still think about quite often. Just the names Cooger and Dark still give me chills. This novel taught me that the darkness can still produce enlightenment.