(from NPR) Three books that define me

Today on twitter, NPR Books, along with All Things Considered, asked a really interesting question… What three books best summarize you as a person?

It’s surprising more difficult than you think. I mean, I can list three books I’ve connected with, and three books I could consider favorites (though I don’t think I have an absolute top three favorite books of all time)… So it got me pondering.

I responded with Blankets by Craig Thompson, Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek, and the short story “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” by Neil Gaiman.

It might not be an accurate list, maybe people who know me better can suggest better titles… But I think I’m ok with my selections.

I picked Blankets because partially because I knew there had to be a graphic novel on the list. It just wouldn’t represent me without it. As a coming of age story, it captures a lot of the struggles I’ve faced myself. Things I’m still dealing with. It’s intimate and beautifully done.

I picked Coast of Chicago because he’s able to capture this sort of love affair with Chicago, while still keeping it raw and ugly at times. It’s a collection of short stories — something a memoir of my own life would probably be most like — and it details communities, family, local lore, lust, childhood adventures… I can’t read it without re-falling in love with the city I call home.

I picked “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” because … because … This one’s harder to define, to explain. Holding on to those we’ve lost, be they people or things or ideals… Or maybe just a reminder that though people may forget our names, our actions and deeds might still be remembered and somewhere out there there is One who remembers. … Or maybe… maybe once you hear it read, it’ll make more sense.

I felt maybe I should put something my Vonnegut — Slapstick or Cat’s Cradle — but I just wasn’t sure. And though I love reading Bukowski, his work wouldn’t really speak towards my life.

But I think I’m satisfied with my list. I think it fits.

So, what are your three books? I’m really curious to see what you all come up with!