Tena Kunik’s “Books That Shaped You” At Ages 5-10-15-20

Annie KennedyBooks, Inside WITS

Inspired by Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 feature, we asked the WITS community members to talk about the books that shaped them as they grew up. From Kindergarten favorites to the novels that got us through college, we’re excited to take this walk down memory lane, five years at a time, with our Chief Executive Officer, Tena Kunik.

Tena Kunik, Chief Executive Officer
5 – Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree

I loved it, because I was able to read it, and my favorite teacher, Ms. Harwood, said it was her favorite book. I also remember that it made me cry. I didn’t fully understand why at the time, but now I do.

10 – Roald Dahl’s Matilda

A precocious 10-year-old girl with superpowers wreaks havoc on her parents and teachers? Yes, please. The most important thing to me in my life at that age was to be Matilda.

15 – Hemingway

10th grade English was my favorite class. I romanticized Hemingway’s Europe more than he did.

20 – Hunter S. Thompson’s The Curse of Lono

The opening letter from Thompson to his illustrator, Ralph Steadman, convincing him that he should join Thompson on his assignment covering the Honolulu Marathon, and assuring him they will win, is the most hilarious introduction to the tomfoolery that ensues.