I wasn't sure how I would approach this post about books. I could write how my sappy love affair with books began; but I was getting way too bored. So, I thought why not do my top six influential books. I refuse to put these in any sort of order as they are all beloved.
6. Gone With the Wind: This was the first novel I read without being assigned in a formal classroom. I was in Jr. High. My mom tried so hard to get me to read the Work and the Glory series and I just wouldn't; I had no desire and I still don't. My step-dad then brought home this old copy of Gone with the Wind and I was hooked. I can still remember smelling the pages of this beautiful old hard back. It still is a treasure of mine.
5. The Five Love Languages: I found this book extremely helpful in my marriage. Suddenly my husband didn't seem so alien to me. I really appreciated the conversations we had in response to this book.
4. A Christmas Carol: I love this story of hope and redemption. I love it in any medium (play, movie, or book), but to read the novel is Christmas to me. I try to read it towards the end of Autumn. It helps me remember that "mankind [is] my business."
3. The Book of Mormon/Bible/Doctrine & Covenants/Pearl of Great Price: You can all roll you eyes at my predictability, but truly, when I open scripture and see the words and feel the pages, I'm simply called home. There is so much peace waiting for me. So much understanding. I've had so many moments of elevation through reading these books, how could I not mention their importance to me.
2. The War of Art: I read this recently and I found it stilled so much of my anxiety as a creative person. I felt validated, motivated, and grateful for my talent instead of afraid to have a profession that many consider merely a hobby.
1. East of Eden: I barely read novels through college, or anything else that didn't resemble a textbook. When I read East of Eden I was blown away by the characters. I'd never met a character as evil as Kathy and I found myself completely intrigued by her. This was the first novel that really came alive for me as an adult. I hauled that bound brick of type wherever I went; I just had to know what happened next! When I was finished I felt like I was the robot Johnny Five on the movie Short Circut saying "Imput! Must have more Imput!" Give me the next story! This is where I made room in my life for a good book.
Oh, and my all-time favorite books as a child:
Little Engine That Could
Ticky Ticky Tembo
anything by Richard Scarry
I like that Mamma Mia chose the word "companionship" for I feel like those characters are waiting for me to tell me their story. And I learn so much from them. It really doesn't have to be a self-help book to learn something worthwhile. In fact, Jesus taught in parables, or stories, to help everyone understand eternal principles. I once had a co-worker say that she refuses to read novels because she felt they were a waste of time. She only read church books or self-help books. My heart dropped for her because I have so much love for the characters I've met. In response to such heartbreaking news I suggested that maybe it was a time-management problem and not the choice of book that is so time consuming. She politely grinned and changed the subject. Oh well, can't win them all!
I've really enjoyed belonging to an online "booksite" like Goodreads or Shelfari. It has been so fun to see what others are reading. Plus I have a place where I can keep the titles of books I want to read in an organized place instead of instantly forgetting to write titles down. Just a suggestion!
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