I’ve had a lifelong love affair with reading. I could lose myself for hours, days in the lives of fictional characters. Their stories vividly coming to full color in my mind as I turned the pages in anticipation.
Some books have made me laugh out loud. Others have taught me that my life, my upbringing was vastly different than others across the world. Books have made me fall in love, opened my soul to new understandings, and made me believe that nearly anything is possible if you have a little faith. Faith in yourself, faith in the purpose of every action.
My only hurdle has been ‘forced’ reading. Reading for school completely repelled me from the written word. There were exceptions of course.
In high school, there were two books that haunted me. In a good way. These books are: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was REALLY into those books. First hand up during english class discussion.
In elementary school, George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff, Haunted Island by Joan Lowery Nixon, Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and the entire The Babysitters Club series by Ann. M Martin were on heavy rotation. All read multiple times.
If you went back to my elementary school library and pulled out an (ancient) library card, my name was on Haunted Island at least five times. The UFO books as well. I can still see exactly where each was kept in the school library.
But ‘make’ me read for testing? I froze.
In college, I worked at a campus bookstore. I got in trouble a lot with my manager for reading the textbooks while sorting the shelves. I eventually had to leave the job because I was spending too much money purchasing random college textbooks.
Over the years, my book collection amassed to tremendous proportions.
Several years ago, our dog Rocco decided to make a habit out of flossing his teeth on my books. I lost more than a dozen, of which I’ve yet to replace.
Remember when Amazon was just for books? Random insert at this point in the story, but my mind keeps flashing to those “good ol’ days” of online book purchasing for little ol’ Amazon. ha!
Over the past four years, tending to the needs of babies took me out of the practice of reading for pleasure. I still made some purchases, but finishing a book proved rather strenuous. Time and time again I started a book, and within a few chapters, it collected dust as I chose passing out at the end of a long day over curling up to a good book.
This Christmas, I set a goal to ease back into the practice of diving headfirst into the imaginative world of literature. This renewed ambition has led me to share with you some of the books that have left the biggest imprints on my heart.
I am certain that days from now, perhaps even hours after posting this blog, I will think, “oh no, I should have listed this book or that book”. Believing in all things happen for a reason, here is the impact list based on my feelings today:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Tara Road by Maeve Benchy
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
There are many other books I have read that have made me laugh out loud. That are pure fun and wild imagination. I certainly plan to share those in an upcoming post. For now though, I wanted to share this particular list with you. These books have moved me, and I feel compelled to pass along this love.
P.S. Isn’t it funny how many of the above books begin with the word, “The”?