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Twenty Books that Changed Me

Twenty Books that Changed Me

In however small a way, each of these books had an enormous effect on my life. As always, I encourage everyone to read as much and as often as possible.

1.     Watership Down-Richard Adams. I finished the story in writing lab in middle school. The teacher noticed that I was crying and came over to check on me. I simply held up the book. She smiled, and nodded in empathy before walking away.
2.     The Snows of Kilimanjaro-Earnest Hemingway. I love many of Papa’s books, but this was my first. I picked it up when I was about eleven. My father had borrowed it from the library. I remember him walking in the room and asking me why I was reading it. I explained the plot to him and told him that I found it interesting. I remember how wide his eyes got.
3.     A Ring of Endless Light-Madeleine L’Engle. Somehow the book made me feel much less alone in the world as a young girl.
4.     Uncle Tom’s Cabin-Harriet Beecher Stowe. This is my favorite book. I am surprised by how many adults have never read it. Being emotionally sensitive I identified deeply with Eva.
5.     Animal Farm-George Orwell. I was young and home by myself when I finished this book. I remember sitting in the armchair and staring into space in terror, for about thirty minutes after putting the book down.
6.     Mere Christianity-C.S.Lewis. The history behind Lewis writing this book is as fascinating as the logic that he expresses in it.
7.     The Screwtape Letters-C.S. Lewis. For me this book does a better job of breaking down human corruption that almost any other that I have read. It is truly brilliant.
8.     Ray Bradbury-Something Wicked This Way Comes. I find this book so truly terrifying that I cannot listen to any music played by The Doors with out thinking of it and getting a shiver.
9.     Ray Bradbury-Dandelion Wine. This book just feels like home to me. There is also a short and brilliant scary story set right into the middle of the book.
10. The Bad Place-Dean Koontz. This book, I believe, shows off his storytelling skills most brilliantly. The man is a genius when it comes to tying storylines together and the story is as shocking as it is thrilling.
11. The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet-Benjamin Hoff. I would not read the second without the first, but it is by far my favorite. The author’s understanding of human nature is remarkable.
12. A Stranger in a Strange Land-Robert A. Heinlein. Well I am one, so the shoe fits. I always laugh when I think about how none of the far out concepts in this book are in the least bit indigestible for me.
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
Mao: The Unknown Story
15. The Fifth Sacred Thing-Starhawk. This is a remarkable and eye opening story, as well as a truly perspective changing read.
16. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder-Rebecca Wells. This is truly one of the most beautifully written stories that I have ever read.
17. The Virgin River Series-Robyn Carr. I cannot say how many books are in the series; I believe there are well over twenty. These stories are so heartwarming and fun to read that I have re-read most of them at least once.
18. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas-Tom Robbins. Robbins is one of my favorite modern authors. This story is my favorite. It may have something to do with the frogs.
19. The Lost Symbol-Dan Brown. The knowledge that the author put into this fictional story is absolutely mind-boggling. I enjoyed reading every word.
20. Tearing the Silence: On being German in America-Ursula Hegi. Though not an easy read, the true accounts that Hegi recorded opened my eyes immensely. 


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I actually really dislike Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host and television personality.

I was home with my kids when they were babies and I had her show on a lot. Then at one point I remember her and her friend going into a Walmart and just cracking up over the fact that they were so frigging isolated by their current wealth that they didn’t understand how things worked there. Like the way that the plastic hangers operated or something…

I remember being absolutely disgusted at their behavior. Not only that someone who presents her life story as having grown up in poverty would turn around and make fun of the fact that she doesn’t understand how people who are not as well off as her would live, but additionally to think that her audience is so much less intelligent than she is that not one of us would be offended by her behavior.

Well I was, and I haven’t watched a thing that woman has put out in the past ten years.

I do think she is a brilliant actress though, even so, I couldn’t watch …