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.