Image courtesy of Harper Collins
I’m an avid reader – I even keep a book diary to record a list of all the books that I have read. I only started keeping it in 1991, but if I were to guess, I’ve probably read well over a thousand books. Why do I bring this up? I was thinking about meditation, which is really being able to tune things out, and listen to nothing, not even your inner voice. Well, it’s more than that, but that’s the gist for you newcomers to my deepness. As much as I can’t do this, and I get distracted, I was thinking, I do that sometimes, about how when I read a book I love, I am able to tune things out. Yes, I’m still listening to my inner voice, but it’s how I relax and de-stress which Dr. Oz and my home boy Deepak Chopra would both approve of.
I’m reading a book that I really like right now, “Wild”. It’s not the best book that I’ve ever read, but it’s very well written and definitely worthwhile. It’s the first book in a book club that we are starting at work and I definitely recommend it. It made me enjoy reading again and also made me think of the ten books that really affected me – here they are:
- Charlotte’s Web – my top favourite book ever! It’s the only book that I kept from my childhood. Ironic, since I’m terrified of spiders, but it has so many important messages…you may be scary outside, but you can be beautiful inside, unlikely twosomes can become the best of friends, true friendship can last a lifetime, no matter how short that lifetime is, and more. I always loved and identified with the underdog and this book, read to me in grade 2, was the start of all of this. Even my beloved, and deceased dog Rascal was the runt of the litter and I loved him as much as Fern loved Wilbur. I bawled my way through this book (driving my sisters crazy when I was a kid, reading it out loud over and over again) and bawled my way through the movie as an adult. If you haven’t read it, it’s never too late. My favourite line? “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both. THE END.” Charlotte has always been my inspiration.
- The Last Lecture – this is a must read – there is simply no more inspiring, joyful book out there. Yes, Randy Pausch was dying when he gave his last lecture, but he still loved life.
- Memoirs of a Geisha – just beautifully written – it’s as simple as that.
- A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving is a quirky writer who isn’t for everyone, but this story is amazing. So many things happen throughout the book, and you wonder why, but it all makes sense in the end. The book’s protagonist is also an underdog, and you know I love an underdog.
- Angela’s Ashes – so good! You’d think the poverty would depress you, but it’s written with humour and you can get lost in the story. I loved ‘Tis too!
- The Harry Potter Series – trying to pick a favourite is like trying to pick a favourite child – you may have one, but whose dumb enough to tell the world about it? It’s amazingly creative, shows that good does triumph over evil and the books become more sophisticated as the characters age – what’s not to love?
- Marley and Me – You may not agree with this one, but as a dog lover, I adored this book. Especially the part SPOILER ALERT when the author is getting ready to say goodbye to his beloved pet and he does what I did – strokes his dog in all of his favourite places to memorize how he feels (I did this to my dog when he was trying to sleep, and as always, he was patient with me).
- The Book of Negroes – this was a difficult read, but so well written that you feel like you were on the slave ship. It should be required reading in schools and for members of the Ku Klux Klan and other racists.
- The Book Thief – Classified as a Young Adult book, there is nothing about this book that meets that classification. It was also a difficult read, and you have to understand a little metaphor, but a very important book, at least in my opinion.
- Julie and Julia – I know, autobiographical fluff, but it’s one of the books that inspired me to start blogging.
Those are the books – the ones that I remember and had the most impact. I’m grateful to have read each and every one of them. I’d love to hear your favourites too so leave them here, or tweet them to me @JillSchnei!