Friday, October 31, 2008

Books that Have Made a Difference in My Life

I always read this feature in O Magazine and thought that it might be interesting to think about my own reads that have made me better in some way, helped me look at the norm in a new way, or just touched my heart.

One that I know I would take if I am ever stuck on that deserted island is A Night Without Armor by Jewel Kilcher. From the first song that I ever heard by Jewel (Foolish Games) I knew that this was one artist that will stay with me on my journey. Her poetry is just as touching as her songs, earthy, personal, cavalier, and all together captivating. There are poems about love, leaving love, hating love, and just being- something I am working on daily. Every time I read this book I learn something new about Jewel and about myself.

Another book that I can read over and over is Bless the Child by Cathy Cash-Spellman. Although a work of fiction, this book opened my eyes in high school to the fact that there are other religions out there and got me reading more about different schools of thought from Buddhism to Judaism. This book has everything from Catholicism to Satanism, ancient Egyptian mysticism to Islam. It is very graphic, very violent at times, but there are moments that just make you stop and think, "Wow!". (Please don't rent the movie in lieu of reading this- the movie does not even scratch the surface of what this great novel is about).

What do you get when you cross archaeological curiosity and a lot of research on pre-historical races? The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. I have always been fascinated by archeology and especially the races that led to the development of our own race that eventually dominates the planet. When I read this book in college I immediately signed up for Archeology 101 as well as a sociology course, which led to more courses and such. The book is in a series that is such insight into our human past that you can't help but put yourself in the time period! (Again, please do not watch the movie- it is so bad that if I were to remake it with my family and friends, it would be an improvement!)

I don't remember the first book that I read by myself, but I do remember first reading the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. There is nothing better to help you remember that today's worries are so trivial compared to how things used to be for early settlers in the midwest. When I feel like my world is getting too complicated I like to sit down with one of these books, written so long ago by someone who did live a more simple and humble life. It makes you look at your own life more closely when you read about the family losing everything when a swarm of locusts eat all the crops, how the girls received a few pieces of candy for Christmas and were overjoyed for that gift, and see that hardships to us would have been blessings for the family. There is a lot to be learned from this series, whether you are eight or eighty.
I am sure that there are more books and I will continue this post when I remember them. What books have touched your soul and changed the journey of your life?


J. Leigh Designz said...

I have bought several books to read over the past year and just can't seem to find the, if you wanted a list of great kid books I could do that in an instant!

31summers said...

I am going to try and read "Bless this Child" it looks fascinating. I also read the little house series and just recently got it back from my Granny so that my girls can read them.

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