Lately, I have been reflecting on the various things I have read that have changed my perspective or life in some way. I read a lot and always have. But, lately I have been slipping on my reading for a number of reasons. Up until a couple of years ago, I only read fiction, and the last 3 years I have slid more into non-fiction and self-help.
Here is a list of the books that changed my life. I hope that if you read them, they change your life. Also the (*) next to the titles indicate my favorite book.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)*: I can’t explain the reasons why I love this book, but just know what I do. Maybe it is the changing perspectives. Maybe it is because she dreamed of better. But I absolutely love this book.
- Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret (Judy Blume) – Even though at the time I definitely didn’t believe in God. This book taught me to love myself and that things may be hard eventually it gets better.
- Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson) – This book broke my heart so much that when they made a movie from it I refused to watch it. I still haven’t seen the movie, but this is one of the few books my mom made me put down because I was crying so hard.
- Sideways Stories From Wayside School (Louis Sachar) – These stories are freaking hilarious and continue to be hilarious to this day. I read them a year ago at 3 o’clock in the morning, and woke up The Pupster laughing.
- Jacob Have I Loved (Katherine Paterson) – I am a chaser of my dreams. I am a chaser of my dreams because of this book. No seriously.
- White Oleander (Janet Fitch) – A traumatizing book about escaping a narcissistic, cold-hearted, self-centered mother. Need I say more.
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Joanne Greenburg)* – A book about a teenage girl who was believed to be schizophrenic that escaped to a make believe world. At the time of me reading this (in middle school) I was highly depressed and readily escaped within my mind to another world.
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – and How to Make the Most of Them Now (Meg Jay): Honestly I recommend this book to anyone who has just graduated from college and underemployed or working a job they hate. This book was a lifesaver when I was 27 and working in a basement lab for horrible pay.
- The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank – Almost everyone has read this book in middle school, but this book touched me in a number of ways. From being able to see the first hand account of someone hiding from the Nazis to having an elderly neighbor that survived the Holocaust. Reading this opened my eyes to a whole world that I never knew existed.
- Restless: Because You Were Made for More (Jennie Allen) – Because I was extremely restless at my job and in life and I needed to make a move. While this book didn’t help me with the move, it did help me to see it wasn’t just me.
- You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be (Holly Gerth) – One of the first books my atheist self (at the time) read that made me wonder about God. One of the first books that I read that told me that I was fine and amazing as is. I wish I had this book in high school.
- Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) – The first financial book I read that made me believe it was possible to have an emergency fund, that debt pay off was possible, that I could get rid of my student loans. While I don’t agree with this viewpoint on credit, I love his other principles.
Have you read any of these books? Did any of them change your life? Leave a comment.