Since I didn’t post for a couple of weeks, and I posted only marathony stuff before that, it’s been a while since I’ve added to Kristen’s Ten Day You Challenge. But I’m no quitter (just a dragger-outer), so today I’m continuing with Four Books.
Books are my favorite things in the history of ever. Choosing just four was tough, and I already wrote about my favorite running books. Today, I decided to discuss four books that had major impacts on me at different times in my life.
Anne of Green Gables. When people what ask my favorite book is, I can never answer, but if I had to choose, I’d pick this one. Or really, this one and the two after it. Growing up as an awkward redhead, I had a lot in common with Anne. And I learned a lot from her — about self-acceptance, about thinking before speaking, and even about love. And I always know when I’ve met a “kindred spirit” if they know what I’m talking about when I say “kindred spirit.”
Atlas Shrugged. Yes, Ayn Rand had some unique and controversial philosophical ideas. But when I was a 19-year-old college sophomore who had never really thought about anything beyond my little circle of existence, Ayn Rand led me to think about money and politics and power. And those are things that everyone needs to learn to really think about and analyze. Have my views changed since then? Of course. But this book was one of the first that really led me to think philosophically and question the status quo, and that’s a good thing.
Smashed. This one’s not quite the classic that the other two are, but it had a significant impact on me. Koren Zailckas writes about her experiences with partying and alcohol, and they are scary. I read this the summer after my junior year of college, and while I was never what anyone would call “wild,” this book made me question a lot of what I was doing (and the company I was keeping), why I was doing it, and where it would lead. I kept a copy of this book in my classroom library, and it disappeared a few years ago. I hope that’s because it impacted some other girl’s life, too.
Lean In. When I started this book, I wasn’t sure how much of it would apply to me. I’m a teacher. I’m not exactly climbing the corporate ladder. But Sandberg’s advice is applicable to all women, and it’s changed a lot of what I do at work. I now have more confidence to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe is right and best for the kids. I think that’s a lot of why I’m now on our district leadership team. So thanks, Sheryl.
What are your top four most impactful books?
Read anything good lately that you’d recommend?