Saturday, August 30, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 1 comment

Name 10 books that have impacted your life

 Are you a book lover? 

@Stiletto Lova challenged me on Facebook to list 10 books that have impacted my life. I thought it was really a thoughtful challenge... so I jumped on it.

Confession:  I am a book-a-holic. 

My bedroom looks more like a library than a place of rest. Real talk.

I immediately looked at the stacks of books beside (and on) my bed. (Don't judge me!) And I jotted down the titles of 9 that I could easily say have impacted my life. Then I grabbed my phone and looked at my Kindle app... and found another 5 for the list.

Books are a "thing" for me. 

Still feeling haunted that there were titles I wasn't easily recalling, I walked down the hall and looked at my mini-library (I have a LOT of books, most are in boxes in my basement) and grabbed another 11 books.

*Deep sigh*

So, what follows is a list of 10 that I feel are good representations of the books that have powerfully impacted my life. This list isn't in any particular order and is by no means a complete list.

After looking over my list, drop your list in the comments, so that I can see what books have impacted your life. Are you up for the challenge?  Any books you want to list are valid... Let's go!

Nic Nac's list of 10 books that have impacted her life:

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is one of my favorite books. I try to read it every year. I have always loved reading and I dreamed of being a writer as a child. But it seemed like a faraway thing that "other people" could do, but not girls like me. Then I discovered Maya Angelou and I realized that your circumstances do not limit your dreams unless you let them.

2.  Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. The first time someone suggested that I read this book, I laughed. A short time later I received a copy of it from my manager (the entire team received a copy) and once I read it... I laughed out loud. Because it was truly a great book. A small, slim book that has a very simplistic story... and it packs a powerful punch. If change is a problem for you (like it was for me), this book is good. Get it. Just click the link and get it.

3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. This book was EVERYTHING. Most of my life, I had this crazy thing about making friends and staying connected to people. It was just natural. My father is very social and I figured that it was just some of him rubbing off on me. Until this book came along though, no one around me thought of this "gift" as anything special. I was just a girl who talked a lot. And then Malcolm Gladwell gave my archetype a name:  connector. Realizing that the ability to connect with people and then connect those people with other people was actually a valuable trait... opened my eyes to a world far larger than I even imagined there could be. This book taught me a lot about a lot of things. Perhaps I should re-read it. 

4. Kindred by Octavia Butler is another book that shifted my paradigm of what black women writers could do. I'm a nerdy girl. I used to keep that quiet but today its cool to be geeky so I don't hide it anymore. I've always enjoyed science fiction but I struggled with the idea that there were rarely any brown people in the stories I liked. And then I discovered Octavia Butler. An amazing voice in science fiction, in Kindred she weaved an enthralling story of science fiction with a black woman as the protagonist and she managed to tell a slave story at the same time. It is beyond fantastic.

5. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, yes THAT Winnie the Pooh! Pooh and his friends were actually quite interesting and complex in their interactions and I found them fascinating. A.A. Milne crafted an amazing cast of characters that were endearing and funny. I will admit though, I struggled with this choice because Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is also a book that impacted my life. The vivid imagery sent my imagination into fits. And I loved every minute of it. I recently received a copy of this book as a gift and have enjoyed getting reacquainted with Alice and her friends.

6. Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by Congressman John Lewis is a fantastic account of the civil rights movement. My parents and I have always talked in depth about the civil rights movement. They grew up during that period and have always shared their memories of that time, and the feeling in the nation. John Lewis' account of the movement is breathtaking and enthralling.

7. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is probably the longest book I've ever read just for pleasure. It is over 1000 pages long and I honestly enjoyed each and every page. I did marvel at her ability to construct such a large manuscript but I loved it. The story doesn't resonate with many people but for me it gave me the "aha moment" that I really can do or be anything that I want if I'm willing to work hard for it.

8. The Guide to Black Washington, Revised Illustrated Edition taught me so much about this city that I call home. Growing up in Maryland I took a lot of the history of this area for granted. There is learning about Frederick Douglass and Harriett Tubman during black history month... and then there is learning that the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW DC (just 7 blocks from the US Capitol) was a slave auction block. Or learning that one of the grandest hotels in DC history (St. Charles Hotel, 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW) had holding cells in the basement where traveling guests could shackle their slaves while they enjoyed the luxury of the hotel and the city. Learning about the black history of this city opened my eyes in a real way.

9. Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office by Zack O'Malley Greenburg blew my mind when I read it. Some women worship Beyonce... I'm enamored with her husband. I think of Jay Z as my spirit animal. The way that he makes moves in business simply fascinates me. This book put his mind in my lap and I enjoyed all of it. I see myself, my business and my life in an entirely new way. I'm not a businessman, I'm a business - man.

10. The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce Wilkinson gave me the courage to think bigger for my life and to pray for more. 

That's my list. There are so many other books that I would love to share with you, but the challenge was to name 10. So, for now... this is my list. What's on your list?

Its a great day to be me... 

1 comment:

  1. I love your list Mardi! I have to admit that I've never read a Harry Potter book, though I am very sure that I would enjoy them. JK Rowling amazes me too. Seriously. To Kill A Mockingbird is a great book and I wish I had put it on my list. It definitely had a strong impact on me. Great, great list.