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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Books I'm Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving, I took a few minutes to trace over the titles on my many bookshelves and feel an extra measure of gratitude for the gift of books in my life. I started brainstorming for titles that have really made a difference in who I am and my outlook on life and thought it might spark some moments of thanksgiving for you, too.

Keep in mind that the titles I’ve called out in this blog aren’t exactly a list of my top favorites or even the best books I’ve ever read. They’re the books that have been read at the moments that I needed them. They’re the ones that have touched me in specific ways that still tie me to them.

The Book of Mormon- this one goes with out saying. I love the scripture and I’m truly grateful to have them in my life.

Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent- When I read this book it reminded me there really were things to love about nursing when I thought I’d lost all love for the profession. (I was an OB nurse)

Charly by Jack Weyland- Yes, I know LDS literature has come a long way, but this was the first book that actually got me excited about reading books specific to our culture. Some of my fondest childhood memories were trips to Arizona for summer vacation. There was an LDS bookstore owned by some of my mother’s family. Once a year we’d walk in with mom’s savings, pull everything off the shelf that caught our eye and that the staff recommended and haul it all home to West Virginia to read until the next summer vacation. That was also one of the clearest messages I learned from my parents overall: reading and good books, not to mention supporting loved ones, mattered.

The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes- One of the few writing books that have let me know it’s okay to be as weird as I am about writing.

Dealing with Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book One by Patricia C. Wrede- The book that got my older children excited about reading. Indecently, this is also the book we were reading when I said “this is what I want to do” and finally got serious about it.

Dragonsong (The Harper Hall Triology) by Anne McCaffery- The book that got me excited about reading in general.

The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss- For some reason this one struck a chord with me about learning to focus on the best parts of yourself and letting other people worry about what they do best instead of trying to be everything to everybody. It also taught me that you don’t have to be perfect even in the things that are your “best” things.

I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise (Children Surviving Cancer) by Erma Bombeck- My favorite of her books, and always good for perspective.

Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch- I was given this title at my first child’s baby shower. By the time she was two she’d learned to use it against me. Being released from “time out” inevitably meant a plea from her to read her this story. It worked in her favor every time. J

Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist) by Jim Benton- The first book to make my boy’s eyes light up at the possibilities of reading.

The Miracle of Miss Willie by Alma J. Yates- This title has always stuck with me. It was fun, touching, and reminded me that life is all about connecting with others and seeing the good in them.

No One Can Take Your Place by Sheri Dew- I’m a big fan of Sheri Dew for a lot of reasons, but this title just walked into my life when I really needed it to.

Planting the Seeds of Faith by Alison Palmer- This the first book I ever published. Seeing that book for the first time as a full and tangible dream come true taught me a lot about being an instrument in God’s hands to accomplish His purposes and your own life’s mission.

Put off thy Shoes by Ted Gibbons- This book taught me what prayer was really supposed to be like.

Rules (Apple Signature)by Cynthia Lord and Faraway Child- the books I most relate to as the mother of an autistic child

This Life is a Test by Ted Gibbons- One of the few nonfiction church books I loved as a teenager. I could actually relate to it.

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe R. Dominquez- This was the first money book to really put things in perspective for me at a time when I really needed some perspective.

Now, you tell me. What books have walked into your life just when you needed them to?

Tell me about the books you’re most thankful for.

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Tristi Pinkston said...

This is an awesome list. I've read several of them and enjoyed them as well.

"Peace Like a River" was very influential to me. I loved seeing how Rueben's father could perform miracles and how those miracles changed their lives. It really made me think.

Rachelle said...

Great list! What would we do without books? I enjoyed your reviews. :)