Ahhh books. They breathe life into me like nothing else. Who's with me? Everyone has that book--that favorite book that holds a special place in their heart. One that satisfies their soul; feeds their imagination; inspires their heart. Maybe it's a book that taught you something. Maybe it's a book that made you laugh. Maybe it's a book that marks a significant phase in your life. Whatever it is, it's there.
For me? So many books have done that. I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. As a kid, I was too busy drawing to read. (Except for the Redwall series. Redwall all day, everyday.) But come college, I bloomed. Reading was life and I was forever changed. Here are the five books that have made a lasting impression on me and why:
Harry Potter and the (All of Them). I know. This sounds cliche. BUT. I didn't pick this series up until the release of the fourth book. My Mom had raved about them. Finally, the summer after my freshmen year in college, I decided I'd give them a try. There was no going back. Harry Potter woke something in me that has never fallen back asleep. The sweetest part of this series? I read it aloud to my Mom when she was going through radiation after breast cancer. We've shared this story ever since.
The Lord of the Rings. This has to be my all time favorite story. Once again, this was a series I read while my Mom was recovering from breast cancer. I would take her for weekly radiation and while waiting, I'd enter Middle Earth. Tolkien's characters are some of my all-time favorite. The loyalty between Sam and Frodo? The. Sweetest. Ever.
Ender's Game. I had heard of this book from several different people for several years during college. But I had never picked up a sci-fi book. They always seemed a bit out there for this fantasy reader. Until the day I decided to read it and was forever changed by Ender Wiggin. Orson Scott Card's writing is genius. Yes, the book is about smart kids in space, trying to save the world. But the writing is tender; raw; and emotionally poignant. I wanted so badly to sit beside Ender as he endured his sufferings. To comfort him. To fight with him. I never looked at sci-fi the same.
The Great Gatsby. Like I said, I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. I had never read Fitzgerald's classic in high school, so when I picked it up in college, I didn't know what to expect. While the story captivated me, the prose was intoxicating. How Fitzgerald crafted sentences and described his world, his characters left me breathless at times. Words became something so much more than just a means to explain story. They became art.
Lad: A Dog. I read this book when I was young--one of the few--and was so touched I read it over and over and over again, declaring that one day, I would own a collie. How the writer described the relationship between dog and man--sweet, loyal, and dedicated--made me desperate for a creature to love me like Lad loved his owner. My childhood dreams were made two years ago when my husband bought me my very own puppy. And while he's not a collie (hi there, maltipoo!), Moby is as sweet as they come.
What's a book that's captured your heart? I'd love to know!