You know those Facebook posts that ask you to name your favorite books or quizzes or whatever? My friend tagged me on one of these posts recently but I don’t love posting stuff like that on my page, so decided to do it here. The challenge was supposed to be for literacy awareness but…who doesn’t know about literacy? Anyway, here are my seven entries for books I have loved and have moved me (although I could name 100s, and these were off the top of my head.) These are in no particular order, although the final one was a literal life changer for me.
- Toni Morrison: Sula, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved.
Ok I am cheating a bit already because I can’t choose just one. Morrison’s literature opened my eyes to the beauty and pain of being black in America.
- Freedom by Johnathan Franzen
While I think the author can be a bit arrogant, he’s still extremely talented. A memorable and beautiful story.
- Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shetyngart
A dystopian future that hits eerily close to home.
- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
In alternating chapters, Monk Kidd tells the story of Sarah Grimke, a real-life abolitionist, and that of her slave, Handful, with whom she was gifted on the privileged white girl’s 11th birthday. Sarah teaches Handful to read and does what she can to help her, but their paths in life are obviously incredibly divergent. This beautiful, intricately woven tale describes the ability of the human spirit to overcome the unthinkable.
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad was a series of escape routes and safe houses for slaves in America in the early to mid-1800s, and in Whitehead’s novel it takes on a literal form. A searing, unflinching look into the brutality and heartlessness of the time.
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
A Pulitzer Prize winner that took ten years to write, this novel explores gender identity but also nature versus nurture and the pursuit of the American Dream. Unforgettable.
And the life changer, a non-fiction self-help book:
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
I read this at a time when I was sick in body and spirit. I was open to its message and willing to do the work it asks of the reader. After this, I healed and changed my life in dramatic and positive ways.