Everyone has those first beloved books that helped mold them into the person they see in the mirror. Whether they be self-help, stories that make you erupt into a wave of giggles, or simple feel good novels, it is these stories that, ultimately, craft the pieces of each of us. As Theodore Roosevelt once said,
“I am a part of everything I have read.”
Right on, Teddy.
1. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
I can’t remember it being read to me, but when I reread this sweet story now, I know it must have been because the nostalgic feelings that come with this book are warmth, love, and understanding. I remember staring at the simple, though striking pictures when I was in grade school and having to recite the entire story in front of my class. I grew up with this book. It’s part of the foundation of who I am.
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This book was read to me and my fellow classmates during library hour in elementary school when we were 9 and 10 years old. Our favorite librarian would pause and marvel at the writing, ask us how we pictured the characters, and every single one of us couldn’t wait to hear more. Harry Potter was the first book that made me understand both the joy of fantasy writing as well as the real life magic of reading.
3. Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech
My librarian (yes the some lovely lady from above) noticed I was an advanced reader so when I was still on the early side to be tackling such large chapter books she gave me this one. She selected this author because she felt I could pull a lot of meaning from it. Instantly, I was captivated. I felt special. I never thought of reading as a skill or that I should look at anything outside of what my friends were reading until then. For the life of me I cannot remember the plot detail by detail, though I do remember absolutely loving it. This was the book that sparked my love affair with reading that has never ceased.
4. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
I was an outsider in high school. Never bullied, thankfully, because I suppose people respected the oddness of our little group, but my group of friends and I were outsiders, nonetheless. Most of us loved to read and whenever one of our favorite teachers recommended a book, we all went out and immediately bought it. The man had Doors posters, art, drawings, and the like plaster on every wall of his classroom. He was kind, thoughtful, and supportive. Shadow of the Wind is the start of a three part mystery and it is impossible not become absorbed in it.
5. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
I was required to read this in school but it became my favorite book of all time. After reading this book, it was the first time I held an unpopular book opinion and I still stand by it!
6. Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw
When I was a freshman in college, I was struggling with some obstacles from years prior and my counselor tapped into my reading passion and gave me this book. It helped me learn a lot about myself and my history and was also the first time I realized books could change, treat, and improve life.
7. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
I don’t remember how I found out about the life changing works of Brene Brown though I cannot tell you how I happy I am that I did. She shares awesome and relatable stories through her Ted Talks that are incredibly positive and healing.
8. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
I reread this book once every year or two because its advice and inspiration guides my current stage of life. Who I want to be, how I want to be, and the importance of vulnerability, authenticity, and resiliency to shame.
What are the books that built you? Let us know in the comments!
YouTube Channel: C. A. DuBois
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