Ten Books That Changed Me

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There’s no hiding my love for the written word. Books have an uncanny ability to pull at my heart strings. Although this is not necessarily a complete list, I have chosen ten books that have changed me for one reason or another. They may not all be great works of literature; however, they all came into my life at the perfect time & served a purpose. I could write paragraphs on each of these books. But, I won’t do that. Not yet anyways. I’ll just list them. What books have changed you? I’d love to know.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  6. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  7. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  8. About a Boy by Nick Hornby
  9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

After reading all of the astoundingly positive reviews for John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, I eagerly bought it for my Nook to read on our long road trip to Baltimore. Now, I must let you know that I rarely ever actually buy books for my Nook. I usually just wait and download them for free from my public library (which is awesome, by the way). However, I thought that this book was going to be important enough to spend a little money on. And, well, I was right.

This is not the type of book that you think it’s going to be from its plot description. When I tried describing it to Kevin, I said something like, “It’s about two teenagers who have cancer and fall in love”. The premise makes it sound so unimaginative and dull which could not be further from the truth.

It’s about so much more than just that. This book is about loss, hope, anger, humor, courage, acceptance, beauty, as well as all the normal complications that go along with being a teenager and in love. John Green somehow manages to make you emotionally invested in his characters in an impressively small period of time. By the end of the first chapter, I was ferociously rooting for the star-crossed Hazel and Augustus. Certainly, as a high school teacher, there were some moments in the novel where it was hard for me to imagine such articulate and brilliant teenagers; but then again, Augustus and Hazel weren’t supposed to be your average teenagers. So, it worked.

As I mentioned, I read this book on a road trip with Kevin. I was so engrossed, I forgot that it was well-past my turn to take the wheel. I think he could tell how crucial it was for me to finish this book. He didn’t say a word. Maybe it was the intermittent crying and exclamatory “Oh my God’s” that convinced him to keep quiet. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the beautiful writing in this book. This thing is full of quotable passages that are begging to be highlighted.

In short, you must read this book. It will be slightly painful and hard for you to get over, but I promise you it will be worth it. If you do read it (or already have), tell me your thoughts on it!

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Books that I LOVE. {Part 1}

As an English teacher, I think I would be remiss if I did not share with you some of my favorite books; some of which I’ve read as recently as a few weeks ago. Others that have stuck with me since I was in elementary school. These are the books I recommend to my students. These are the books that have helped foster a love for reading that I hope to instill in them. These are the books that I keep coming back to over the years. The books that have dog-eared pages & writings in the margins. These are the books that are as much a part of me as my fingers & my toes. I think you get the idea! This might end of turning into a little series, because it will simply be too long if I put them all into one post. Anyway, here we go…!

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Written originally as a child’s novella, The Little Prince has so many lessons to teach us in its short, sweet story about a confused little Prince that is trying desperately to understand how adults work. I remember going to my English teacher, Mrs. Rogers, in the 9th grade & asking her for a book recommendation & her pulling this book off her shelf. As if reading my mind she said, “I know it looks little & childish, but there are some pretty big ideas in these few pages.” I took it home & read it in its entirety that night.

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

Another book that I read in high school. I didn’t know much about Sylvia Plath when I read this, but afterward I bought her journals & become slightly obsessed with her. This book is so painfully beautiful. I will always treasure it.

The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

This was one of the only books I can think of that had me crying by the end. I don’t typically get that involved in a plot, but I was hooked from the first page! The movie does not do this book justice in my opinion. Read it, but be prepared with a box of tissues!

Invisible Monsters, by Chuck Palahniuk

Oh my goodness. This book is ridiculous, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from Chuck! Its biting sarcasm & over-the-top plot about a super model who has been grotesquely disfigured in an accident will keep you on the edge of hysteria. Although it wasn’t my first Palahniuk book (that place of honor goes to Choke), it was the one that left the most lasting impression on me. I will always be an avid Palahniuk fan. He is not afraid to be weird & different & unapologetic.

Well, that’s all for now. Please tell me some of your favorite books! I am always look for recommendations!

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