At different times in my life I've stumbled upon or been given books that enlightened me, altered my perspective, and literally changed my life. Some were fun, light-hearted stories with characters that still live in my heart today. Others were manifestos meant to rattle my cage.
Here are a few of my favorites. Maybe one of them holds within its pages the advice or gentle message you've been waiting for.
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom, a delightful novel with a moral that I will never forget.
In the Meantime - Iyanla VanZant, this book literally fell into my hands at a critical point in my life. I knew I wanted to read it but was not "allowed" to spend money on new books. Then there I was scouring the lost book section of "Unclaimed Baggage", an outlet that buys and sells lost airline luggage, of all things! I looked up and directly in front of me among the hundreds of random titles was this book that changed my view of myself and what I deserve from my life.
White Oleander - Janet Fitch, amazing sensory rich novel that drops you into the world of Astrid :foster child, daughter of a murderess, affected personality. She is the best and worst in all of us.
Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor - In my opinion the best short story writer that ever lived. My greatest writing mentor, if only she were alive to answer my questions.
The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav, Conversations with God Series - Neale Donald Walsch, The Gospels of the New Testament - The Bible, A Return to Love - Marianne Williamson, The Power of Intention - Dr. Wayne Dyer, and The Road Less Traveled - M. Scott Peck, have all shaped my spiritual life.
The Anatomy of Peace - The Arbinger Institute, Our Endangered Values - Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, and In My Own Words - Mother Teresa have helped define my political and social values.
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger, Blue Water- A. Manette Ansay, and The Last Girls - Lee Smith, are my newest favorite novels, all have strong female characters coming to grips with the cards life has dealt them.
When I read to my two year old I always cry at the end of The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein.
Happy reading and best wishes on your journey to enlightenment and self-realization. It's never a waste of time to read.