Words and books have been a part of me, even before I existed. My grandfather recited and penned beautiful poems and stories about anything and everything to my grandmother until she—utterly smitten yet spectacularly pragmatic about most things, love included—agreed to “see where things go.”
(I could write a whole book about them.)
My mother wrote letters when she was supposed to be studying, love thoughts meant for my dad furtively written on her notebooks, her class notes, old receipts buried at the bottom of her backpack. And my dad would write back, on beautiful, delicate cursive that a man with hands like his shouldn’t have: his hands had been meant for hard work under the sun, not for writing love letters by lamplight. And yet, there he was.
(their story is still being written. Their book will have to wait.)
So, anyway. I owe my entire existence to books and words and even now they are a part of me. I devour books the way people binge watch shows. A particularly well written song or poem is enough to send me into a state of meditative wonder for a few days. A well written book can, and has, quite literally changed my life.
So here it is: my ode to books. This is but a short—and woefully incomplete— list of books that have helped me in some way over the years: some have revealed truths that I carry with me constantly; others have been my companions during a rainy evening; yet others were so silly and heartwarming I was reminded that life doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Some taught me very useful skills. Others taught me that reading trash romance novels by the beach is a worthwhile use of my time. They all occupy a special place in my heart.
Fake Like Me—Barbara Bourland
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind—Yuval Noah Harari
Just Kids—Patty Smith
The Song of Achilles—Madeline Miller
Figuring – Maria Popova
Becoming – Michelle Obama
Yes Please – Amy Poehler
You Are A Badass—Jen Sincero
Daisy Jones and The Six—Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger — Marcus Zusak
Her Body and Other Parties – Carmen Maria Machado