I am a reader. When I was eight years old my aunt gave me the book “Alice in Wonderland” for Christmas. I’ll have to admit though, it was over my head. I didn’t understand it, gave up on it, and never did read it. When my birthday came around, Mom gave me two Trixie Belden books. This was more like it! Trixie and her friend Honey were into everything, and solving mysteries left and right. I wanted the entire series, making gift-giving a snap for my family. Heck, I wanted to be Trixie!
I have been a reader ever since, and never go anywhere without a book in one format or another. I own a Nook and have the Kindle app on my iPhone. When I accidentally locked myself out of my car while running errands, and had to wait 35 minutes for AAA to come help, I parked myself on a nearby bench, and began reading a book on my phone. I didn’t mind the wait at all!
Over the last 50 plus years, I’ve read thousands of books. But which ones do I remember? Which would I recommend to others? Here’s my short list, in no particular order.
On the Beach - Neville Shute
The Thornbirds - Colleen McCullough
Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt
Two Old Women - Velma Wallis
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Psycho-Cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz
Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
And Ladies of the Club - Helen Hooven Santmyer
Some of these books have impacted my life in interesting ways.
“On the Beach,” which I read in the 1960s, had me thinking I didn’t need to plan ahead because no one would be alive the next month anyway. Fortunately, I got over that very quickly.
“Psycho-Cybernetics”––one of the few I’ve read several times––was my introduction to positive thinking, visualization, and the concept of being in control of our own lives. It was definitely a life-changer!
“A Walk in the Woods” inspired me to want to hike the Appalachian trail. I haven’t done it yet, but have hiked in other amazing places, including the Grand Canyon.
One of the most influential was “Angela’s Ashes,” which sparked my interest in memoirs, and set me on a new career path.
When you write your memoir, make a list of the books that have impacted you in some way. Include a brief description of each, and explain how it affected you or changed your life. Sharing the things we love with others is fulfilling for us, and sharing our favorite books can inspire, enlighten, entertain, and transform the lives of others as well.
And now that I think about it, maybe it’s time I give “Alice in Wonderland” another try!