(My Top Ten) Life-Changing Books
In no particular order or rank. For @celestestelle
- •Fahrenheit 451 - Ray BradburyThe importance of ideas and believing in your message have to be nurtured and protected. Books celebrate our diverse pathologies and to celebrate one and discount another would be censorship. Books then, are people too. It's hard to believe that this is a banned book, and it's about censorship! The irony of it all is ridiculous but that won't stop us from reading, from learning. I recommend you get the 50th anniversary edition, it comes with an interview.
- •The Road - Cormac McCarthyI've seen the movie and I think it does the book justice. However, the book explains much more about it's characters. In many ways, I consider this book a spiritual successor to Fahrenheit 451. There's one passage I don't want to give away but if you've read Fahrenheit, you'll recognize it right away. It taught me to always carry the fire.
- •Blindness - José SaramagoSight is something we take for granted. We look at things but do we see them for what they are? Apply that to a city of people who instantaneously go blind. An outbreak of blindness and only one doctor's wife can see our way through. A powerful book about our human nature turned primal and tenacity.
- •The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead - Dave ShieldsDave Shields talks about the taboo in his books and here he recounts his ninety-odd-year-old father and how he stays so vigor and determined. I love how this book says so much more with less. The important thing is, no matter the statistics, life is about living. Death is one moment, life is many moments, and memory outlives all of it. I wrote a review too: https://wigginswords.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/david-shields-the-thing-about-life-is-that-one-day-youll-be-dead/
- •Lost Memory of Skin - Russell BanksAnother taboo topic, this time about a young boy who is registered as a sex offender. It talks about the way we condemn people's sexualities but celebrate others who are considered level minded. Granted it shares the addictive side of such people, there treatment is questionably worse when they are just overcoming rehabilitation. We've had our share of guilty pleasures, but also some addictions, minor or major. That doesn't mean we can't help ourselves do away with it.
- •Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Ben FountainThe first 1/3 of the book's writing style didn't stick with me, but once I got to the last 2/3, I understood it and enjoyed the story more. A young man in the army shares his view as a soldier and the things they never reveal. The marginalized way of communication between a citizen and a soldier is different from the way a soldier speaks to a soldier.The war people perceive is different from the one soldiers experience and it needs to be recognized and felt, regardless of politics or religion.
- •Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan CainHonest hour time: I've read some of it, not all of it, but I think it's nice to know that I have a voice and it doesn't have to be the loudest. She also has a TED Talk: https://youtu.be/c0KYU2j0TM4
- •Bird By Bird - Anne LamotteWriting isn't such a wrestling nor is it the pacing of an on-again, off-again regimen or attitude. Short assignments, here and there, working your way one feeling and one moment at a time keeps yourself, and as a result, your writing true and substantial.
- •On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen KingA guidebook for venturing into the writer's life and good advice like "Someone thought the Titanic was a good idea," although unfortunately true, keeps me writing, one word at a time. Even though art and commerce can be a double-edged sword, I'm not doing it for money, not for critical acclaim, but for the love of it and to share what I have to offer.
- •The October Country - Ray BradburyIt's a two-for-one but it's noteworthy. Bradbury's short story collections are potent with the human condition and honestly, I'd choose all of them if I could for this list. So far, I'm enjoying this one the best; the foreword could be the whole book it's so good! His "The Dwarf," speaks to me so well and shares a lot of the feelings I've had. I also have Bradbury's"Zen in the Art of Writing" but have yet to turn a page of it. It would have been considered no doubt!