My Sacred Texts

The books that shaped my life in one way or another, with month/year I finished reading it in parentheses. They all look like basic English class required reading, but I love classics and I read them more than almost anything else.
  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (07/2006)
    All girls should read this book. It's so good and its relevance transcends time.
  2. Much Ado About Nothing (12/2008)
    I already knew Shakespeare was brilliant, but this play taught me that he was also terribly funny. To still be able to make people laugh 500 years after your death...that's a legacy.
  3. Jane Eyre (03/2009)
    The book that taught me just how to read at a deeper level and enjoy it. Also Mr. Rochester probably (definitely) sparked my sexual awakening.
  4. The Pillars of the Earth (07/2010)
    This is not a super sophisticated English major-y book. But it's entertaining as hell, gripping throughout over 700 pages, and fascinating as a glimpse of pre-Medieval society.
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (03/2011)
    I totally misunderstood this book when I first read it, but that's okay because I got to grow in my appreciation for it, and I love that kind of evolution as a reader. It's a fucking hilarious book, and proof that super old books can be awesome.
  6. The Awakening (08/2011)
    I devoured this book in one afternoon. I was and still am so inspired by Edna's bravery and her pursuit to achieve emotional/mental/sexual independence while retaining her femininity.
  7. Frankenstein (12/2011)
    I read this book and interpreted it as a manifestation of Mary Shelley's maternal abandonment issues. Her mom died giving birth to her, but if you read the book knowing Mary was still a teenager when she wrote it, you see her adolescent rage at being created and at once deserted by her creator. I'll always see Frankenstein with that lens.
  8. The Great Gatsby (04/2012)
    Call me cliche, but I read this book under the guidance of the two greatest teachers of American literature I could have asked for. Gatsby will always remind me of that amazing classroom experience with Ms. Randall and Dr. Evers.
  9. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (03/2014)
    I read this book at a really hard time in my life. I was so lonely at college and so desperate for someone to understand what that was like, and this book ended up being about people who were just like me at that time. This book has a special place in my heart for the solace it provided during such a hard time.
  10. Chickamauga (04/2015)
    This is a short story and a very short one at that, but this was the breakthrough story that introduced me to trauma, esp. war trauma. That inspiration ultimately led to a thesis I'm immensely proud to have authored.
  11. The Bluest Eye (06/2015)
    This book changed how I thought about societal beauty standards for women and how racialized those standards are. I read this book in a constant state of horror at the reality of Pecola Breedlove's life. Toni Morrison is also one of the few writers who can simultaneously seduce and traumatize you with her prose.
  12. A Farewell to Arms (04/2015)
    This book inspired my thesis and thus will always be beloved in my heart.
  13. Ledfeather (11/2015)
    While other, perhaps more notable Native American writers discuss similar issues as Stephen Graham Jones does in this book, I have yet to see anyone do it in such a graphic, traumatizing, and unforgettable way. The story goes back in time to the 19th century so that the audience may witness for themselves the atrocities and injustices committed on reservations, and it shook me to my core. Still, this book is a top contender for my all-time favorite. It's that powerful.
  14. Blood Meridian (07/2016)
    To be clear, this is not one of my favorite books at all. But it was a fucking struggle to get through it and for finishing it, I will commend myself.