What 5 books have influenced you the most?
This is a really tough question! I’ve been a bookworm since I was 8 years old; narrowing a list down to five top books seems near impossible. On any given day the list might change. Today it would be:
- The Giving Tree- I still own my childhood copy of this treasured book, and it crosses the sea with me every time I move house. My eyes water as I read it to my children, as has always been the case. This simple story of unconditional love holds timeless meaning, contrasted to many of the silly books published for children today. Giving, loving, and letting go when the time comes are some of life’s greatest lessons. Shel Silverstein’s simplicity is brilliant.
- To Kill A Mockingbird- I’ve read this book more times than any other. Each time I notice something new. Being biracial has heightened my awareness of what it means to be different. I grew up in a city where I was always aware of racial tension, and inequality wasn’t a new theme for me when I first read this book in 7th grade. The story inspired me though; it gave me a sense that truth and justice are worth fighting for, and courage needs to be cultivated no matter what age you are.
- Women Who Run With the Wolves- I’ve mentioned this book before and it is my favourite in recent years. Reclaiming the Wild Feminine, honouring creativity and myth, and celebrating the unique experience of being a woman are fantastic achievements we can all share. Dr Estes is a compassionate guide whose wisdom is far reaching. This book is a gift that should be passed down to every daughter, just as my mom gave it to me.
- Eat Pray Love- I read this while I was trying to make up my mind whether or not to stay in my unhappy marriage. A close friend gave the book to me for my birthday, and it spoke to my soul. I underlined so many passages; the book is ruined for any eyes other than mine! Though my chance to travel to India for a yoga retreat has yet to come, the desire is still there. My existential crisis evolved somewhat differently than Elizabeth Gilbert’s. I found myself envying her and the luxury of crying on the bathroom floor uninterrupted for hours. Not even a complete meltdown would deter my kids from asking for juice, snacks, or Goddess forbid… a wipe.
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success- I first read this book when I was 20 years old, shortly after it was published. Long before The Secret became popular, Deepak Chopra wrote about manifesting desires. His clear, concise way of expressing Eastern principles resonated with me. I’d consider this book a classic to be revisited again and again. A sequel for parents was published later, which I’d also recommend.