I grew up borderline Amish.
I’m not talking the white puffy hats, buggies, and handcrafted furniture. I mean, I grew up not watching TV. It’s not that we didn’t have a TV in the house (we did), it’s that we spent our time elsewhere — reading. The highlight of the week was my mom taking my sister and I to the library where we would pick out our weekly book selection. I would peruse the shelves with the methodicity of a lawyer in search of loopholes. What care I’d take to pick out my selection and bring the towering stack to the circulation desk! Secretly hoping, of course, that the clerk wouldn’t notice I had one book over the takeout limit. Grand Theft Novel. My rebel streak runs deep.
I thank my lucky stars daily that I was raised this way — to value the world of imagination, curiosity, and reading, over more shallow pursuits. Much has changed in my life in the last two decades: I became an English Lit major, an Educator, an IT Trainer, an Engagement Manager, and now — an Operations Manager by day and an avid writer by night/lunch breaks. Oh, and I started watching TV ;) But this much has remained: I am a reader to my core. I’ve studied literature, I’ve taught it, and most importantly, I live it.
I’ve read 1,000+ books in these first three decades of my life. While I’m allergic to grand sweeping statements, at the risk of dissembling, I need to let the title of this article stand: these books did change my life. Some came crashing down with all the grace of a drunken dock worker intent on up-heaving the status quo. Quick change, rapid results, lots of collateral damage. Others came on more gradually, like a silent invasion. So-so when reading them, but for months after, the truths therein continuing to bloom and amaze as I implemented them in my day-to-day-life.
Regardless of if they fluttered or steamrolled in, the lessons gleaned from these 30 books are here to stay. In my blood, in my brain, in my actions. I am the product of their tutelage, and Teach, I gotta say, thanks.
I present to you: The 30 books that changed my life.
(in no particular order, broken up by genre)
Philosophy & Non-Fiction
So there you have it. The 30 books that changed my life.
Not that you asked, but the selection and elimination process behind creating this list was quite brutal. So many hurt book feelings on my shelf right now. I have to go make nice. But before I depart, I must know: Which books changed your life? Asking for myse… errr… a friend 😉
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