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5 Books That Have Changed My Life

17 June, 2016
woman reading a book

Just recently, I watched this short interview with Neil Gaiman on 3 books that changed his life. What a great thing to share with others – books that have changed your life! So, I thought I’d share a few books that have changed mine. I couldn’t narrow it down to just three, so I have a list of five. Here goes:

  1. Miss Rumphius – A beautiful picture book, this has been one of my favorites since I was very young. I have always wanted the same three things as the main character: to travel the world, to live by the sea, and to do something to make the world more beautiful. Everyone has a gift to give the world; this book made me see just how important sharing those gifts can be.
  2. The Harry Potter series – When I was younger, one of my friends got me into the fanfiction community for Harry Potter. We joined multiple writing-based role-playing games online and got to know other people who were both fans of Harry Potter and enjoyed writing. It’s an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and also an experience that led to lifelong friendships. It also led me back to my love of writing fiction and kept me writing even when I didn’t feel like it.
  3. Traveling with Pomegranates – Traveling with Pomegranates is a memoir written by a mother and daughter about their relationship, writing, and traveling together. It gave me a lot of inspiration for writing, but also helped to inspire a trip for myself and my own mother this coming fall. We’re going to do a heritage trip to the Campania region of Italy, where my mother’s ancestors are from. We are spending two weeks touring Naples, Capri, Pompeii, Positano, the Amalfi Coast, and the mountainous area of Avellino. I’m so excited to take a trip that will help me to explore the world and explore myself and to be able to share that with my mom.
  4. Eat, Pray, Love – Along the same lines as Traveling with Pomegranates, Eat, Pray, Love inspired me when I needed to fulfill a bit of wanderlust. Not only did it teach me about different cultures, but really taught me that self-love and self-care must come first. Not only did I need to take care of and fill the needs of my body, but my soul, as well. Sometimes we get so caught up in taking care of immediate or urgent needs that we forget to fully nourish ourselves. This book opened my eyes to new ways to do that.
  5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – I read this book last summer and wrote a whole blog post about it because it had such a profound effect on how I keep my home. A few of the biggest takeaways were that you shouldn’t keep anything if it’s not of use to you right now or if it doesn’t bring you joy – if it’s not serving a positive purpose, purge it; make sure everything has a place and make sure that place makes it easy to put the thing where it belongs; discard everything you can first, then find storage for what you’re keeping later – don’t get distracted by storage options. I got some great results when I first decluttered last summer, but I’m looking forward to doing even more with the Konmari method when I move into my new apartment later this month.

These five books have definitely helped shape how I live my life. What books have had a profound effect on your life?

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