Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It all started with Nancy Drew

When I was a kid, I would spend entire days shut up in my bedroom sitting in my red beanbag chair reading books. My parents always found it necessary to check on me periodically, because there wouldn't be a single sign of life from me for hours on end: no music playing from my radio, no laughing, no sounds of active play, nothing...just silence, the kind of silence that always indicated to my family members that my nose was stuck in a book and wouldn't be coming out anytime soon.

Looking back on those days of Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables, I see myself as a willing prisoner of books. I remember terrible leg cramps, a sorer than all get out butt, and various limbs and appendages falling asleep. Yet, I rarely moved a muscle while I read, perhaps just to turn the pages. I remember wanting to move, wanting to leave my bedroom because I was hungry or thirsty or desperately had to pee, but I would get so engrossed in the story at hand that I somehow just couldn't budge.

My love of reading has never ceased. Today's post was actually inspired by a book. I'm about to finish A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner), and I've found it to be a fascinating read. It's about two Afghan women and the turmoil of both their country and their own daily lives, a very powerful and eye-opening story. It's the kind of book that reminds me how very fortunate I have been to live the life I've had so far, to knock off the occasional whining and self pity, and to smile and laugh a little more often.

Which leads me to a question: I'm wondering which books you've read that have had a significant impact on you specifically as a woman. Here's a short list (not in any particular order) of some of the books that I've read recently that have somehow made a change in my outlook on life as a female:

1. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book spoke to me, because I have experienced great fulfillment in my life through travel. When I learn about and experience other places, I learn more about myself and am more content.

2. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. This book is an easy read, but I found the sisterhood of women and the celebration of femininity in this story to be profound.

3. Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad, by Waris Dirie. This is a fascinating autobiography about supermodel Dirie growing up in Africa.

4. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, by Immaculee Ilibagiza. This has to be the book that has made the greatest impact on me in a long time; its lessons about faith and forgiveness are indispensable, and the story is absolutely gripping.

So, which books have made an impact on YOU as a woman? (Plus, I do have an ulterior motive: I'll need a new book to read soon, so bring on the suggestions!)


  1. I'll be back. Good question! Good post!

  2. I can't think of any books that have impacted me more than the Bible but I do love good books.
    Thanks for visiting my blog today. :)