For my recent giveaway (#thebookendpicksix), I have featured a stack of books that each have taught me a lesson, or two, and also have brought joy into my life. Today, I thought I would share with you how each of these books impacted my life. These, by the way, are in no particular order.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
When I first read this book in high school, I was focusing on just getting through my AP English class and getting a decent grade. I wasn’t looking at what lurked below the surface of this book.. well, I mean I was but only what my class required of me. It wasn’t until much later in life, after reading it for a second, third and fourth time, that I let myself fall into the story. The Great Gatsby taught me that all the money can’t buy you happiness, love, and friends; and although it can be tempting to try and buy your way into a friend group that, in the end, they aren’t your friends.
Favorite Quote: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
From Scratch by Tembi Locke
Tembi is the type of woman who I aspire to be. She is the heroine of her own story. She has loved; she has endured; she has lost; she has survived. I can’t imagine the grief that she has had to endure but she taught me that you can overcome it.. it will hurt but you can get through it. I found that, after reading this book, while cooking dinner with my husband that I wanted to savor every moment and to be truly present in my marriage. She taught me to appreciate every flavor and every bite of life.
Favorite Quote: “If I could just teach her how to be resilient, how to love big, how to fear less. How to weather hurt, either at the hands of others or even the hurts she might unknowingly inflict on herself. I wanted her to know that love can come in many forms.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Quite simply this book made me love to read again. She opened up a fire within my soul that caused me to want to read about other incredible characters such as herself. And yes, to me, she was real. She still is and I still think about Evelyn often.
Favorite Quote: “It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Oh, heavens… I could write page after page on why this book is important to me but I’ve given it some thought and been able to narrow it down. Where the Crawdads Sing is important to me because it taught me that loneliness is okay. It was one of the first books that I felt the characters loneliness pour from each page but she grew to be okay with being alone; she grew to be comfortable in her own body. Before I read this book, I always felt like there was something wrong with me because I enjoyed being by myself, I didn’t want to constantly be around people and socializing. I never felt like me in those situations. But, someone Kya made me feel okay about that.
Favorite Quote: “Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar. Reflecting sunlight, they swirled and sailed and fluttered on the wind drafts.”
Looking for Alaska by John Green
I’ve read and listened to this book multiple times and it still has this incredible ability to draw me in, even after all this time. While this is not a light read at all, there was something almost comforting in the characters and their discussion of life and death. I can’t tell you exactly what I learned from this book because it’s more or a less just the feeling of comfort and being okay with the unknown.
Favorite Quote: “Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ While I don’t know where there is but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.“
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Our great-grandmothers, our grandmothers, our mothers, our aunts, our mothers-in-laws have all been through a lot. They came from an era where their thoughts, their opinions, and their bodies didn’t matter. Some of them had to sacrifice themselves just so they could be everything to everyone. Mrs. Everything made me have such an incredible appreciation for all the women that have come before me but also to stand tall and know that our fight isn’t over.. not by a long shot.
Favorite Quote: “She hoped that things had changed, but she knew that they hadn’t changed enough. All the demonstrations, all the consciousness-raising, all the protests, all the pickets, all the books she’d read, all the conversations she’d had, all the ballots she’d cast, all the work and here they were, still.”
Thank you to all of those who have already posted their #bookendpicksix stacks. There is still a week left in my giveaway challenge and I can’t wait to see other stacks out there!