Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For
- Jessie’s Girls: Muscle Building Edition by Jessie Hilgenberg | This is an e-book, but it still counts. I discovered Jessie Hilgenberg on Instagram and saw the amazing progress her “followers” were experiencing on her programs. I bit the bullet and bought it, and I haven’t looked back. It has completely changed the way I look at training and nutrition. The road to emotional healing and loving myself is going to take a while, but this is a great start.
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling | Duh. I remember picking up The Sorcerer’s Stone at the Library, waaaay back in the day. I read it and made my parents read it. Then we read The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. It took a while, as I was about 12, but I remember waiting at Barnes & Noble for the midnight release of The Order of the Phoenix. It completely transformed me into an avid reader and really brought my family together.
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden | I read this in high school, and it was my first historical fiction piece I’d ever read. Though fictional, I felt that it really opened my eyes to the cultural differences that women face around the world and ultimately made me much more open to picking up historical fiction in the future.
- Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin | I read this my sophomore year of college, and it was truly (and embarrassingly) the first “adult” fiction I’d ever picked up. Prior to it, I’d been too scared to venture outside of the YA section at the library. Why? Because I felt I wasn’t “smart enough” to read adult fiction. Dumb, right? I’m over it now!
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer | This was my first venture in to the world of non-fiction, which I had always assumed would be boring as hell. Newsflash: it wasn’t. It did make me realize that my romanticized notions of being an outdoorsy girl were ludicrous, though.
6. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton | My first science fiction novel. It’s the only book I’ve read more than twice. Dare I say it’s my favorite?
7. Meg Cabot — the whole lot of them | I can’t choose just one Meg Cabot book to add to this list—really, it was all of them growing up that made me feel like I understood life in school (I was homeschooled). I definitely lived vicariously through her characters.
8. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler | This was an assigned reading in my Eastern Civilizations class, but it really opened my eyes to a new culture that fascinated me. Ever since reading it, China has been on my list of places I would love to travel to (it also made me desperately want to join the Peace Corps).
9. AP Style Guide | Never would have made it through school without it.
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini | Another eye opener, another piece of art. There’s a definite theme in this post—books are portals to other worlds, sometimes fictitious, sometimes real life. These books have given me the gift learning about and understanding another culture different than my own until I can travel there myself.