ParentDish Feature: What are you reading? Life-changing books

what are you reading?(June 22, 2007) I have a horrible confession to make. I have not started anything new this week. Wait. Let me think about it for a minute... Nope. No new books. I have been reading multiple, 300-page grant proposals and making tables out of information, but I don't think you really want to hear about that. Not to mention confidentiality issues... So, today I thought I would talk about Life Changing books. Those books that have a significant impact on who you develop to be as a person.

I think we all have them. Here are mine:Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie Series: I am grouping all of these books together, because I consider them part of a whole. These books are the books that taught me about who I wanted to be. I consider them to be a large moral foundation for me. They taught me that I wanted to work hard, be honest, be proud of being a woman, embrace a lot of homemaking arts, and that I wanted to have a family. They are the core of who I am as a wife and a mother. I learned so much from the characters in these books about facing and overcoming hardships and about gentleness and forgiveness. These books mean the world to me. I have read them more times than I could ever count.

No Exit, The Stranger, Rhinoceros, The Dumb Waiter, Waiting for Godot: Ahhh, the existentialists. For someone who views the books in the above paragraph as her moral foundation, it may seem a bit odd that the existentialists spoke to me in ways I would neer have anticipated. However, they did. I spent about twenty years in an existential funk and depression that I have noticed only this year that I seem to be past. I don't have any earthly clue how I got past it either. But some truth about the existentialists spoke to me and while I can still appreciate these truths, they no longer govern or depress me.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being: This book still represents for me a type of endearing, ethereal, unearthly sadness about the human condition-- but is so beautifully written that I can't turn away. This book haunts me.

The Razor's Edge: This was perhaps one of the most life-changing books for me. It taught me that living a life of integrity and depth was more important than any other success or material possession I might achieve. I still want to go to India and meditate and look for Larry...

These are the books that have played the most important roles in my foundation as a human being. Of course, there have been countless more that I have loved, but the others have served to reinforce the life-changing books in many ways.

What are your life-changing books?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.