Wednesday, January 08, 2014

My 10 Most Influential Books


There was a meme floating around facebook amoung my book loving your 10 most influential books/series. So of course I had to chime in. : )

1. The BabySitters Club Series
I read these started in second grade. They were my first chapter books and I was hooked. I outgrew them long before I reached middle school and eventually donated my entire collection to the local library to share the love.

2. Dragon Song/Dragon Singer/Dragon Drums
I poached a lot of books of my parent's bookshelves as a kid so I was fairly well versed in Sci-Fi (a favorite of my dad's), but finding Ann McCaffery's books introduced me to fantasy and dragons.

3. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
My cousin gave this to me for Christmas. At the time I pretty much read fantasy and only fantasy, so I was sure I would hate it. I started flipping through it because I was bored and inhaled it. My paperback copy is well worn. I haven't read it through in years, I don't know how it would strike me now, but I loved it then.

4. The Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn
My mom bought me this one based solely on the fact that it had "Dragon" in the title. A six book series of high fantasy it was politics! and intrigue! A strong female main character! I loved them in high school. I haven't dared re-read them as an adult though, because if they don't hold up, I'm going to be crushed.

5. Pride and Prejudice
I almost didn't think of this one, because it was the A&E movie that I was first introduced to. My mom and I would co-opt the TV and watch the mini-series each time it was aired. I was in my senior year of high school before I bought a copy of the book. I can reread this endlessly. I branched out to more of Austen's writing due to the brilliant adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that aired last year, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

6. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office
I ended up with a copy of this sometime in college. I don't remember exactly when, how, or why, but that book was very helpful in getting me launched in the workforce. I've re-read it countless times. On my last re-read it struck me as rather tired and overly strict, which is a good sign that I've outgrown it and no longer need the advice, but I would still recommend it for anyone looking to get the lay of the land in a professional job.

7. Think
A friend recommended this a couple of years ago and her arguments got me back to the local library and reading again. Absolutely pivotal for me.

8. Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards and Unconditional Parenting
Both books discuss how toxic our reward obsessed culture is to fostering initiative and creativity. I found Unconditional Parenting first, but Punished by Rewards is broader, also covering schools and workplaces. These are books that I feel like I need to read over and over, and that I will pull something different out of each time.

9. The Story of Jane
A story of the "underground railroad" connecting women to abortion providers in Chicago pre- Roe vs Wade. A fascinating study on the sexism inherent in the medical establishment, the lengths women will go to to protect/help each other, and the varied and complex events that lead women to seek abortions.

10. Baby Catcher
The story of a midwife operating in San Francisco tells about the varied births she attended. Gave me an amazing confidence in the capabilities of the human body and a better appreciation for the breadth of personal experiences.

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