Hey guess what??? I did a podcast interview this week on The Startup Sessions and it was SO FUN. If you’re dreaming of starting a business or you’re in the thick of it, this one’s definitely for you! If you’ve ever wanted me to pull back the curtain and talk a little bit about my journey as a business owner, go here and have a listen!
In fact, I’ve had so much fun recently doing interviews that I wanted to say to you, my favorite people– if you have guests on your podcast, or your blog, or your interview series, I’d love to be one! Go here to send me the details and let’s see if it’s a good fit!
Today I’m going to answer the question I get asked more than any other: What are your top five books?
The information overload and impossibility of the question almost breaks my brain and I begin to stammer and froth at the mouth. I start to constellate board books, and picture books, and business books, and books on writing, and memoir, and novels– oh god the novels!!!– and poetry and how-to and essays and GOOD LORD it’s like trying to pick just five flowers or my three favorite hairs on my head. There’s just no way.
But if we leave out books that are beautiful even though they break you into a bazillion pieces, and the ones that were a thrilling good read but you immediately forget, and we keep it ONLY to books that changed my life… well, in that case it is still absolutely impossible to narrow it down to five. But I will do it for you anyway, loves.
Five books that changed my life:
- Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. This book is church for me. When I am sad and defeated and I want to give up on everything, I read this. It’s brutal and beautiful and reminds me oh HOLY SHIT to pay attention to this remarkable life I get to live. And also to just go ahead and be brave, for heaven’s sake.
- The Harry Potter books, by J.K. Rowling. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed this, but the Harry Potter books??? They’re actually Hogwarts. In disguise. The whole school is squished between the covers. Reading the books is actually THE WAY YOU GO TO HOGWARTS. How’s that for a sly bit of magic?? (And no, the movies don’t count. That goes for all of these.)
- Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver. I love every single thing that Barbara Kingsolver has ever written, but this is the one that shook me down to my roots and first let me in on the fact that sometimes everything we think we know is untrue. It gave me a glimmer of hope by showing me just how liberating it can be to find that out.
- Expecting Adam, by Dr. Martha Beck. This memoir about academia, magic, Down syndrome, and pregnancy is quite possibly my favorite book in the whole world. If I could only reread one book over and over again for the rest of my life, this is the one I would choose. I bet it would make me laugh and cry on the 800th read just like it did on the 17th.
- The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells. I loved this book because it made me laugh, and because it is a blueprint for how to take all the mess and pain and chaos of your own history and find something beautiful and glorious in it– it’s basically instructions on how to sift through the dross and find the thing that truly lasts.
Oooooh but also Anne Lamott and Madeleine l’Engle and Elizabeth Gilbert and Lorrie Moore and Wally Lamb and and and!!!!
I could talk about books all day long, people. So come tell me over on facebook— what are your top five?