This question landed with a thud as awkward silence slipped into our previously giggly convo. Book club had been lively, as we all agreed on books we loved as adolescents, each resonating with characters who thought their parents were from another planet. But prior to my joining book club, each woman had shared “the” book that changed her life. When asked to share mine directly, paralysis sat where my shot gun response should have been ready to fire (I used to be an English teacher for Pete’s sake), but how to choose? Many books have whittled me, again and again, like clefts–or pebbles–hewn from a rock. So, here’s my overdue (and somewhat indecisive) answer:
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg – Helped me to re-imagine my faith at a time when I needed re-imagining.
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Richard Rohr is a genius who challenges us to not just be but do faith in a way that is grown-up and childlike at once.
This is Water, David Foster Wallace – This isn’t even a book. . . it’s a graduation commencement speech. It challenges me in my daily living in a beautiful way. Click the link, read it and you’ll see.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High, Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilan, Al Switzler – I am not naturally assertive. This book gave practical strategies that gave me courage in a number of scary/needed conversations and helped me not only survive but also enjoy my dissertation proposal and defense.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott – Find me an English teacher who doesn’t love this book.