Saturday, September 20, 2014

Best Books I’ve Read During My Service (Part 1)

   One of the best things about my service is that I’ve had lots of time for leisurely reading. I’ve gotten lost in many a book. Here are some of my faves (in no particular order):

-The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley: 

I gained a MUCH greater appreciation for Malcolm X after reading about his life. He overcame a tragic childhood and made the best of his jail sentence to become a rock for African Americans during the civil rights era. His controversial life was a series of change; his autobiography should be a required reading for everyone.

-Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth: 

This is the first book that I read which put a name to most of my spiritual views. My copy is stained with yellow highlighters because every sentence gave me an “aha” moment.

-Shanghai Girls by Lisa See: 

This was a masterfully written narrative that completely messed up my sleep cycle. It told the plight of two sisters who struggle to hold on to their Chinese identities after being sold to Americans and moving to California. What ensued was a tale of peril, assimilation and beauty. My best friend recommended this book. Great pick, girl!

-Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: 

I kept hearing Ann Patchet’s name being uttered from many a Peace Corps Volunteer. After reading Bel Canto, I see why. Patchett is somewhat of a literary goddess. Her words have wonder. Her sentences sing. Her paragraphs are praiseworthy. Her stories are splendid. I’m not an opera fan but this novel made me appreciate the genre with her awesome plot line. They say good writers read really good reading and Patchett’s book should be studied for its masterful writing.

-She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb: 

I first read this book eons ago when I was a preteen. I ate up the pages in about 2 days. Same thing happened after rereading the book some months ago. I love the main character, Delores, and the way Lamb weaves her heartbreaking story of survival and acceptance. How Lamb writes so genuinely from the perspective of a woman is beyond me.

   I lost count of how many books I’ve read during my service but these are among the ones that stood out to me.

What are some of your favorite books and what have they taught you?

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