Today, I am thankful for books.
I spend a lot of time reading books. I think about books when I am at work, like a good friend waiting for me to get home. Books can change your life. Read one right now. Seriously, stop reading this, and go find yourself in a good book. It's the best use of your time.
It would be impossible for me to compile a list of all my favorite books. So, I've just listed a few here. It is by no means the definitive list. Here are a few books that changed my life:
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This small little novel tells the story of a young kid in high school struggling with social phobia, family dynamics, and sexual abuse. It's told in a format where the author, Charlie, is writing letters to the reader. It was even made into a bad movie. I bought this book for someone else, and ended up reading it myself. I still have my original copy which is currently being held together with a rubber band. Charlie's painful attempts to connect to people outside of himself and his discovery of past abuse didn't just strike a chord with me - it opened the cover, reached in, and ripped out the chords and scattered them around my room.
2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I don't have kids and I don't want to have kids. However, this book was the first time that I could relate to anyone who ever has. It changed my life and scared the shit out of me. I carried it around in my purse for months so I could re-read it. Set in the near distant future, women have lost all their rights and are now relegated to breed-able house servants. The loss of identity in a world where survival is as good as it gets was haunting.
3. Dry by Augusten Burroughs
Augusten Burroughs' books are usually collections of humorous stories from his life. This book is different. He deals with his alcoholism in a way that is so raw, I ended up crying out loud. As he finds his way through his new sobriety and has to deal with real personal loss, you end up walking along side him, raw, exposed, and vulnerable.