The Books That Made Me

Miranda Lambert has a song called “The House That Built Me,” and while I’m not a big country fan, I identify with the sentiment that a place can hold so many memories that it becomes a part of your story. Many of us have a place tied to childhood where our roots have grown so deep that no matter where we go, we’ll always be “from” that place.

Being a book person, I not only have places that have altered the chemical makeup of my being, but stories as well. Here are the books that made me:

  1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – I read this book in the 7th grade, and I sobbed ugly tears for the first time. No book had ever touched me the way Ponyboy Curtis’s coming-of-age story did. Maybe you never forget the first time a book made you feel.
  2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – I actually read The Little Prince in French for a class assignment, and I fell in love with it. The wisdom woven into the story is easily communicated to children, but has so much depth that adults connect it with it as well. It’s a rare thing that a story can teach you something new every time you read it.
  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I’ve heard conflicting opinions about this book, but it will always hold a special place in my heart because it reached me at a time when learning to follow your story had a great impact. As a senior in high school, about to go off on my own to college, I learned that nothing was more important at that moment than listening to my heart and not letting fear get in the way.

What books have built you?

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