Today's post is a lengthy one, but it was a lot of fun to write. Books can shape our feelings, personality, and ideas as much as any experience. Here are 10 books that have shaped my life from infancy to adulthood...
1. Madeline I can recite Madeline stories to this day, I love them so much. Madeline was the first strong female literary character in a book for me and I love her spirit and spunk. She’s not afraid of anything! Not to mention that she wears cute clothes and an adorable hat. I admire her strength, her spunk, and her wardrobe. Speaking French is a fabulous skill, too!
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit One of my favorite stories! I didn’t understand why Peter’s mom gave him chamomile tea until I learned that it had calming qualities. The pediatrician recommended it for my minnies for colic when they were babies! The homeopathic teething remedies come from chamomile tea, so Peter’s mom certainly knew just how to soothe his aching tummy after his mishap in Mr. McGregor’s garden. To be honest, this book helped to keep me in line. I didn't want to wander off because I might find trouble like Peter did, only I was afraid of a mean woman with an even meaner dog who lived in the neighborhood. And, I know that Mothers always know the truth...my minnies learned this lesson quickly...Peter's mom knew what had happened without asking.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Probably one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. A beautiful story told through gorgeous visuals is pleasing to all ages. I've always been attracted to beautiful colors and fun details. My idea of many perfect picnic foods comes from this book. It makes me think of summer treats. It's also a feel good story about a beauty coming from within and change.
4. Harold and the Purple Crayon How cool is a little boy who can’t sleep and draws his own fantasy world!? I love Harold. Keeping the theme of Madeline that she can do anything, I love it that Harold is in charge of his own world. As an adult, it's often easy to blame others, work, stress, or other factors for problems we face in life. But I like to do what Harold did; I simply draw a new scene for myself...or some pretty scary monsters to eat the meanies!
5. Little House in the Big Woods Really, I loved the entire series. Life was difficult, but simple, and Laura truly enjoyed life. I loved her sense of adventure and it seemed like she was a good sister.
6. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. This book is a lifesaver to young women. My mother was wonderful and talked with me, but this book is a must-read for all pre-teen girls. I truly identified with the book characters. But just an FYI, the “We must” chants don’t work.
7. The Secret Garden A hidden garden full of treasures? A wonderful book about discovery and friendship for all ages.
8. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler After reading this book, I was convinced that if I ever decided to runaway, I’d make my way to New York to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art! I've always wanted to have a lot of excitement and adventure in my life. Books like these fuel my quest for travel and new experiences, perhaps with just a dose of mischief.
9. Gone With The Wind The romance of the novel and historical references put GWTW at the top of my list of favorites. The story has everything from good and bad, rich and poor, rivalries and friendships, to themes like war and history. Scarlett is a portrait of strength and beauty. I admire her inner strength even in difficult situations. She's not afraid to do anything and didn't hesitate to work in the fields or the hospital during a crisis.
10. The Prince You’ve probably know that I am a political science geek. History and politics have always fascinated me and run thick through my blood. Machiavelli’s work is a primer for life. Although the book was written as guide for success in politics, I’ve always believed that life is a game and that life is politics. Every playground, PTA, and board room has a political order. The easier we learn to play in that order, the more successful we will be. Some people think that word Machiavellian has a negative connotation, but I disagree. It’s better to know that lying, cheating, and alliances are a possibility in life than to be taken by surprise!
What books have influenced your life?