I was challenged by a friend – well, I begged her for a blog post idea and she came through like…someone who’s really dependable – to come up with three books that are “a snapshot of me.”
I already failed, since I came up with six and couldn’t whittle the list down any further. They are listed in the order in which they were read…because that’s the order in which I grew.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling
This book captures my whimsical childhood imagination. If I had three wishes, I’d wish to go to Hogwarts for a year. I’d date Ron and be besties with Hermione and go on adventures with Harry. And I would steal some lemon drops from Dumbledore. Why this HP book specifically? Because they form The Order! The kids become more rebellious and independent and help each other out and fall in love…sigh. Deep down, I really do believe in magic.
2. Letters to a Young Therapist – Mary Pipher
I read this book in my Master’s program when I had no idea how to help my clients and I had a shitty supervisor who wouldn’t help me. This book became my virtual supervisor and gave me space me to begin to figure out what kind of therapist I wanted to be.
3. The Gift of Therapy – Irvin Yalom
Like the previous book, this one gently taught me to figure out what therapy was and how I could use time, space, and words to help people help themselves. Most of all, Yalom urged me to use myself- that, through authentic relationships between therapist and client, meaningful change could happen. Such a simple, powerful message that has stayed with me.
4. Quiet – Susan Cain
THIS. I never fully understood my introvertism, or that all those weird things I do even had a name, until I read this book. I am drained and exhausted after interviews. In college, I avoided small talk with drunk dudes in bars by asking a real question, like When you die, what do you want to be remembered for? I can be alone and happy, reading for hours. One time in grad school, I wanted to go home and get in jammies but my friends wanted to stay out. While we were discussing it, the last bus of the night drove by. I left mid-sentence and RAN to that bus stop. I didn’t look back. Reading this book felt beyond validating. Having the additional insight into my personality and disposition will prove invaluable as I navigate interpersonal relationships (including the one I have with myself).
5. All Joy and No Fun – Jennifer Senior
This non-fiction book is about how children affect their parents, and woo-boy, it describes my first year of being a parent like SHE’S IN MY HEAD. I spend a good chunk of my days doing work, a lot of thankless work, to keep my child alive and healthy. It’s no fun. And every once in a while, I get a moment, one moment of sheer, complete divine JOY when my boy belly-laughs or snuggles with me. Aaah, that’s why people birth small humans.
6. In the Body of the World – Eve Ensler
Eve is best known for writing The Vagina Monologues, and recently she fought and won her battle with uterine cancer and wrote about it in this book. While no cancer story will ever be the same as my own, there were many times where her experiences mirrored mine, and her ability to eloquently wade through grief and words and symbolism brought out all my feels. We’ve both worked to help women survive violence, we lost parts of our female reproductive systems, and struggled not to feel like less of a woman because of it. I was honored to meet her in 2008. This book spoke to me on a level that few books can.
NaBloPoMo Day 16