One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday is with a good book and a cat or two curled up with me. Reading is as essential to me as breathing, and I will be forever grateful to my parents for instilling a love of reading in me at a very young age. My reading covers a wide variety of genres, from non-fiction to cozy mysteries to romance novels, and of course, I read a lot of cat books.
The other day, I was cleaning out some bookshelves. One of the challenges for someone who reads as much as I do is getting rid of books. Even though I either pass them on to friends or donate them, it’s just so hard to say goodbye to a book. It’s one of the many reasons why I love my Kindle so much: I no longer have to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of! During this cleaning project, I came across a few books that I will never ever get rid of, because they’ve played such a major role in my life at one time or another. This got me thinking about books that change your life.
There are the obvious ones. Classics like The Road Less Traveled, The Celestine Prophecy, or The Artist’s Way. But it’s the unexpected ones that really sent me on a trip down memory lane, and I thought I’d share a couple with you today, if you promise to share yours!
I read this little treasure of a book, which was published in 1953, as a very young child. It was my first introduction to America, and is probably responsible for my dream of one day living in this country . At the time, there was no other book for girls in Germany that provided as much detail about life in the US as this one. And I can’t help but smile at the cover. Washington and a girl with her cats – providence? I moved to the Washington DC area in 1984.
I read Samantha Mooney’s classic book about the years she worked at the world famous Animal Medical Center in New York City for the first time in the early 1980’s, and I’ve read it at least a dozen times since then. I think it’s one of the most beautiful cat books ever written. I hold this book responsible for my career in veterinary medicine. A few years go, I was able to tour AMC, and it was as if the book had come to life for me.
I read this reflective autobiography by Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullman in my early twenties. It was the first time I was exposed to a woman talking about finding herself as both an artist and a woman. My copy is dog-eared, with plenty of highlights and annotations. Reading this book, and especially my notes, from this present vantage point offers me a look back on the woman I was then, and makes me appreciate just how far I’ve come.
So now that I’ve shared some of my life changing books, tell me about some of yours!
Image ©Bernadette Kazmarski, used with permission