The Thankful Project: Day 19

If you’re just tuning in, I am writing each day for a series called The Thankful Project. Following this series has allowed me to gain some perspective and really count my blessings and reasons to be thankful leading up to Thanksgiving.

Day 19: A Book

Reading used to be my thing.  I would get home from classes/work/anything else, get on comfy clothes and lounge around reading. Many Saturday afternoons were spent reading books and drinking tea or coffee.  But, now, I find that reading has become a rarity for me.  I read a lot at work all day and when I get home from work I work out, cook dinner, shower and then watch TV.  Rinse and repeat. It is a hobby that I still really enjoy, but haven’t been making as much time for since I became a “real adult.”  Perhaps my New Years Resolution this year could be to spend more time reading.  Anyways, here are a few books that I’ve read over the past five or so years that I have really enjoyed.

Have you guys seen the BuzzFeed Article “65 Books You Need to Read in Your 20’s?”  Agree or disagree? What ones are “Must Reads?”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Hands down my favorite book of all time.  I couldn’t even tell you how many times I have read it because I can’t keep track.  Yes, that many times.  I have three copies.  This has been my favorite book since the first time I read it as a freshman in high school.  “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” It taught me so much about growing up and dealing with real-life problems as a teenager.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.  It is so seemingly simplistic, but the book made a huge impact on the way I think about things. I have re-read it multiple times and have shared it with many friends and acquaintances.  The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; Always do your best.  One quote has always stuck out to me from the book is, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.  I can’t say enough good things about this book to do it justice.  I gobbled it up and came back wanting more and more!  One of my favorite lines is, “You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.” I don’t want to give anything away in this one, so if you haven’t read it you should.

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.  Having read all of Rob Bell’s books except for “What We Talk About When We Talk About God”, I found this book to be the most relevant to where I was at in my faith journey when I read it.  Here’s my all-time favorite quote from “Velvet Elvis” and exactly what I needed to hear at the time, “Whether we are reading the Bible for the first time or standing in a field in Israel next to a historian and an archaeologist and a scholar, the Bible meets us where we are. That is what truth does.”  I have so many dog-eared pages and highlighted sentences in my copy.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  “I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.” That’s my absolute favorite line.  I have read this book three times, I think, and I could read it 100 more and not get sick of it.  I notice new lines that stand out to me each time and different parts that I identify with.

There are so many books I have read that have opened my eyes to new cultures, new ideas and new experiences.  Reading has been such a beneficial hobby for me and I hope to share that love of reading with my future children.

What book suggestions do you guys have based on the books I like?

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