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When I was little, there was no limit to the amount of time I could spend in a bookstore.  I think I’ve always had more books than I’ve had friends.  A shy girl with a freckled round face and long golden hair, hardly recognizable today.  Tucking myself behind my mother when met with a stranger, I felt even safer hidden behind the cover of a book.

My face has since slimmed, my hair grown darker, freckles only evident in the summer sun.  Though it’s not likely one could pin me from a baby photo alone, there is one thing that never changed even after decades; the safety and solace of losing myself in a story.

Much like my intuition with people, I can tell quite quickly whether a book and I will bond or if I’ll merely grow bored.  And just like their human counterparts, I’ve never given up on a book– even when it’s been utterly rotten.  All chapters read, all pages turned in hopes of being pleasantly proven wrong.

And then there are those books that touch you almost immediately upon opening.  You feel as if the words could have even been your own.  The books that move you, change you, leave you wanting more.  There have been times when I’ve grown more attached to characters in a book than I have a lover.  Those are the books you never want to end.  So you read slowly, deliberately savoring each detail as if you will never be able to go back and open it again.

The End is such a bittersweet way to say, “goodbye.”

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 (Note: this isn’t a list of my favorite books- though some of them are- this is a list of books I read in the past year that impacted me and came to me like pieces of a puzzle)

  1. The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, M. Scott Peck
  2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel, Milan Kundera
  3. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, Aldous Huxley
  4. How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life, Sheila Heti
  5. Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  6. He’s Scared, She’s Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships, Steven Carter and Julia Sokol
  7. Just Kids, Patti Smith
  8. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Jeremy P. Tarcher
  10. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories, Raymond Carver