Nothing inanimate has had as staggeringly significant an impact on my life as books. I assume that most people feel similarly. I grew up with my nose in a book. All the emotion/confusion/fascination that I carried as I matured was challenged and encouraged by my love of reading.
I always had a book with me, and I read at all the impolite times–at the dinner table (at home or out at restaurants), in the car, at recess (yep). My father had a rule for almost all of my childhood and teenage years that I couldn’t read while I was in the car with him, because he wanted to have a chance to talk to me (#rulesfornerds anyone?).
My love of books and a well written turn of phrase drew me to Literature in College, and so I lovingly majored in English. And I did pretty well. However, I wasn’t successful because of some raw talent or intellectual prowess, I excelled because I had an unquenchable passion for the power of a great story. I believed at my core then (and still do) that a well written story changes the way we see the world. Instantly, I can “empathize” with others in a way that I haven’t experienced through any other medium. The great story is our shared story. It’s one that speaks to us all and connects us. I believe in it. So much so that my love of great literature lead me to Chile, home of so many great poets, novelists and artists. And I fell in love with the power of a story in a new language. It was transformational.
Fast forward to my life now. I read when I can, but unless I consciously prioritize books, I do an awful job at making time for them in my every day life. I have finally discovered this real truth for myself–each and every time I carve away some space in my world to read more regularly, I see the world more brightly, more colorfully, and I live more purposefully. I often struggle to find the space/quiet/time to read, but I have always known that getting more organized would help me.
In that vein, for a while now I have been wanting to create a master list of all the books I either have a) read and loved or b) always wanted to read. This task has been on my life list (also known as Aurora) for a while now. I also always wanted to create this list, because I waste way too much ding dang time wondering what book I should read next. No More.
I’ve never purposefully and thoughtfully pulled together a massive bucket book list before now, and I have to tell you that even though it was tedious (oh, it was), it was also such a satisfying project. I think everyone should make one of these. The listing of the books (figuring out what I had read that I loved and what I wanted to read that I knew I would love) wasn’t too bad, but the linking to each of the titles one at a time takes forever. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing my list with you in sections (starting today with A-G). After I’ve shared all of the list with you guys, it will live on it’s own page within Not Merely Living where I can add to it as needed and folks can access it easily. I plan to sort the books in a few different ways so that it’s easy to browse around.
For your reading pleasure, here is Part I of my book bucket list listed alphabetically by Author’s last names A-G: