It’s here!! Book Blogger Appreciation Week was something that was so incredibly fun and a great way for the book blogging community to come together in celebration of bookish awesomeness and IT’S BACK! To start the week off, we’re introducing ourselves with five books that represent us. Here are mine.

  1. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – This has been my favorite book of all time since I first read it about ten years ago after my aunt recommended it to me. I just love, love LOVE all the characters in the novel, their relationships with each other, the combination of discovery/science fiction/literary amazingness, and so much more about the book. I’m also VERY interested in books that deal with aspects of religion and faith in interesting, unique, thought-provoking ways, and this is probably the best example of that I have ever read. There’s literally nothing I don’t like about this novel and I think everyone should read it.
  2. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – An important element of my life and my personality is my career, and I am very attuned to the ways that being a woman in a leadership position in my particular industry especially (but everywhere, really) is more challenging than it should be. I loved everything about what Sandberg wrote in this book and I felt like she was speaking directly to me as I read it. It wasn’t exactly an “ah-ha” moment, but it was like she was saying the things I had already thought of in abstract ways but hadn’t been able to articulate in intelligent ways. I also think this book would be exceptionally useful for men who either manage women, report directly to women, or just work with women in any capacity (so basically all men). There’s just so much here that is illuminating and exciting and so incredibly helpful.
  3. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – This book SLAYED me. There were so many moments throughout the book that really broke my heart in a million pieces, in the best possible way. But more importantly, I love this book because the advice Strayed gives is very much how I want to live my life, how I would be every day if I was my best self in every moment of every day – to live authentically, to speak truth in every situation, to just live the hell out of your life and do YOU. I want so badly to be this person all the time, and I’m working on it, and Strayed helped cement how important that is for me when I read this book.
  4. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb – This novel represents kind of a shift in my reading habits that shaped a lot of my reading for years to come. I read it when I was maybe fourteen or fifteen, and it was the first grown-up novel I actively chose to read, completely on my own, not required for school or anything like that. Prior to reading this book I read all YA and mysteries/thrillers by authors like James Patterson and Mary Higgins Clark. For whatever reason, I picked up I Know This Much Is True at the library (I think it was an Oprah’s Book Club pick at the time, so it was probably featured prominently), fell madly in love with the characters and the story, and despite its 800+ page length, I sped through the thing. Upon finishing it, I immediately started looking for other books that were similar in scope and also about family issues – stuff I wouldn’t have looked at before reading it. To this day, I consider it one of my favorite books and crave the feeling of reading a novel that is so all-encompassing like this one was to me at the time.
  5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I couldn’t possibly have a list of books that represent me and leave these out! Reading this series was a transformative experience for me. Never before this had I so identified with a character (Hermione, obviously) or been so in love with a group of characters that I felt they could be real – I felt like they were my friends, that I knew them in real life. Not only that, but prior to reading the series I thought I didn’t like fantasy, only to learn that I needed to open up my mind to all kinds of books I assumed I wouldn’t like. While I didn’t read these books when I was a kid (I read the first one in my senior year of high school), they have become a big part of who I am and J.K. Rowling is like a hero to me. I think she is just brilliant.

So there you have it! Which books most represent you?

And if you haven’t signed up for Book Blogger Appreciation Week yet, what are you waiting for? It’s not too late!