10 Books That Changed My Life

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1.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

When I First Read It:  Fourth Grade {no kidding}

Why I Love It:  I can be just as cold and calculating and manipulative as Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Thankfully, I have a one thousand page manifesto on how to get stuff done without throwing away happiness with both hands.  Plus, Rhett Butler is my spirit animal.

How It Changed My Life:  Scarlett had everything and she gave it up for a washed-up, weak excuse for a man.  From the tender age of nine, I vowed that the same would never happen to me.

Hashtag:  #TomorrowIsAnotherDay #FiddleDeeDee #GreatBallsOfFire

First Line:

Gone With the Wind

2.  Animal Farm by George Orwell.

When I First Read It:  8th Grade

Why I Love It:  It proves my favorite talking point—Communism is a gorgeous concept on paper but the human {or animal, rather} element will always guarantee its ultimate failure.

How It Changed My Life:  At the age of thirteen, it provided a vivid depiction of the destructive nature of Communism.

Hashtag:  #FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBetter #SomeAreMoreEqualThanOthers #IWillWorkHarder

First Line:

Animal Farm

3.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  My middle name is Anne.

How It Changed My Life:  More than anything else, Anne Shirley taught me that have an overactive imagination is a blessing, not an affliction.  Plus, Gilbert Blythe.

Hashtag:  #KindredSpirits #RaspberryCordial #BosomFriends #DressesWithPuffySleeves

First Line:

Anne

4.  Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  The idea that Wendy Darling got to lord over a dozen or so little boys was terribly captivating {and still kinda is}.

How It Changed My Life:  Wendy taught me that change is necessary, so it may as well be embraced.  Peter taught me that dating a man-child is a waste of time.

Hashtag:  #HookOrMeThisTime #Wendybird #ToDieWillBeAnAwfullyBigAdventure

First Line:

Peter Pan

5.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

When I First Read It:  Last year {and it took an abysmally long time}

Why I Love It:  Finishing and comprehending this book made me feel like I finally deserved to vote.

How It Changed My Life:  I finally realized without a shadow of a doubt that {like it or not} I am a cold-hearted Libertarian.

Hashtag:  #WhoIsJohnGalt #ReardenSteel #GaltsGulch

First Line:

Atlas Shrugged

6.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

When I First Read It:  Third Grade

Why I Love It:  Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy gave me the chance to know what it would be like to have sisters.

How It Changed My Life:  At the ripe old age of nine, Louisa May Alcott taught me that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.  People may die, the jelly won’t always jell, and your sister might marry the love of your life.  Regardless, you have to put on your big girl panties {pantaloons?} and deal with it.

Hashtag:  #ThereWereNeverSuchDevotedSisters #PickledLimes

First Line:

Little Women

7.  Mugged:  Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter 

When I First Read It:  Last summer

Why I Loved It:  It’s well-researched and quite tart in tone.

How It Changed My Life:  I never realized how far politicians will go insure votes.  I also didn’t know where the phrase “drank the Kool-Aid,” came from until reading this book.

Hashtag:  #OJVerdict #DrankTheKoolAid #AlGoresDadWasSuperRacist

First Line:

Mugged

8.  Emma by Jane Austen

When I First Read It:  10th Grade

Why I Love It:  I identify with Emma Woodhouse in a way that is both terribly frightening and enlightening.

How It Changed My Life:  Giving others very good advice while seldom following it oneself is a horrific habit.

Hashtag:  #AllTheSingleLadies #DearEmma

First Line:

Emma

9.  Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

When I First Read It:  Sixth Grade

Why I Loved It:  After years of being teased, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named finally made an actual appearance.  I also love the idea of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons spending the year at Hogwarts.

How It Changed My Life:  A year or so after reading about Harry’s fourth year at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I lost several people in quick succession.  It may sound lame to adult me, but thirteen year old me realized that if Harry could watch Cedric Diggory die at the hands of Voldemort, I could process scary real-life things like cancer.

Hashtag:  #SPEW #TriWizardTournament #QuidditchWorldCup

First Line:

Harry

10.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

When I First Read It:  Freshman year of college

Why I Loved It:  I have a {slightly unhealthy} thing for self-loathing jerks and Mr. Rochester takes the cake.  {I could fix that man, really I could}.

How It Changed My Life:  Jane taught me to not be a doormat.

Hashtag:  #AlwaysMakeSureTheDeadWifeIsReallyDead

First Line:

Jane

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