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Books are my Life

Just rec’d my new Oprah mag.  The boat boys mock my O but who cares if it is cheesy and silly? To say nothing about the Oprah’s picks for must haves, $50 lipstick? Oh yeah right!
But I love flipping quickly to the section on books and the monthly missive titled ‘books that changed my life.’  Every month a luminary offers up five or six books that changed their life.  Given that it is Oprah most are women.  Every month I read this column and ponder, ‘what books would I chose?’  What books would I consider life altering? Normally, the spotlighted books are profound, deep, ‘hard’ books, i.e. nobody picks a John Grisham novel.  John Grisham novels and their ilk do not alter your life; they offer a respite from it (which is a highly valued attribute in my opinion).  My first thought this a.m. continued my pondering last night, what books would I choose?  For someone who reads voraciously this is too difficult, especially because I have no bookshelf to reference.  Books are also precious during particular times and moods so one book at this moment would not offer insight tomorrow – is this a version of ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear?”. 
One book that crosses all boundaries is the Bible, (alright all you eye rollers just stop).  The truth is that the Bible did change my life but not in the way many would assume.  It’s the only book I continue to read repeatedly not because I ‘have to’ but because I my soul hungers for it.  Another book that ‘changed my life’ was Let’s Go Europe. It was the Bible for my first foray into foreign adventure.  Books have always been about educating me how to live, where to go and how to think.  Let’s Go is a literal passeral into Europe.  Every time I see it in a book store a delighted smile springs up, what a great adventure it offers.  Usually Oprah’s guests pick a book of poetry but I can’t.  How embarrassing to admit that reading poetry does not do it for me – listening to poetry by the writer now that is when poetry flowers.  The whole slam poetry contest thing jazzes me as it offers an opportunity to hear poetry from raging, passionate poets.  One more book comes to mind today, it’s a ‘story’ book, the Secret Life of Bees.  It sticks with me particularly b/c it’s told from the perspective of a 14 year old girl/women and one line that sums up something so profound, “people who saying dying is hard have never tried really living.”  Isn’t that true?  
What books changed your life?