5 Facts & 5 Books

Five is the number! Here are five random facts about me, and more importantly, five books that have inspired me in some way.

Five Facts about Me

  1. I lived in a town of 150 people from birth to 18. Yes, it was quiet. Yes, you couldn’t get away with anything as a kid because someone was always watching. Yes, I was sheltered in many ways. However, my parents insisted I grow beyond that four-square-block town and encouraged me to expand my mind and experiences.
  2. I wrote my dissertation on mental illness in the workplace. Specifically, I focused on how managers interact with employees who have/have not disclosed mental illnesses. My biggest takeaways from the research was that stigma is rampant about mental illness and that disclosure is a multi-faceted decision. I’ve seen this in my own life.
  3. I took a solo trip to Greece after my first husband and I divorced. Well, about 27 months after the divorce, actually. It took that long to get the courage to go on my first-ever solo trip. While the sites were amazing and the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I was still lonely and cannot wait to take another trip, but this time with my amazing husband.
  4. I adore elephants and dogs. To me, elephants have a quiet majesty about them. They are strong and fiercely protective of their loved ones. I love them and need to add more elephant symbols in my office. And dogs? Their loyalty and playfulness brings me joy. I could watch our dog Tuck explore our backyard all day.
  5. I am the youngest in my immediate family and amongst my cousins. So, I’m the “double” baby. As a child, this meant I was spoiled rotten and teased exponentially. Because everyone is significantly older than me, I missed out on a lot, and I don’t have much of a relationship with anyone aside from my sister and brother.

Five Books that Have Impacted My Life

I could have picked many more books to add to this list and think I’ll do another installment in a few days, but here are five books that inspired me in some way.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was a freshman in college. Being 18 and freshly out of a tiny town (see #1 above), this book was unlike anything I’d ever read. It was part of the curriculum for a first-year seminar about utopias, and I consider it to be one of the first books that led me to be an English lit major. I reread it about 3 years ago, and I still adore it.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

You know those books that you pick up 3 or 4 times and they just don’t click, but then the next time you pick it up, you’re like “Why did I stop reading it the other times?” For me, One Hundred Years of Solitude is that book. This was my introduction to magical realism, and I had a major book hangover when I finished the last page.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

This is a recent read for me, and I shouted its praises when I finished it. I don’t know that I’ve related to a protagonist so deeply in comparison to any other book I’ve read in the past three years. Nina’s love of books and her awkwardness spoke volumes to me.

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

My apologies to James Joyce, but Roddy Doyle is my favorite Irish novelist. I read Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha while I was studying in Dublin, and the child protagonist is amazing. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors was my first read by Doyle, but it’s gone missing from my collection, as has A Star Called Henry. I’m very sad about this.

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

What can I say about Pat Conroy? He was a genius who could transform a phrase from words on a page to magic in your mind. My high school English teacher encouraged me to read The Prince of Tides, and I am so grateful she did.

What about you? Share your facts and books!

4 thoughts on “5 Facts & 5 Books”

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