My brother, Walker, mentioned I should participate in the meme going around Facebook where participants list their top ten most influential books. I laughed at first because he actually reads books that can actually influence. I read historical fiction romance with cowboys and pirates... But he explained it was suppose to be a list that influenced me personally for whatever reason. The more I thought about it, the more I figured I could do this. I should mention that I rarely read to research. I read to escape. I like to be lost in a book. I love happy endings. I love LOVE. So a lot of my books are going to fit into that category...
So, without further adieu I present to you-- the 2 people who still read my blog--
TORI'S Top 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS!! (in no particular order...)
1- Ghost Stories of Texas by Ed Syers - I read this book over and over again in elementary school. I can't even really say if the book was any good. But I do know it fueled my flame of the love of all things supernatural. (Shout out to Sam and Dean Winchester!!) I love ghost stories and ghost hunters and all things ghosts...
2- UFOs, JFK, & Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to be Crazy to Believe by
Richard Belzer - I've read this book 3 times. There's better conspiracy books out there, but I like the way Belzer presents his theories. This book helped me realize it's ok to ask questions and that I don't have to just believe what I've been told about anything. And I do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, if he acted at all.
3- Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler - This book was about forbidden love between a white woman and a black man during the Civil Rights Era. The reason this book was influential to me is because it stayed with me, for days... weeks. I could cry speaking about it. Forbidden love- especially because of race- infuriates me. Everyone thinks they are doing what is "best" for this couple and instead ruined so many lives. I'm getting frustrated thinking about it... Just let people love.
4- The Work & The Glory Vol. 4: Thy Gold to Refine by Gerald N. Lund - I read this entire series a couple of times 15+ years ago. This is the book that stuck with me the most. It detailed the expulsion of the early Latter Day Saints from the Far West, the massacres, the abuse, the prejudice... There was a legal "Extermination Order" in Missouri where Mormons could be killed for being Mormon. Most people don't realize the early Mormon pioneers were forced to FLEE
THE COUNTRY in order to save themselves and to worship as they please. Utah was NOT a part of the United States at the time- it was a vast, mountainous, unknown wilderness. Their faith and determination are inspiring and the prejudice is sickening.
5- Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke - I'll be honest and admit I read this book because I saw the Hallmark movie. But wow- this book led me to read 15 other books by Oke and encouraged my love of reading, especially historical fiction. I hadn't read anything regularly since the Twilight series and that was years ago.... This book revealed my inner bookworm. I was reading the Love Comes Softly series when the 50 Shades of Gray frenzy hit. I'm glad I was too into my Christian romances to be bothered with Christian Gray...
6- Dusty Britches by Marcia Lynn McClure - This wasn't the first book by McClure that I read. I read The Visions of Ransom Lake first. That was a great read, but Dusty Britches won me over as a Marcia McClure fan FOREVER. Our library only has one MLM book, so every book I've read of hers has been through an Interlibrary Loan, which means extra waiting. I've read 40 MLM books and have loved them all. I own several now and have re-read half of the ones I read before. She is fun, clean, spunky, and can write kisses like no one else I've read. Yep, Ryder Maddox in Dusty Britches sealed the deal forever for my love of cowboys and romance.
7- Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life by Joshua Becker- Joshua Becker also has a blog I read regularly called Becoming Minimalist ... I think I've always been a minimalist at heart. "Things" aren't important to me. I've never had a dream car or dream house or dream shopping spree... This book helped with the "hows" and "whys" of minimalism and jump-started me on my journey of decluttering and living life. :)
8- Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible by Regina Brett - I just loved that this book reminded me that I can do little things each day that seem insignificant to me, but could make a huge difference in someone else's day. :)
9- Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love by Richard and Kristine Carlson - I actually read this book in the midst of my divorce back in 2001. I can't tell you anything from this book except one piece of advice that I've always remembered and hung on to. Kris- the main author's wife - said to ask yourself "Who's quirk is in anyway?" In her example she said she found herself getting so frustrated because she would get a towel out for herself before her shower, but would inevitably get sidetracked. Her husband would take a shower first and use the towel she had set out. She was so bugged he would use "her towel" and thought he was so inconsiderate. Eventually she figured out that maybe SHE was the one with the problem. As far as her husband knew he had the most thoughtful wife who would set out a towel for him each day. He had no idea that she was irritated and thinking the worst of him. She started getting 2 towels out- one for him and one for her. It solved the "problem" that never was really a problem other than in her head. I've tried to remember to ask myself "Is this really MY quirk?" whenever "issues" arise in my marriage... I think it's awesome advice.
10- The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay - I actually just finished this book yesterday. I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I don't even really know WHAT I'm thinking about. It's like I miss the characters. They got in my head so deep. They were so broken and perfectly imperfect. All I could think was "JUST BE NICE!" the whole time I read it. People are each fighting their own personal battles, whether we can see it or not. Just be kind. I loved Josh's description of how people treat you when you're grieving. Truth. I mourned with Sunshine and her loss. I loved seeing them both struggle with loving someone and allowing themselves to be loved. It was about healing and letting go; about realizing you can't "fix" other people, but you can love and accept them. It was beautiful, emotional, powerful, and unforgettable.