Book Report Series

 

If I had to identify one activity that has had the most profound impact on my life it is reading. 

 

I come from humble beginnings and reading provided visions of a world that was richer than my immediate surroundings. Reading fueled my curiosity and convinced me that I didn't have to be a product of my environment. I could transcend it, or better yet, imagine the life I wanted — and then achieve it.

I consume books with voracity. Reading is indeed a life source and as fundamental to my sense of wellbeing as food. As I transitioned from childhood to adulthood I depended on a variety of texts to help me define my own beliefs and determine my core values vs. blindly following ideals that were passed down to me. 

As a result of exploring and improving myself through books, I have what feels like a perpetual ember of confidence and contentment. And if ever that is disturbed I feel secure in knowing that my fellowmen — those who came before and some with which I coexist — have gone through similar challenges and may have sound counsel to offer.

Most books I read are non-fiction though even imaginative works have nuggets of truth that can be unearthed and cherished. Sometimes it's not even about the book but the state of mind you're in when you open it. Even if nothing substantial is within reach, I'll take to reading the backs of food packaging and random pamphlets left behind at coffee shops because I'm fascinated, in a general sense, with the power of the written word.

In the spirit of sharing my enthusiasm with reading aficionados, I'll periodically compile categorized short lists of books that I consider eye-opening and/or life-changing.  Read the first edition on Human History or explore the full series.