That’s a hard question and one I thought I was supposed to answer. So I pondered it deeply.
Part of being a writer is being a reader, and a rewarding part of being a reader is connecting with other readers. I’ve been meaning to get involved with Goodreads, to connect with other readers, but have been “too busy.” My book club friends get recommendations off of Goodreads. I go along with whatever they find. My clients mention Goodreads, and I nod and act like I know what they’re talking about (that’s a habit I’m still trying to put down and a whole different blog post).
My marketing team suggested I take the plunge and asked me to rate my top twenty books ever. Well, that’s what I thought they asked me to do. They actually asked me to rate twenty books. I’m the one who made it more daunting.
Because how do you choose your top twenty books EVER? The books I loved as a child? They’re there. The books that changed my life? They’re there. I felt such pressure to “recommend” the “right” books, so that everyone who engaged with me on Goodreads would know the real me and would walk away with something powerful that could help them be their real them.
That’s kinda BS, but it’s the pressure I put on myself. And why I managed to make a simple task so challenging is perhaps fodder for another blog post.
But although it was daunting, it was also fun. I enjoyed scouring the bookshelves, pulling out the “right” ones to include. What did I read (and reread, and reread) when I was younger? What was important to me as I matured? As I left the cult and tried to redefine myself? What saved my soul and life as I climbed out of the depths of despair? Little Women is in there. Sex Tips for Girls is in there. Alcoholics Anonymous is in there. Radical Acceptance is in there. All great books. All books that capture the essence of me at different points in my life.
It was fun to explain myself through my reading. It was fun to offer suggestions to others. It was fun to review the books (and hope that, in time, others review To the Moon and Back – and give it lots of stars!).
It is funny that I took a simple task and made it essential and therefore harder. I need to keep thinking and looking to see where else I do that. It is funny that I tried to get involved with Goodreads “perfectly,” but those of you who know, and are coming to know, me know that I do that pretty much all the time.
Did I mention that The Gifts of Imperfection was also on my list?
What are your favorite books ever? It is fun to think about, and I’d love to know. (And come join me on Goodreads, if you’re not there. I’m having fun getting more involved.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!