Reading Is Fundamental: My Top 10 Books of Impact – Guest Post

amy guest blogging week

This was floating around Facebook a while back and I meant to start it….and I did.

Then I stopped because it was actually harder than I expected it to be.

I mean, I’m a reader. Have been from childhood with a recent resurrection during my social media fast.

I could never (and still can’t) pick up a book to ‘fall asleep’ – the book always won and I’ve seen the sunrise due to a book more than I can count.

So here’s my list of books that have stood out to me or have some significance over my long reader life:

1. The Other Side of Dark – Joan Lowery Nixon. I don’t know what it is about this book. Maybe because I always felt the ‘the’ was missing. Or it was a haunting, not your typical teen mystery thriller.

2. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald. This was lying around my house, and at 12, I picked it up. I was engrossed in the world I was transported to. When it was assigned in 11th grade.. I was laughing!

3. Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss. I used to attend leadership conferences in high school. And I was introduced to this book (and 1 part in particular), that they would use at the closing ‘ceremonies’:


And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (90 and 3/4 percent guaranteed). This book enjoys a financial boost at graduation time and for good reason.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (90 and 3/4 percent guaranteed).

This book enjoys a financial boost at graduation time and for good reason.

4. The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill. Oddly this book as a different name for the US, but nonetheless, it was so powerful and moving. I loved the perspective from which the story was told. It evokes all types of emotions, but leaves you with a sense of triumph.

5. Room – Emma Donoghue. I really should not have read this book as a single mom to a little boy. But I did. And it left me shaken.

6. The Bible – Author Unknown. I don’t read the Bible everyday. But for as long as I can remember, there’s always been one in my house. It’s presence is soothing because I know that it contains both mysteries, stories of strength and redemption, love and faith. It’s not perfect – but is any book really?

7. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell. This book was an eye opener and will change the way I raise my son.

8. Mindhunter – John Douglas. I swore I was going to be a profiler for the FBI when I was growing up. About that…

9. Holding Out – Anne O Faulk. It’s a bizarre choice, but read me out. The premise of the book is that women hold out on having sex to spur political change. There’s an ancient story where this is pulled from. It’s not the best book in the world, but it made me think (which I love when a book does that). Would it work? I’m glad they addressed the real threat of violence if it ever happened in real life. Sex as much as we would like to think otherwise, plays a role in just about everything.

10. Some book – Jackie Collins. Finding a book with such explicit writing at a young age… leaves an impression. I felt like I was breaking the rules just reading it, so usually did so in private. That being said, young girls aren’t encouraged the same way to explore their bodies as young boys are. And well.. I’ve already written too much.

This was much harder than I wanted it to be. And if I’m honest, some of these are…padding the stats. Why? I guess as a black person, there are certain authors/books you are expected to have read and have had a profound and immense impact on your life. And you are sometimes judged accordingly.

This list in the end though, touched on almost every aspect of my life. My childhood. My teen years. My university days and motherhood. Being black. Being a woman.

I guess, in the end – it reflects me more than I thought.

Cheers, to the Reading Rainbow.


What’s your word? Can you list 10 books that have impacted you somehow? Feel free to share in the comments!

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