Brigid Downey

March 12, 2019

Books That Changed My Life

Hi Dreamers!

Today I want to talk about books that changed my life. These are books that either inspired me to write, made me read more, made me think, or made me see the world in a completely different way. A lot of them are ones I read as a child because that’s when we are most susceptible to those feelings of everything clicking into place, I think. So here we go!

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

I forgot about this book for the longest time, to be honest. It just popped back into my head recently. I checked out this copy from the school library so often in late elementary- early middle school that I think the librarian stopped asking for it and was surprised when I returned it for the final time.

This book… put a lot of things into perspective for me. I was just like Stargirl. I even had a teacher in 7th grade who called me Stargirl and to me that was the biggest compliment. I was always the type of kid that danced to the beat of her own drum and got teased a lot of it. I never lost that and I think younger me would be very proud of that.

Buy on Amazon.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

It’s no secret that this book is my favorite book of all time. I don’t know what it is about it, but it really gives me this feeling that everything will be okay. It resonates with me in the same way Stargirl does where I feel like I know who I am and what my purpose is when I read it. My paperback copy is well loved and worn and it’s a prize possession of mine. I love the concept of the quote “And in that moment we were infinite” because some days when my anxiety doesn’t get the better of me and I’m really in my own head and believing i myself… I feel like that– Infinite.

Buy on Amazon.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Let’s get real for a second and let me be completely honest with a trigger warning. I was sexually assaulted 3 times between high school and college. That’s all I’m gonna say about it because 1) I don’t want to trigger people and 2) it’s really hard to talk about. I think that’s why when Speak was required reading in my early high school life that it resonated so much with me, but not until years later. Maybe that’s also why Perks of Being a Wallflower is so vivid in my mind always. I remember this book being a big deal when it was on our summer reading list because of the content, but I think it’s an immensely important book for anyone to read. And for anyone currently struggling, I’m here for you.

Buy on Amazon.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This book was required reading for school and it stuck with me for a LONG time. If you’ve never had to read it it’s about technology taking over and the government using it to watch us and brainwash us. Think very early Black Mirror. As someone born in 1995 and grew up in the era between VHS and Blueray, I remember Blackberries and flip phones and floppy disks and dial up internet and AOL and a bunch of other things that my 18 year old sister only vaguely remembers. The rise of technology is really, really weird and it probably scares me a lot more than it does my sister.

The other thing is– when Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 the things he talks about like TV and VR and robots were mostly just SiFi back then. Meaning he PREDICTED a lot of our modern day technology with just a few differences. If that doesn’t make you want to put your phone down and pick up a book I don’t know what does.

Buy on Amazon.

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

This book. This was another required reading in early middle school right around the time I picked up my first Wicca book. I probably read the Blue f for Nightmares series three times one year because I was so captivated by the main character. I don’t remember a lot but I do remember it had a profound impact on me as a young witch which is amazing.

Buy on Amazon.

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

This was the book that introduced me to Tamora Pierce and her immersive Tortall World. I never read the Tortall universe in order until years later. I found Wild Magic in my school’s library and it might have been one of the best finds I ever encountered. It’s still my favorite series in the Tortall universe and Daine is still my favorite heroine. The reason this book changed my life was because Tamora Pierce was the author that inspired me to be a writer. Without her this blog wouldn’t exist.

Buy on Amazon.

What are some books that changed your life and why? Let me know in the comments.

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