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The Prompt

2014-05-11 17.27.25What books have you read that energized, or rejuvenated you? What books, if any, have you read that motivated you towards positive change? It doesn’t have to be a book written specifically to energize or motivate (like The Happiness Project), it could just be a book the left you feeling uplifted.

I’ve been blogging for just over a year now, and I decided to look back and see what books I’ve read this past year that I found encouraging or rejuvenating. Books always leave me feeling something, whether it is confused, satisfied, disgusted, or day-dreamy (I’m aware that last isn’t really a thing, but it is something I feel).

Here are the ones that stood out:

I Am The Messenger – This book was all about a young man that went about effecting positive change. It wasn’t always pretty, and sometimes it involved violence, and he had outside motivation. But, he did effect change, positive change, in his life and in others. I came away from this reading inspired to try and do more in my life, and challenged to pay more attention to the people around me.

An Irish Country Wedding – Okay, this book is a stand-in for a genre. I don’t know that this genre exists for publishers and book-sellers, this may be something I’ve made up, I call it Comfort-Reads. Now, I think comfort-reads are different for everyone. What may be a comfort-read for me, may not be for you. Wedding is a novel about the day-to-day life of a country doctor. There are no explosions (which I do often like), there are mysteries (which I love), but none of them involve murder, they are just small community mysteries. It is basically about normal people, some good, some less good, living together in a community. They work, they get married, they get sick, they buy homes, they loose jobs, they plan parties. I find these kinds of reads comforting because they help me appreciate my day-to-day more. So often we can take day-to-day for granted. We can get bored and frustrated with same ole, same ole. The truth is though, that if we are feeling that way, we are immensely blessed. We don’t live in a war-torn country. We feel safe. We are probably surrounded by people we love. We probably have our daily needs seen to, and aren’t under an immense amount of stress due to illness or disease. Reading books like this helps me remember that. They are also, generally, easy reads that are calming, and don’t require you to think overly much. So, they are nice to read when you ARE stressed out as well.

Books for Fall – This links to a post I wrote about some of the children’s books I was reading with my boys about fall. I love fall, or autumn, it is my favorite season. I love to see the leaves change and feel the cooler weather move in (for us in Kansas this means 70s and 80s, summer can often bring temps over 100 during the day). For me, fall represents new beginnings much more than the new year does. So, reading these books with my boys always leaves me feeling happy and hopeful. School is often starting and there is so much possibility in the future. Love those fall picture books.

imgresThe Memory of Running – This book is the last one because it probably made me feel the most encouraged. Like all the others, it is a fiction book. However, the protagonist in this book experienced a metamorphosis, such a complete change. The way he did it was unorthodox. It was motivated by the loss of family, and the realization of what he had become, and how far that was from what he had been. This book really spoke to me on a personal level since I could equate so many of his struggles to issues in my own life. I connected with it. You may not, but you might have a book in mind that you DID connect with. If you do, you probably understand my feeling. I left this book feeling that no matter how far I travel from myself (and I think we all do loose our way from time to time), I can come back. If that means doing something crazy and out of character, then I should do it, but you can alway improve. Always. Things can always get better. Always. And you should always look for love, especially in the places you least expect it.

Okay, that maybe got to be a little much. I don’t generally get so mushy-gushy, but there you go.

I would love to hear what books rejuvenated, energized, or connected with you. Please share! I’m always looking for books to add to my list.