I’ve always been an introverted kid. I’d rather stay at home, play by myself, make up stories in my mind, stare at nothing, and most of all, read my books. I had a book with a picture of a control room of a space rocket at the centerfold and I’ll sit on the page pretending that I’m driving the rocket and going to space with my encyclopedias.
I have read quite a lot already, but these three books had the most impact on my life.
1. By The River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept by Paolo Coelho
This book opened new doors for me. We were tasked to choose an element of the book and make a thesis about it in high school and our group decided to focus on the notion of God’s feminine face in this book. Being in a Catholic school and a Christian country made it extremely difficult to prove this. In the end, I decided to scour the Bible, Q’ran, and other religious books to prove that in any religion, God has a feminine face. I ended up believing in my thesis, seriously reconsidering my faith, and establishing my stand as a feminist.
Since I believed in our thesis, it was easy for me to defend it in front of the panel. One of my professors told me, “I hope you realize that you are doing this just for literature. This is something to be just discussed, not believed in.”
Well, maybe not.
This book tackled all of the aspects of my life that needed saving: my faith, my purpose, my emotional and mental health, and even my love life. I’ve read this book for at least five times already and I don’t want to sound cheesy, but it’s like reading a new book every time.
2. Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter by Barbara Robinette Moss
Back when I had little money to spend of books and other things, I usually just buy at book sales or book exchange boutiques. I think it was a blessing in disguise because some books there cannot be found in a regular book store anymore.
I stumbled upon this book and I was immediately drawn to it because of the old picture in the front cover and the title which includes a Greek god. I’m a sucker for anything about the Greek mythology. I flipped it over and saw a sketch of a woman’s face. I liked it even better. When I read the synopsis and found out that it was about a woman’s journey from a horrible childhood to becoming an artist, writer, and a beautiful and successful woman, I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. I can relate to most of her childhood stories. I felt like we were going through the same things and it gave me hope to confront my own struggles and find out where my journey can take me.
3. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
It’s kind of cliché to always find myself in the author’s shoes, but this is exactly what happened to me when I read this book. Sometimes I would spend whole summer vacations locked up in my room, planning for the future where I can help mentally ill patients, and figuring out how to have enough time to inspire and motivate others through my stories or artworks.
Whenever I doubt myself or get envious of my colleagues who are traveling the world, I think of Anne Frank and how a 14-year-old girl who’s been locked up in an annex was able to ‘travel’ the world with her stories to share and her unwavering hope.