The website 20SB (which I’ve posted about before) has weekly blogging prompts. I’ve never participated in one before but this week’s prompt piqued my interest because I love reading! What 3 books summarize me? To be honest, two books immediately popped into my head; I had the most trouble thinking of a third because I wasn’t about to change those first two. So here they are, in the order that I thought of them:
1. The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Aside from this being my favorite book ever, I chose The Giver because the theme of the book is discovery- learning about the world around you and understanding that things are often not what they appear to be, and that while each moment you can only make choices based on what you know, those choices can and should be adapted down the road as you gain more knowledge. As I progress through my education and through life, I’ve become more aware of the process of learning, and I often find myself revisiting old information with a new mindset, trying to both recall what I knew the first time I encountered something as well as figuring out how to apply what I’ve learned since to that. I first read The Giver in the 5th grade, and its messages have stuck with me in one way or another ever since. It’s been somewhat of a guiding force for me and I am proud to say that the impact it’s had on my life has not diminished over the years.
2. The Faith Club, by Rayna Idliby. I was a little bit surprised, at first, when this book popped into my head. It’s been years (maybe 4 or so) since I’ve read it and I’ve come a long way in terms of how I think about religion since then. This book focuses on 3 women from different religious backgrounds (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) who discuss and debate their religions and their own religious experiences; the book serves to highlight both the similarities and differences between the three religions and to bridge the gap in knowledge that so often arises when discussing religion. I am Jewish but until fairly recently I treated it more as a culture instead of a religion (the difference for me being the amount of “belief” versus the amount of “tradition” that is infused into the practice). Over the past year or so, I’ve been turning a more critical eye towards what I believe and how I express it and so The Faith Club highlights that aspect of my life at the moment.
3. The Next Thing On My List, by Jill Smolinski. It took me a few days to decide on this title. I wanted a book that embodies my sense of adventure, my desire to do things, and a bit of risk-taking as well. But I wanted a book based in the real world, to show that it’s not just characters in fantasy worlds who can do grand things. It’s been many years since I first read this book but I recall how excited the story made me feel; how much I subsequently wanted to go out and make a “to-do” list and have adventures of my own. I felt like I really embodied my adventurous spirit when I was traveling in Israel this summer (I always feel that way when I am traveling), and I brought some of that spirit with me to my early months in Pittsburgh. I’ve been pretty bogged down with work lately but I still try to keep exploring and taking risks, whether its seeing new places around Pittsburgh, submitting applications for things that may help progress my career, or simply pushing my own boundaries on a daily basis. I’d rather try something once than regret never trying it at all. It’s fun!