Books are many writers’ closest friends. It’s one reason we feel so compelled to write them. With Thanksgiving soon upon us, I decided to share a few books I’m CRAZY grateful for. I’m not sure my life would be the same without them…
I first read A CRY IN THE NIGHT by Mary Higgins Clark during the fifth grade, mostly tucked away in my loft bed with a bowl of Doritos. ;) As Jenny MacPartland was swept off her feet by a talented, mysterious artist, so was I. As she discovered horrifying truths that threatened her life, I felt my own life being threatened. Great books take us out of our lives and into others.’ This book taught me that. And nothing had captivated me in such a way before. It marked the beginning of a ‘real life’ love affair—with mysteries, thrillers and suspense.
If Jenny MacPartland had THE GIFT OF FEAR by Gaven de Becker, there wouldn’t have been a book. De Becker is the leading expert on instincts, survival and violent behavior. His book features people who could have died at the hands of attackers, but didn’t. And whether they realized it or not, their fear helped save them. When I sense that someone’s following me, I now turn to look rather than dart away. I look suspicious people in the eye, observe their appearance. I know what to scream if I need to. And I won’t step into an elevator with someone who gives me the creeps. I may never know how much THE GIFT OF FEAR has helped me, which is perfectly fine by me! I recommend it to EVERYONE, particularly women. It’s an empowering book you’ll want to read time and again.
Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY had me in tears on the elliptical when I first began reading it. A passerby said, “If it’s so bad, you can stop.” I would’ve laughed at the workout angst joke, but I was too intrigued by the words before me. At the time, I was at a crux in my relationship and career and had no clue what to do. The ARTIST’S WAY is one of those books that feels like it was written for you. “How did you know that?” I kept wanting to ask. And like DeBecker, Cameron’s insight helped me help myself and has stayed with me since. The ‘morning pages’ exercise, free-writing three pages promptly upon walking, revealed answers I’d been seeking.