This week’s topic is a harder one for me. The prompt focuses on books that we wish we had read when we were younger to learn a life lesson, get more self-confidence, or open our eyes to a new perspective. Mine might end up focusing a little more on books I wish I had just read earlier in life.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The first book was released 20 years ago in the United States. I was 13. I didn’t start reading this series until the third movie was out in 2004 when I was 19. At that point in time, five books were out. I devoured them and proceeded to go to midnight releases from then on. However, I can’t help but wonder how these books would have shaped me if I had started at 13. Maybe I wouldn’t have had that reading slump in high school. Maybe I would have decided I loved fantasy sooner. Maybe I would have studied English Literature right away rather than struggling through accounting for three years. We’ll never know, but I wish I could say I was one of those who grew up along with Harry.
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
I found this graphic novel to be an excellent story about the transition from teenager to adult and all the crap that can come with it. It has the added depth of a young woman moving from her war-torn home of Iran and struggling to find her place even after she returns. It’s a funny and moving book covering many new perspectives.
Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran
I am not sure if this is the exact book I’d choose, but I would definitely tell myself to read something about going vegan. While I still have room to improve, being vegetarian for three years now has improved my life immensely. I just wish I made the choice much earlier in life. Of course, I’d likely have a hard time finding options back then in Iowa.
On Writing by Stephen King
While I don’t love this book as much as many other writers do, I think it would have inspired me more if I had read it at a younger age. Maybe it would have given me that push I needed to focus on writing rather than doubting myself and creating bad habits of procrastination.
Contemporary Young Adult Novels
This is going to seem like a copout, but hear me out. As a kid, I didn’t have the young adult section we know today. The teen section was maybe relegated to a few shelves, and the subject matter was not as diverse as it is today. I’ve mentioned my high school reading slump before, but I wonder if there had been books like the YA books of today if it ever would have happened. I could have found an escape or even solidarity at a much needed time in my life. It’s something every kid needs, and I’m glad it exists now.
What are some books you wish you could tell your younger self to read?
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