I have always been a crazily avid reader. Recently, my mother went on a tirade, blaming my lack of navigation skills on the fact that my entire life my face has always been shoved in a book (especially during long car rides).
But not only do I love to read, I become extremely emotionally invested in the books I read and the characters I meet in them.
Choosing only three is going to be extremely difficult, but I like a challenge!
1. Harry Potter (series) – J.K. Rowling
While Harry Potter is an obvious and slightly arbitrary addition to these lists (since pretty much everyone loves Harry Potter), I feel the need to include it. The world created by J.K. Rowling has been so instrumental, not only in my childhood, but in my growth into the intellectual, passionate, determined woman I am today. The character that Rowling created (and partially based off of herself), Hermione Granger, is one of the most influential people in my life. As a mediocre middle school student lost in a world of witches, wizards, dragons, and crumple-horned snorkacks, I one day decided to be as smart as Hermione. Now I am a college student majoring in neuroscience, planning her journey through graduate school and a career in research. So, Harry Potter will always be at the top of my list.
2. The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge
While I can credit Hermione with my insatiable appetite for knowledge, she was not the one to introduce me to the wonders of neuroscience. That honor goes instead to the influential psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and super awesome guy, Norman Doidge. I found this little treasure in the gift shop at the Museum of Science in Boston and immediately knew that I needed it. It took me a couple months to read this one because every time I picked it up, it blew my mind so thoroughly that I needed to put it down again. This book introduced me to the brain’s ability to change its neural pathways in response to environmental influences, known as neuroplasticity. I have developed an extreme love and passion for neuroscience, and this book has a special place in my heart for awakening that passion.
3. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Most people accredit The Davinci Code with being one of the greatest books ever. I respectfully disagree and shout ANGELS AND DEMONS to the heavens! I’m really not even sure why exactly I love this book so much, but the hodgepodge of science, religion, history, Italy, really intelligent characters, and dozens of plot twists just really took my breath away. This is my main go-to book whenever I’m bored and want to read a simply fabulous piece of literature. I feel comfortable and at home when I read this book. It’s the kind of book that I wish I could just completely forget so I could experience it for the first time again. That’s how much I love this book.
So, those are my top 3 favorite books/series that just really make me feel things. Now I really want to go read them all, but college.