Hey, look! My suggestion wasn’t exactly a question, but it was selected for this week anyway! Now I feel really silly about missing the correct day to post.
Charlie Quillen (who lives Maryland now!) asks:
Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?
Lindsay (me!) asks:
There have been books I loved, books that I fell in love with, and books that changed my life, and they’re not always the same nor mutually exclusive.
One of the biggest changes in my life was when I came back to the Church. As I’ve mentioned many times in many places, it happened after I got out of a bad relationship. Being me, one of the first things I did was turn to books for answers and consolation.
The first place I turned wasn’t the Bible, though. It wasn’t even a Catholic book. It was I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris (who, coincidentally, pastors a church in Maryland), and its sequel written after he got married, Boy Meets Girl. I’d requested the books from the library, and I finally opened my heart to God the very day I got the call from the library that the books were ready to pick-up I knew it wasn’t actually about giving up dating forever, but I knew there had to be something more than what the rest of the world was telling me. I found I Kissed Dating Goodbye a little too extreme, but I did find consolation knowing that there were others out there who wasn’t buying the lies anymore, either. Boy Meets Girl was overwhelmingly more practical and measured. It was clear that he’d learned more about dating and marriage once he’d successfully gotten married and had a child himself.
The book that really changed my perspective on love and relationships forever was If You Really Loved Me, by Jason Evert. I didn’t get around to it until my sophomore year of college, but I was blown away. Finally there was an answer to dating and finding love that understood my background in and slow return to Catholicism. Like Harris’s first book, it was written before Evert was engaged to his wife (I’m noticing a pattern), so it is optimistic without being able to offer real, practical examples. Those came later, in How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul (see my review at Austin Catholic New Media).
For me, the books that changed my life were the ones that were really about love. I don’t know quite where all the reading is heading yet, but I’m hopeful for the future anyway.