11. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Got me back into reading after 5 years without picking up a book and then later inspired me to become a self-published author.
12. Thinking Fast and Slow. I had no idea how my overreliance on my intuition was impacting my ability to think through tough problems. It has forever changed the way I look at the world.
13. The Hobbit.
As a young child, I had always found reading to be pretty dull. This changed when I was 7 and got my hands on The Hobbit- I realized that it wasn’t reading that was boring – I just wasn’t reading the right books!
The Hobbit started my life-long love of reading, particularly fantasy and sci-fi- A passion that I am now following as a writer!
14. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler; an incredible sci-fi book that was written in the 80s and is a mix of apocalypse fiction, socio-political critique & resilience.
Completely changed my worldview & put me on the path to sustainable off-grid living, which I’m really grateful for.
15. The Giver.
I remember reading that book in 6th or 7th grade and just being blown away. I had never experienced a book like that before and it really had a huge impact on me.
I’d also say The Harry Potter series because as a young kid reading those books I really felt like I was escaping into this magical world.
16. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy got me into reading.
17. When I was 13-years-old I had a long school bus ride home from school almost an hour-long and would pass the time by reading. One day I was in the library frantic for something because I had no book and picked out an astronomy one that was called From the Big Bang to Planet X by Terrence Dickinson, and had a fetching picture of the Andromeda Galaxy on its cover. That book, wow. I was completely enchanted about outer space, and by the time I was done reading it, I knew I wanted to be an astronomer. I remember thinking at the time how fantastical it was that people could have that job, but anyone who was an astronomer was 13 once and this was a thing you could do, even if you lived in Pittsburgh.
Anyway, that was over 20 years ago, and there were many twists and turns along the way, but I’m now two years into working as a professional astronomer at Harvard. I just submitted a paper last week on a black hole that ripped apart a star, which was super fun to work on and I couldn’t help but think a lot about how excited 13-years-old me would be to see how it’s going! I don’t know if she would have believed it. 🙂
18. The Kite Runner
Completely eye-opening, and an emotional roller coaster.
19. Discrete Mathematics 4th edition, never wanted to end my life so quickly.
20. The Phantom Tollbooth.
I reread it after hearing that Norton Juster passed. It may have resonated more with me at 32-years-old than reading it as a child.