Books I Carry With Me

What books do I carry with me? Let’s start with the practical. Three years ago I packed myself up and moved across the country. I took very little, leaving the bulk of my things (including a lot of books) in storage, took only what was absolutely necessary. That included a small number of books. I had to bring the books I could not live without, the books whose support I thought I might need when landing in a new place.

Most of the books I brought were ones I’ve read many times, books I hold inside, and carry with me. Books I know so well that I think in them. Books I use over and over again to inspire my writing, to remind myself of what I know, to hold a mirror up to my own life.

Here is a list of fifty books that are dear to my heart, precisely because they kicked my ass in some major intense way when it needed to be kicked, or showed me I wasn’t alone when I felt deeply alienated, or helped me understand something I really needed to understand.

Links are to Goodreads. If you have a question about a book, or want trigger warnings, you can also feel free to ask me about it.

These are books I read as an adult. (I’d need a whole other list for books that shaped me as a child.) Many of these books came with me as I traveled, or I quickly realized that I needed to have them again. These are books that gut-punch me in ways that I need it, hold up the mirrors I ache for, inspire me to be brave. I consider them essential texts that have shaped me, and continue to shape me.

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