Our series MY LIFE IN BOOKS gives the avid reader a chance to recommend books, and give a small account, on the influence each book had on their life.
Petite, humble and hardworking are three words that best describe me. I am married and have a loving 19-year-old daughter. I have been calling Perth, Australia, home for the past 12 years now. How it all started-my love for books? Growing in Seychelles, with no phone, no television; these are the catalysts that drew me closer to books and to have a deep affection for them. Being on an island, I did not have much to do during the weekends and holidays so I would spend the hours of the day devouring one book after another, the Enid Blyton collection, Tintin et Milou, Nancy Drew, Mills and Boon were favourites of mine. I would wake up with books and end my day with books. At one time, because I had a love for books and writing, I dreamt of being a journalist but ended up being an educator, a job that I am currently doing and one which I adore. I get to make a difference in children’s lives and prepare them for what awaits them beyond the classroom.
My choice of books has definitely evolved over the years. I now choose books that definitely stir things in my spirit and bring change in my life. I have the greatest respect for the ones that leave a lasting impact on my life, where I go back for reference and read it a second and even a third time-call me crazy! These are some of my favourites.
Me before you by Jojo Moyes (2012) was recommended by a good friend of mine after the tragic loss of my beloved mum in 2010. It is a book that I definitely loved and still is. It is a keepsake. Readers be ready to have your box of tissues close by. This heart breaking story is about Will Traynor, an adventure seeker, who was hit by a motorcycle and ended up being a quadriplegic. In this book, one can learn some valuable life lessons that, sometimes, life can have other plans for you while you are here in this journey called life, but you have to create memories and that it is solely up to you to do amazing things. Through the character of Lou, Will’s caretaker, one can learn these principles that are: to live a happy life to the fullest while you are able, to never be discouraged and that one act of kindness can definitely change someone’s world.
Another favourite of mine is Attitude is Everything by Nick Vujicic. I will not say much as the title speaks for itself. It is what you make of life with your ATTITUDE that matters. This epic story is about the life of Nick Vujicic. He was born without arms and limbs yet his perception of life and what he makes of it, is phenomenal. It allows me to question humanity at times…”if one person without arms and limbs can enjoy life, what about us? What do we make of this life?” This book will definitely change people’s perspectives on so many things and at so many levels.
This book has been like my bible, The Power of A Praying parent by Stormie Omaritian. She is indeed one of my favourite Christian authors. As the blurb reads… being a perfect parent doesn’t matter…being a praying parent does. Raising kids do not come with a manual and this book will go well with parents who want the best for their children. Prayer can indeed be an alternative to alter a child’s life and this is clearly depicted in this book.
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young is the most absorbing fiction I have read in so many years. To put the readers in the picture, the story centers on a loving father who tragically loses his little girl to a serial killer. This book really resonated with me in so many ways. It taught me lessons about my faith and the power of forgiveness. If you are one who struggles with forgiveness, this book is surely for you.
Last but not least is the inspiring autobiographical book (2013) by Mala Yousafzai, ‘I am Malala.” It is about the story of the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. Malala started speaking about the pursuit of education at a very young age. She quoted, “Not speaking out is accepting what’s happening.” This is surely, what is happening sometimes in our world today. How many of us keep quiet to avoid rocking the boat? This epic story shows how one girl dares to make a difference in the life of others. I wish there were many Malala’s out there, including me. I know that when we do voice out on issues that concern us, it surely will not make us popular but it can have a ripple effect and change can occur …”One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” (Malala Yousafzai) and being a teacher for 24 years I could not agree more.