The Spicy Meatball

Books That Made A Difference to Me

I was flipping through my most recent Oprah magazine and landed on my favorite page--Books That Made a Difference To... Every issue a new celebrity is asked what five books made the biggest difference to them and why. I always like to see what people have chosen just so I can judge them on their choices. Just to keep all the judging fair, I thought I would share my answers with you before O, The Oprah Magazine calls me for an interview. (These are in no particular order.) 1. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - I'm sort of obsessed with the author, Michael Pollan, as I seek out pretty much every piece of media he's created around the topic of food. Because of his works, I have been given the information that seems to be held tight behind the lock and key of the government and big business. The information I'm talking about mostly consists of where our food comes from, why our culture eats the way it does, and the great feat of marketing that has crumbled the health of an entire country. If you don't want to know where the food on your plate comes from, make sure you stay far away from Pollan, but if you are interested in learning more, I suggest you start with this book...and then watch Food, Inc. 2. The Glass Castle - One of the few books that made me laugh out loud and dream of meeting the author. This first-person tale of a childhood full of chaos, unknowns, and conflict will keep you on your toes and make you think "What the hell?!?!" I have the follow-up book in my nightstand queue, but I can't bring myself to read it just yet as years later I am still savoring the story of the young Jeanette Walls. If the opening line to The Glass Castle doesn't hook you, nothing will, "I was sitting in the taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw mom rooting through a dumpster." 3. Dry. - Arguably the most raw and mind-boggling story from author Augusten Burroughs, Dry will captivate you from the first page. I read this book by the pool one summer and could not put it down. This true-life story of Burrough's struggles with alcoholism while working in the fast-paced world of New York advertising will give you a new perspective into the mind of an alcoholic and personify the phrase "you never know what people are doing behind closed doors." Don't let my description scare you out of reading this, it's not a downer. In fact, this book will probably make you laugh so hard you pee your pants. 4. A New Earth: Awakening Into Your Life's Purpose - Get your highlighter and post-its ready! This book is not quick or easy to read, but it is absolute brain candy for those of us interested in going deeper into the way we control our lives and how we're all connected. I highly recommend watching the podcasts available on iTunes for a more interactive look at the way this book inspires you to do better and become your best self. Eckhart Tolle has found a way to put a voice to the thoughts and knowing that we've had all along. This is a great read for anyone who is working through a hard time in their life and perhaps needs to take a step back and a good look at themself. 5. Outliers: The Story of Success - One of those book for the super nerd. If you're interested in digging deeper into the human psyche and just love new revolutions, then this is the book for you. I started it while waiting for my flight and found myself half way through the book by the time I got home. That's unheard of for someone like me--a person who is constantly picking up and putting down the same book. Author Malcolm Gladwell examines a variety of groups of people (athletes, pilots, visionaries, etc.) and figures out what they have in common that eventually lead to their success. Gladwell argues that a person's success can be found by asking where they're from instead of what they do for a living. All of the book links I provided will take you to an excerpt of each book in case you want to preview before you read. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

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