The Power of a Good Reading List

2:23:00 PM

A few weeks ago before the "Orange" man took over as president-elect, President Obama released his reading list to the American people. Some of these books included on the reading list were historical, books that gave him the ability to understand what went wrong (or right) in the past concerning previous presidents of the United States among other things. It's important for the man or woman who sits in the big chair to know everything about the past events concerning that chair and position as the Commander in Chief. However, what surprised me about this reading list were the selections of fiction that may have included history as an underlying base. Barrack Obama took the time to choose novels that portrayed some type of human experiences such as those suffering from segregation and starvation or the Great Depression. There is power in a good reading list. The books included on this most recent list were:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

He's put out a ton of reading lists based on the time he might have to open up a book or two. Stephen King often says that you should always carry a paperback with you because you never know when you'll need a good book to help you escape that long line (and please, oh please read his book On Writing if you have some time). Another thing that is pretty awesome to see is that he chooses only a few books, not twenty because he knows he won't have time to get through everything. President Obama committed his time to bettering the country, but also to enriching his mind and strengthening his familial bonds with his children. 

The Power of a Good Reading List

So what is the power of a good reading list and why should everyone have one? First and foremost, reading maintains healthy connections within the brain so that you can literally keep your wits about you. The second is to build your vocabulary and learn everything you can about other people. Reading can enrich your knowledge base and increase empathy for others as you learn about past events or the core issues of a current political issue. There are so many things to be found in books that I wish everyone had a reading list put together at the beginning of each new year. Another powerful thing about your reading list is that you're apt to write better, communicate your thoughts, reduce stress and have a little more to talk about in conversation. 

Here's a new list of books from Ello Honeybee to think about for the Spring:

  • Songs of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Never Ever by Sara Saedi
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis
  • St. Lucie's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
  • The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Game of Thrones, Book One by George R.R. Martin
  • Collected Stories of Mavis Gallant
No matter what your reason for reading this year, I don't care what it is as long as you read. I have friends that have said they hated to read, only to find that one book opens their eyes and they become readers over time. Reading strengthens your mind, heart and opens your eyes to the rest of the world. We have to remember that reading makes us writers which is helpful to carry on our legacy and story to our children and the rest of the world. 

What are some of the books on your reading list?

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