My Thoughts on Reading and a Book Recommendation

Educated by Tara Westover #Ad

I have always been in awe of books. Those who know me already understand this. Hardbound, paperback, digital, audio, the format is of little consequence. I am open to them all. With almost every story I read, I am once again reminded how books continue to open my world, open my mind, and open my heart. I am not well educated, nor am I well-traveled; however, my love of books and reading have given me more than mere entertainment. Reading the stories of other people, both fictional and true, have provided me a taste of other places, cultures, and experiences, and it is this “taste” that has taught me how very small my own existence is and how important it is for me to strive to shift and reshape, a better word might be broaden, my mind, my thoughts, my convictions, and my viewpoint. Just think, if you live in a world where everything is yellow, how would you ever know what green or red or blue looks like unless you allow yourself to step out of your yellow world? That example feels too simple, but it’s the best I can come up with at the moment. Books have helped me see this world as a more colorful place, and in seeing so many colors (I would never presume to have seen them all…yet), I am becoming a person who is more aware, more empathetic, more conscious, and more conscientious. This can only be a good thing. I’d even go so far as to say it’s an excellent thing; something everyone should attempt. Books allow me to walk in the shoes of others, allow me to imagine what life is like for people who are different from me. Books are gifts of knowledge, gifts to the imagination, gifts to the betterment and cultivation of my person, and almost every book I read leaves me in awe. And here we are, back where I started, so I will leave it for now. However, I do want to tell you about a wonderful book I just read.

I have always thought my childhood was tough, but after reading Tara Westover’s EDUCATED, I will have to do some reevaluation. Tara Westover was born in Idaho into a distinctly unconventional family; her father did not believe in public education, her mother was distrustful of doctors and the medical establishment. Tara Westover suffered psychological and physical abuse from mentally ill family members, and her experience is eye-opening. This book should be read by everyone. I don’t want to say much more as I don't want to diminish your reading experience with spoilers. EDUCATED will shock you… more than a few of Tara’s experiences made me gasp. This book will open your eyes to a world of religious fanaticism, survivalist ideology, bi-polar behavior and the enabling of that behavior, abuse in many forms, misogynism, and more, but it will also show you the power and invincibility of the human spirit and the importance of education, self-examination, and the persistence of self-development. All of us should strive to become better people, to rise above, no matter what circumstances we were born into. Read EDUCATED. Read it today.

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