30 Books I’m Glad I Read Before Age 30: Part 3

Continued from Part 2.

Also, up until this point, I seem to have very few books in common with the original source for the idea. We’ll see how that goes today.

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12) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood — Because now all of U.S. politics makes sense to me. I mean, it’s still fucked up, but at least now I have the proper context for the fucked-up-ed-ness.

13) Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare — I realized that even in a lighthearted play, even one with an intelligent, witty, articulate, and sympathetic female character, misogyny in Shakespeare is pretty much woven into the background like blank verse.

14) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson — [Content note for sexual assault.] The first book I’d ever read where the main character was a survivor of rape — and in fact where the central conflict of the novel involves her being able to confront her rapist — but was not defined by her rape. I remember loving Melinda’s sense of humor and wry commentary and just generally appreciating her personality as a person (well, fictional character, but you get the idea). And I mean, I knew that was how books that deal with sexual assault should be, but this was the first time I’d read one that actually was.

15) Carrie by Stephen King — Not because it made me a diehard Stephen King fan. (It didn’t.) But because the book is a lot about relationships, particularly when they are fucked up, and only a little about paranormal elements.

16) Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff — You knew there was going to be a yoga book on here eventually. At least it took me more than halfway down the list! This one makes it because, while I have read more books on yoga philosophy, this is the one that’s more likely to keep me from hurting myself physically.

17) Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls — Because dogs, that’s why. Because loyalty and dedication. Because heartbreak.

18) The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project — This was, I think, the first play that made me understand what I could do writing plays. I saw that I could capture — or create — the speech mannerisms of different people, could construct unique characters solely and completely through their dialogue. I could write the tension between what they said and what they left unsaid.

19) Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers edited by Judy Blume — It started me researching policies, requirements, and protections for book challenges in school environments. I’m not thrilled that this is something I need to know for my job. However, given that it is a need-to-know, I’m glad I know it.

20) Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret also by Judy Blume — My mom bought me this book when I was… no more than ten, maybe nine. Shortly after I got the “period talk.” It set a standard for me that talk of bodily fears and functions, of sexuality and sexual health, were perfectly normal and okay things to write about — and not just hint at — and therefore to read and think about. That my mom gave me this book (and I know she read it) was something my family supported (which was kind of awesome and kind of disturbing, given that my school and church were very unsupportive in this area).

Fuck. I really did not mean for this to go so many posts. However, with 10 more books to go, I know it’s not all going to fit here. Next time for the finale?


I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

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One comment on “30 Books I’m Glad I Read Before Age 30: Part 3
  1. […] series of posts titled “Books I’m Glad I read Before Age 30.” Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I now want to write something of the kind, […]

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