By Erin Kolb
For Inland 360
Confession: I am a forgetful reader. That is to say, I rarely remember the basic plot to any one book I have ever read. On top of that, likely due to my (awesome) profession, I am often asked to name my favorite book. Which, of course, makes me freeze with total and complete memory loss. The pressure! I stammer my way through the plot of a book I read last week or ten years ago before my brain thaws.
Books make me feel and it’s those feelings that I remember most: The feeling of being absorbed by a tale, delighted by a series of events, thankful for all that I have, sympathetic to others, or heartbroken, inquisitive, irate (“Gone Girl,” anyone?), rebellious, and so on.
Here’s a list of books that made me feel something. I hope you’ll share yours with me!
“The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez
Feelings: Vulnerable and compassionate
I briefly walked in the shoes of an immigrant and experienced the confusion of being new to a country. I was reminded that we all walk through this life, sometimes silently or never heard, with our own stories and history.
“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi
Feelings: Distressed, engrossed and optimistic
This novel should be required reading for better understanding our country’s history with slave ownership and its deep and lasting impact.
“The Knockoff” by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Feelings: Clever and snarky
Fashion, pop culture and technology merge with massive amounts of OMG drama. The audiobook is totally LOL.
“Lab Girl: A Story of Trees, Science and Love” by Hope Jahren
Feelings: Curious and reflective
Never did I think I’d be so interested in paleobiology, but Jahren’s curiosity is contagious and I now look at trees differently.
“Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World” by Tracy Kidder
Feelings: Inspired and determined
Farmer, said to be a world-class Robin Hood, has the same 24 hours in a day that I do, and yet, I am amazed and inspired by all one can accomplish when one puts their mind to it.
“Under a Flaming Sky: the Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894” by Daniel James Brown
Feelings: Anxious and fatigued.
By the author of “The Boys in the Boat,” this graphic, heart-racing story recounts, with exceptional detail, a firestorm that swept through Minnesota in 1894.
Kolb is the adult services librarian at Asotin County Library. Her love for reading began at a young age with the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. Tell her what books made you feel something at: email@example.com