5 Important Books in My Career

5 Important Books in My Career

Books can take you anywhere – they certainly have helped guide me as a professional. Here is a list of books that have inspired different stages of my career so far.

On Writing by Stephen King (2000): One year from graduating with a journalism degree at Northwestern University, I realized being a good writer could be more than a job.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005): Three years into my bookselling career at The Bookworm, I felt empowered to endorse books wholeheartedly for the first time. There is a transcendent power between readers when they connect over a book, and The Book Thief helped teach me this guiding principle.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (2012): Obligated to read this debut novel by the Colorado writer known for his rugged nature memoirs just months after my son was born, I was unexpectedly transported into a new dimension. I knew The Dog Stars was truly special, and upon its release Heller single-handedly amplified the collective western voice, propelling our region’s status from fly-over country to prominence in the literary world.

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul (2019): In this compendium of classic and contemporary books for children, I felt an opening, a place from where I could peek into the future and see myself as a contributor. This book demanded I look more closely at all of those bedtime stories I’d read and memorized. Long after I’d finished How to Raise a Reader, I continued to investigate by ability to write books for children. I credit it for planting the seed that became Read Island.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk (2014): This is a book I finally read in 2020, deep in the pandemic and after I sold the bookstore. Relieved from the daily pressure to read in advance of the public, I acknowledged the long-held but elusive truth that sometimes a book comes to you at exactly the right moment.

- from a "Local Stories" interview with Voyage Denver


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