Reading Your Destiny

Dune, by Frank Herbert

Dune, by Frank Herbert (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Though I don’t discuss this often, “reading your destiny” may be just as important as writing your destiny for some of us.  In one of her recent posts, Jenni Corrigan of News of the Times, asked the question what are your five favorite books.  That’s one of those questions most writers have been asked at one time or another in their life.

Another question that I remember being asked on college and graduate school applications has been what books influenced you the most and why. These have always been tough questions for me because I love to read so many different kinds of books.

You can tell I’m a little uptight about our upcoming move to a new home, because I was up from midnight to 2pm trying to answer this question of my favorite books.

Cover of "The Prophet"

Cover of The Prophet

It seems so arbitrary to choose only 5 books, though there were three books that I kept coming back to — The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and the Tao Te Ching and the Bible.  Spiritual wisdom has always been compelling to me.

Yet, there are so many other kinds of books that I have loved at different periods of my life everything from Dune by Frank Herbert in high school to Introduction to Quantum Physics in college to Candide by Voltaire in my thirties and more recently Eaarth by Bill McKibben.

So, having insomnia last night, I started writing lists of all the books that I’ve ever loved, and creating all kinds of ways to narrow the books down to only the top five.  I still ended up failing to find only five favorites.  Still, it ended up being a great exercise that I would recommend to you, especially if you’re having trouble going to sleep.

Daily Contemplation:

What are your favorite books?

Why do they mean so much to you?


If you have some time, enjoy this exercise as a path to self-appreciation for the literary road you have travelled.

Look at the most important/influential books in the different decades or periods of your life.

Alternatively, or in addition, choose books by categories of interest.  In my case, my favorite categories of books are Spiritual wisdom, Magical novels (not necessarily pure fantasy), Classics (a broad category for me that ranges from Les Miserables to Middlesex), Questing Books, Philosophy and Earth-Loving.

15 thoughts on “Reading Your Destiny

  1. thehealthywarrior says:

    I think I will go with the bible because it gives such great advice and comfort.
    Also I enjoyed reading gone with the wind many years ago. It was both entertaining and stimulating.

    • Karen Wan says:

      I forgot about Gone with the Wind, that was another good one. I have to say that I’m not the most conventionally religious person, but like you I deeply appreciate the comfort that the Bible offers.

  2. jamieaaron03 says:

    I love White Oleander by Janet Fitch, She’s Come Undone by Wolly Lamb, and all the Hunger Games books 🙂 Thats 5, but their are so many more that I love, especially if I really start thinking about it.

    • Karen Wan says:

      This is very sad — I haven’t read any of the Hunger Games books yet. I saw the first movie, and I’ve heard that I must read the books because they are better. I remember reading She’s Come Undone. There are so many good books that I love, I can’t begin to list them all. 🙂

      • jamieaaron03 says:

        I read She’s Come Undone 3 time, I love that book, really I could read it again. Not a fan of his other books though. 😦 I’ve tried to get into them, just can’t do it. The Hunger Games books are good, you just gotta get started, they are super cheap right now at Wal Mart, like $6 I think. You just need to know what’s going on in her head, the movie doesn’t have that.

  3. thelastsongiheard says:

    I’ve read the Bible… all of it LOL… I have the Tao I Ching but have yet to read it… and I owned and read a copy of The Prophet but the only copy I currently have is the one I bought (and inscribed) for my halfway-ex-wife and it’s currently in storage. Make of that what you will LOL

  4. sarafoley says:

    Go to Goodreads. Now that website is a wonderland for people like me (and apparently you) who think that their book choices somehow reflect who they are :). beware: you may spend a stupid amount of time there

  5. kizzylee says:

    my fave books are always either philosophy or fantasy i always say to myself i will try reading other stuff but never get round to it, esepcially if there is another terry pratchett book out 🙂 i saw two today and didnt have any money but i have them earmarked for as soon as i do have, thank you for this post i hope you have a lovely evening xx

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank you Kizzylee, I hope you’re having or had a lovely evening too!
      It’s been a while since I’ve read some Terry Pratchett, so it’s probably time to catch up! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!

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