I suppose I am creative with my writing and in the kitchen (just ask my family all the things we've had to put in the compost :)
I'm to list seven things I love and pass on this award. Since there are too many things I love, like my family, pets, plants, foods, books, music, I decided to focus on seven books that I have loved, that shaped me, that are still helping me to grow.
- The Holy Bible. This is by far the most influential Book I've read. It was the first book that I remember my mother reading to us. She read us stories every night from the big Marathi Bible and I remember how beautiful the language was -- very descriptive. It painted a picture of ancient times. I also remember her reading silently, skipping over passages that are probably inappropriate for little girls.
- The Diary of Anne Frank. I read this as a young girl and it was my first introduction to the Holocaust. I cried at the end because I couldn't understand man's inhumanity to man. Anne Frank's words resonated with me -- her hope and her ultimate belief that despite everything, people are really good at heart.
- Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas. This book is based upon one sentence in the Bible: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. It was the first adult book I read. I was 12 years old and I suddenly realized what an incredible person my mother was. Here we were, struggling to survive, and yet, she managed to help others who had less. She gave what she could without any expectations of reward.
- My Adventures in Two Worlds by A. J. Cronin. I read this autobiography when I was 12 years old. And I knew one day I wanted to be like him -- physician-turned-novelist. By the way, this is a breed of its own. I've read fantastic books by Michael Crichton, Khaled Hosseini, Atul Gawande, all physicians-turned-writers.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I've already spoken about this book recently, but it gave me a moral compass at a time when I was moving away from God and religion.
- Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruiff. I read this in college and loved how Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, and many other scientists were brought to life. It reminds me what good nonfiction must be like -- vibrant, with all the elements of a good story.
- A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. This is the book that probably made me think about writing myself. I was a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University, studying wheat-virus interactions and I kept putting off reading this book. Every time I picked it up, I was flooded with memories, both good and bad. Eventually I sat down and read this book and the characters have never left me. I bought Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, but didn't do any writing. Soon after, we moved to Washington, and while making the road trip, I discovered I was pregnant. I threw away all the materials I had gathered for research positions here. I became a stay-at-home mom. Then, when I was pregnant with my second baby, I realized that I have stories to share that only I can tell. I dug out the Anne Lamott book, starting writing and taking classes.
Oh, oh, oh, there are so many more. Please go to my favorites page and see what other books I love. These books are like my closest friends. At any time, I can go to a specific page to read exactly what I need to hear.
I'm going to pass this on to these creative people who have entertained and educated me on their blogs: Fiona Bayrock, Laura Salas, Molly Blaisdell, Jolie Stekly, Marcia Hoehne, Christy Lenzi, and Susan Sandmore.