What books, movies, plays, tv, etc. have influenced your life? I have some go-to books and movies that I return to on a regular basis; sometimes for comfort, sometimes entertainment, and sometimes because the messages they offer meet so many needs in my life.  Here are some of them, in no particular order (and I’ll probably add to the list in notes as I think of different ones):

Anne of Green Gables: Anne was my childhood. She is also my comfort as an adult. No, I wasn’t an orphan growing up on a farmhouse on an Island in Canada. But I was a little girl who loved big words, and who imagined stories and adventures of all kinds, that took me away from my real world. I was a girl who loved learning. Anne’s story always made me laugh and cry. And it still does. Some day I will make my own trip to Prince Edward Island, so that I can walk  the paths Anne would have walked, smell the blossoms anne would have smelt, and allow myself to enter the world of beauty, imagination and bosom buddies.

To Kill a Mockingbird Another one from my childhood that touched me in so many ways. It introduced me to the truth about racism and injustice in this world. It showed me that sometimes things can be unfair, but also that love and kindness are worth more than anything else in this world. I think it might be time to re-read Mockingbird for inspiration.

Fablehaven Series.  This is a recent discovery that I feel tops Harry Potter. Magic, fairies, monsters, and two young people who face demons of all kinds with the support of some kick-ass adults.  What more could you ask for?

The Help. Another recent find, this book really made me think about social norms and societal roles. I read this at a time when I am questioning my own role and purpose in society, and it has provided a lot of food for thought.

You’ve Got Mail. Okay, don’t laugh. I know it is a romantic comedy. But there is something about that movie that speaks to me. It has hit a nerve at a time in my own life when everything is changing. To quote the movie “Some people say change is good. But what they really mean is that something has already happened that you didn’t want to happen . . . ” That feels like my life in a nutshell at the moment. But, I also know that changes can lead to wonderful things, as it does in this movie.

Holocaust Miniseries: I think this was in the 80’s on television for several nights. I watched every moment of it, with tears, with horror, and (I even recall) some joy.  At the time, I was still in hebrew school, still learning about what it means to be a Jew, so of course the mini-series had an impact on me. But it is more than that, as I have become more culturally Jewish than anything. The story introduced me to the cruelty of man, and has helped shaped my beliefs in how to treat others. I don’t know if I am always successful at achieving my goals, but the movie helped my goals form. This is not a go-to show by any means. I don’t need to watch it again. But the ideas formed stayed with me for a lifetime.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Short, petite girl who kicks demon butt with a little help from a close group of friends. Sexy vampires, and lots of confusing emotions. Enough said.

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