Books shape our lives. As a child, I was an avid reader of the Nancy Drew Adventure series. Since my first name is Nancy, I was able to pretend I was the girl in the story trying to solve the mysteries. Then during high school there was the dreaded required reading, but who could deny the impact of such classics as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway; "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee (a Panhellenic woman); and "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The one book I remember from college that had an effect on me was "Working" by Studs Terkel. The human stories in Terkel's book were so intriguing.
In more recent years, several books that have meant something to me come to mind:
- "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, which took me back to my childhood in the mountains of North Carolina
- "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells, as a Panhellenic woman it is hard to resist a good story about sisterhood
- "Half the Sky" by Nicholes D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, the idea of turning oppression into opportunity for women is why sororities were originally founded, and now sorority women are inspired by the book and have a chance to give back through The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation
- "Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances Mayes, just because I love Italy
Currently, I'm reading Pat Conroy's "South of Broad" in which old classmates come together to help one of their number. He also wrote the bestseller, "The Prince of Tides.”
Though all these books have had an impact on me in some way, the book which best describes the opportunities that have been afforded me through sorority membership and which is one of my favorites is Dr. Seuss’, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!” Where are your books taking you?