This article was written by guest author, T.I. Lowe.
Hi! My name is Tonya Inez Lowe, and I am a bibliophile. I’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of books—and some of those I’ve read numerous times. There’s just something so enticing about words gathering together to take the reader on a journey. Books affect me not only as a reader but also as a writer. I give parts of myself to the stories I read as well as taking away parts of them, so each book does, in fact, change me.
Here are five books that have made a significant impact on my life story:
This book changes me every time I open it. It’s the only book that contains living words, words that can be read hundreds of times and can transform a person. One of the most compelling aspects of the Bible is how God chose to share with us so many misfit folks and their journeys and how he allowed them to be a significant part of his story. As a flawed individual, this gives me great hope.
I read this book for the first time in my adult years, and one read had me reading it numerous times to my son and then my daughter. This unassumingly illustrated children’s book holds two significant lessons that we all need to learn and then revisit often. The first lesson is that giving is such a beautiful gift when it happens freely. The tree knows how to give with no “branches” attached to her gift. The second lesson is that material possessions can only give happiness for a season. See my first book choice to find the true source of everlasting joy: one that will never rust or turn to dust. (I rhymed to lead into my next book choice!)
Yep, I love reading children’s books and gleaning the life lessons they have to offer. Just like The Giving Tree, this one moves me each time I read it. Life is full of ups and downs, but it’s up to us to handle whatever comes our way. Wasn’t Dr. Seuss brilliant? His stories are full of life lessons, and if we all allowed them to change us, this world would be a better place. “Step with care and great tact, and remember Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
Yep, I read adult books too! And this one . . . wow. It changed my perspective as a writer and gave me the courage to present stories about life that aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. This book is much like the Bible in that sense. It’s raw and gritty at times, but then the gift of redemption shows the beauty of unconditional love and forgiveness. We all need that: as a reader, a writer, a sinner. . .
This is one of those books that just stays with you, as it should. Again, I draw from Stockett’s bravery to broach subjects that aren’t popular but need to be told. I hate when someone is mistreated, and history is filled with social injustice. Sadly, it continues in the present day as well. The living Word of God declares we are all equal, and The Help shows us—through very diverse characters—that we are all the same at our core and should all be treated with respect. I loved that this book dealt with a heavy topic but could also make me laugh in the midst of it. It took me a long time before I could eat chocolate pie again after reading this book.
Tonya “T.I.” Lowe is a native of coastal South Carolina. She attended Coastal Carolina University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she majored in Psychology but excelled in Creative Writing. In 2014, Tonya independently published her first novel, Lulu’s Café, which quickly became a bestseller. Now the author of 12 published novels with hundreds of thousands of copies sold, she knows she’s just getting started and has many more stories to tell. She resides near Myrtle Beach with her family. To learn more, check out T.I. Lowe’s Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.