Marathon Woman, Kathrine Switzer

This book was gifted to me during my marathon journey. The strength and determination detailed provided the motivation for me to get through my first marathon in 2017. I was lucky to meet Kathrine Switzer in 2018, she is a leader that continues to inspire many women around the world.

Save Twilight, Julio Cortazar

I could have easily listed Ginsberg’s Howl but Save Twilight brought so many more inspiring and relatable poems that spoke to me when I needed them. I often refer back to some of his lines as they are timeless pieces of poetic verse.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See

I was never fortunate enough to have a best friend that stuck with me since childhood, and this book shed light on the emotional relationship that two life long friends have from the ups and downs of becoming a woman, wife, and mother. This tale set in nineteenth-century China also provided a unique backdrop of cultural traditions that have been mostly lost.

All My Friends Have Issues, Amanda Anderson

Approaching my fortieth birthday, it seemed everyone I knew was dealing with marriage and mental health issues, and then this book crossed my path. It contains insight into what it means to live an authentic life. Great lessons that I wish I had known much earlier in adulthood.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book is a classic for a reason; the brilliant language, the unforgiving time period, and the struggle for love and identity. The Great Gatsby captures perfectly how the past can never be repeated despite all effort put towards it.

Kimberly Ray is a poet, spoken word performer, and songwriter. She has authored two poetry collections, Coffee Shop Sessions: Whatever It Takes, Even If It Doesn’t Take and Coffee Shop Sessions II: Moving Mountains One by One, both available on Amazon. Her topics include relationships, reflection, travel, and nature. She is currently working on her third poetry collection and can be found online at https://coffee-shop-sessions.com or on Twitter @kimray_poet

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