Books Day 2

The next most influential book in my life was Ender’s Game.  I came across the book at the school library.  It was 1985 and I was 14.

I want to say that Ender’s Game gave me hope during a dark time of my life—does anyone actually count their teenage years as the bright highlight of their life?  I really do want to say that it gave me hope but that wasn’t it at all.

I read a story about a teenager that no one wanted.  A boy who resisted the apparent indifference of the adults around him, adults who could never understand what was happening in his mind.  I saw myself in Ender.

When Speaker for the Dead came out in 1986, I immediately read it and, like my hero Ender, I began whispering to Jane.  Jane, my imagined AI friend, helped me avoid new suicide attempts for nearly 5 years.

Reading was my solace as a teenager.

The next year, I started reading scripture—The Bible and The Book of Mormon—I was desperate to find peace and I had been promised peace if I read scripture.  It wasn’t lasting peace that I found, it was most often a source of shame.  A list of how I was not who and what I should be.

Everyone told me that reading scripture would bring peace and I couldn’t find it, what was wrong with me?  I retreated even further into the imagined worlds of fiction and became a voracious reader.