A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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"Growing up, I used to collect books. I liked being around them but couldn't stay interested long enough to read any to their entirety; I preferred comics and cartoons. I was a book-faker, reading and skimming required works just to pass the teacher's quiz or exam. Then, as a sophomore at Purdue University in English Literature, I was introduced to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. My interest in reading truly began with the first sentence: an admonission, "All of this happened, more or less."

I went on a surreal journey to Dresden and back, analyzed portions of life with Tralfamadorian perspectives, and when I finished the last page, I headed to the store to celebrate the rest of Vonnegut's catalog. "Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops." (p. 39)

Years later while working for a television network, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Vonnegut after Man Without a Country was published. I was speechless, frozen in the presence of Genius while he was interviewed. When the show was over, I thanked him endlessly and turned fangirl as he drew his mustachioed profile and signature on the title page. Because of Vonnegut, I learned the joy of reading."

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."

So it goes.